Practice/Industry Group Overview
Hill Farrer & Burrill LLP's Trusts, Tax & Probate group provides both basic and more sophisticated estate planning services for our clients. We work with our clients to cover their basic estate planning needs such as wills, revocable trusts, powers of attorney, advance health care directives, title transfers, vesting decisions and nonprobate transfers. But many of our clients, especially closely-held business owners, need more than just basic planning. For those who need it, we assist with business succession planning, buy-sell agreements, disability planning, life insurance planning, irrevocable trusts, charitable giving, sophisticated estate tax planning, gifting and related techniques, as well as gift tax return preparation.
We work with trustees, executors and heirs on both probate and trust administration matters after there’s been a death. This includes, among other things, handling probate cases, advising trustees on post-death trust administration issues, preparing and filing estate tax returns, probate and trust litigation, including will and trust contests and accountings. When court proceedings are needed because a person is incapacitated, we represent guardians and conservators in those proceedings.
Hill Farrer’s estate and tax group provides a full range of tax services for our clients, including consultation and documentation for real estate transactions, condemnations and exchanges, partnerships, limited liability companies, incorporations, mergers, acquisitions, S corporations, corporate tax issues, professional corporations, nonprofit organizations, premarital agreements, state and local tax matters, property taxes, sales and use taxes, loan structuring, business workouts, litigation support, tax collection matters, and tax litigation matters.
We represent nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations, including drafting organizational documents such as Articles of Incorporation, Bylaws and Trust Agreements, securing federal and California tax-exempt status, assisting and advising on public benefit vs. private foundation issues, registering with the California Registry of Charitable Trusts, assisting with local registration to solicit charitable donations, representing nonprofits against the California Attorney General’s office when issues arise, advising on corporate and trust governance issues, advising on disputes particular to nonprofits, including disputes among members and directors, handling or overseeing IRS audits of nonprofits, and assisting on IRS "intermediate sanction" issues.
Employee Benefit Plan Advice & Litigation
Hill Farrer’s employee benefits attorneys have broad experience in all areas of employee benefits practice, including pension, profit sharing, 401(k), 403(b), collectively bargained, multi-employer, executive compensation, apprenticeship and health and welfare plans; plan drafting, qualification, administration, merger, claims adjudication, litigation, audit and termination; handling of plans in business mergers and acquisitions; advising fiduciaries on all aspects of their ERISA and plan duties; advising employers on multiemployer plan withdrawal liability; drafting and negotiating employment contracts; preparing severance agreements and releases; advising employers and trustees on their duties under Health Care Reform; preparing qualified domestic relations orders (QDROs); taxation of distributions; and voluntary compliance submissions to both the IRS and the DOL.