James W. Weller’s practice integrates all aspects of estate planning and administration, from the initial planning phase, to lifetime transactions and gifts, to estate settlement and beneficiary distributions.
Jim drafts estate plans for clients with a wide variety of personal goals and wealth. His clients include young families who have not yet accumulated significant wealth but desire to protect the family through life insurance; wealthy families needing transfer tax planning; merged families from prior marriages; and closely-held business owners. Jim further advises business owners on the formation and maintenance of business entities, such as limited liability corporations, appropriate for family-owned businesses, and for unrelated partners.
Jim counsels fiduciaries in balancing the beneficiaries’ interests, including modification of trust instruments by statutory or judicial reformation. Jim further advises estate planning clients on the allocation of business interests and other assets which are not readily divisible among beneficiaries. His counsel to fiduciaries includes the preparation of federal and state estate tax returns, gift tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns and compliance with generation-skipping transfer tax reporting.
In disputed estates, Jim has negotiated family settlement agreements to avoid costly litigation. If desired, he provides guidance on prenuptial agreements and methods for maintaining the status of separately owned assets following marriage.
Estate Planning and Administration for Civil Union Partners, Springfield, Illinois (ALI-ABA, October 26, 2011)
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