Estate Planning

Fox, O’Neill & Shannon’s (FOS) estate planning attorneys understand that estate planning encompasses much more than simply drafting wills, trust agreements, financial powers of attorney and health care powers of attorney. The firm’s estate planning practice encompasses a range of services designed to assist clients in building, preserving and ultimately transferring their wealth to their families and preferred charitable causes.

FOS’s estate planning attorneys accomplish this goal through advising their clients on gift and estate tax matters, income tax and retirement planning matters, and asset protection matters, through the use of vehicles including trusts, limited liability companies and pre-nuptial, post-nuptial and marital property agreements. In addition to advising individuals, the firm’s attorneys also advise closely-held businesses, assisting their owners in the creation and implementation of succession plans. These plans transfer the business or wealth represented by the business to the next generation, through tools such as buy-sell agreements, installment sales agreements, recapitalizations, gifting programs and outright sales.

As a part of and in addition to their estate planning services, FOS’s estate planning attorneys probate estates, and represent and advise trustees on matters of trust administration, trust termination and trustees’ fiduciary responsibilities. These attorneys are well-versed in preparing gift and estate tax returns and supporting the positions taken in those returns, at the audit and Tax Court levels. The firm’s estate planning attorneys also have extensive experience in will and trust contests and litigation.

Estate Plans

Every estate plan’s goal is to transfer wealth to the intended beneficiaries in a cost and tax efficient way which maximizes the beneficiaries’ benefit. FOS’s estate planning attorneys have developed sophisticated estate plans for upper income and middle class individuals and their families. These estate plans often include specialized trusts, limited liability companies, family limited partnerships, private charitable foundations and other vehicles.

FOS takes pride in working closely with spouses who desire to develop complimentary estate planning programs. When requested, the firm also works with their children to insure that all aspects of their estate plan are workable and understood. Two important estate planning functions are the preparing of medical directives, which allow clients to advise health care providers of the type of care they desire; and powers of attorney, which allow loved ones to handle the affairs of clients when they become unable to handle them themselves.

Estate planning laws are dynamic, and each individual’s situation is different. As a result, FOS’s attorneys stay on top of all legal changes impacting estate planning, and are ready to help preserve and maximize family wealth, even when laws or a client’s circumstances change.


A loved one’s death is a difficult time for family members. Probate does not have to be. FOS’s estate planning attorneys have extensive experience in probating estates of all sizes and complexities. The firm’s goal is to assist the deceased’s personal representatives or trustees to marshal assets, prepare required IRS documentation, obtain valuations where necessary to preserve wealth, and deal with required state and federal agencies as necessary.

The firm’s decades of experience in probating estates gives its attorneys an advantage in processing probates quickly and efficiently. However, FOS’s attorneys are also adept at useful techniques to avoid probate, if appropriate, in large part or altogether.