Cole Schotz P.C.


Tax, Trusts & Estates


Our attorneys counsel owners of family businesses where succession planning and asset protection are linked, and individuals of substantial means who wish to take advantage of sophisticated tax planning techniques to retain and build their wealth for future generations. In addition, when tax issues arise, we seek the most expedient resolution.

Business Counseling
Closely held and family business owners rely on us as skilled and trusted advisors. In this role, we work closely with them to create a clear business vision, develop a success strategy, and provide keen guidance in implementing such strategy. The latter includes helping clients identify and address their short and long-term challenges, including succession planning, structuring and business control.

We employ a variety of tools in facilitating an orderly, tax advantaged succession plan, including buy/sell agreements, stockholders’ agreements, operating agreements, phantom ownership plans, deferred compensation agreements, family limited liability companies, family limited partnerships, Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRAT’s) and installment sales to Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts (IDGT’s). With our legal and financial knowledge, experience and instincts, we strive to further our clients’ success and guide their businesses confidently into the future.

Estate Administration
We have a wealth of experience in estate administration in New York, New Jersey and Florida. We handle the probate process, assist in valuing assets, prepare and file state and federal estate and inheritance tax returns, prepare disclaimers and handle postmortem tax planning. We are experienced in working with families during periods of grief and aim to make the process as simple and comfortable as possible.

Estate Planning
We work with domestic and international clients and their families to cover a broad spectrum of personal planning needs, including estate planning, special needs planning, estate administration and charitable planning. In doing so, we listen carefully to our clients, addressing their unique needs and concerns and helping them achieve their wealth transfer goals.

We prepare wills, powers of attorney and health care proxies and trusts, and formulate ways to minimize estate taxes and make tax efficient gifts.


On behalf of our business and corporate clients, we coordinate business succession planning, manage control issues and coordinate assets, including insurance and retirement plans.

Probate Litigation
When the need arises, our attorneys team up with members of our litigation department to handle complex probate and trust disputes. We represent estate executors, trustees and beneficiaries, working to resolve issues stemming from ambiguous will or trust provisions, contested wills and trusts, and breaches of fiduciary trust, including asset mismanagement, reformation of trust actions and actions to remove fiduciaries.

We are acutely aware of the financial and emotional toll that these disputes can have on our clients, particularly on families. We maintain a close relationship with our clients throughout the process, keeping their priorities and objectives top of mind and involving them in all strategic decisions.

Tax Controversies
We handle all phases of federal and state tax controversies including audits, administrative appeals and tax litigation, as well as representation before the collection and criminal investigation divisions of federal and state tax authorities. We represent those facing state tax assessments resulting from disputes concerning residency or domicile, as well as trust fund tax disputes over responsibility for unpaid sales tax and payroll taxes. We seek to make the audit process less stressful, helping our corporate and individual clients produce the necessary documentation while advocating on their behalf.

Tax Planning
Without proper planning, individuals can end up paying more in taxes than necessary. We counsel on all tax-related issues involving estate planning, taking into consideration federal and state estate taxes, inheritance taxes, income taxes and generation skipping transfer taxes, as well as partnership and subchapter S tax issues. We also handle gift and estate tax audits.

The planning options we employ are designed to minimize tax liability. Options include Qualified Personal Residence Trusts, Family Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, Grantor Trusts, Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts and sales transactions with self-canceling installment notes.



Department Chairs




IRS proposes to protect wealth transfers with rules for estate and gift taxes

As published in: Accounting Today December 7, 2018

Wake Up Call: Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

As published in: Bloomberg Big Law Business December 6, 2018

Cole Schotz Guides V. Paulius' $90M NJ Port Deal

As published in: Law360 December 4, 2018

Storm Brewing in States Over Federal Deduction Cap

As published in: Bloomberg BNA September 13, 2018

New York, Connecticut Taxpayers Have Plan B Options to Beat SALT

As published in: Bloomberg August 27, 2018

States take feds to court with ‘creative arguments' over the SALT cap

As published in: Accounting Today August 7, 2018

New Jersey Hikes Taxes On High Earners And Curbs Loophole

As published in: Forbes July 13, 2018

The Laterals Audit: Tax Attorney Moves In May

As published in: Law360 May 31, 2018

Midsize Moves: Business Lawyer Moves Abound

As published in: The Mid-Market Report May 23, 2018

Cole Schotz Expands Fla. Office With Estates Atty

As published in: Law360 May 14, 2018

Laterals, Moves, Law Firm Work

As published in: Bloomberg Big Law Business May 2, 2018

First Estate Tax Case Filed Under N.Y. Whistleblower Law

As published in: Bloomberg BNA January 24, 2018


Upcoming Events

Recent Events

LawPracticeCLE: IRA Trust Strategies
Attorney Speaking: Chelsea E. HunterOctober 8, 2018
LawPracticeCLE: Trusts 101
Attorney Speaking: Chelsea E. HunterOctober 8, 2018
2018 ABA RPTE Spring Symposia
Attorney Speaking: Philip R. HirschfeldMay 10, 2018
Executor and Trustee Boot Camp
Attorney Speaking: Christopher P. MassaroApril 13, 2018
2018 Bergen County Transition Fair
Attorney Speaking: Lori I. WolfMarch 20, 2018
Select Estate Planning Transactions at JBIZ of Boynton Beach
Attorney Speaking: Nicholas C. GuerraMarch 20, 2018
Webinar: The Will Substitute
Attorney Speaking: Tereina StiddFebruary 27, 2018


2019 Estate and Gift Tax Update

Tax, Trust & Estates Law November 19, 2018

Gary A. Phillips