Practice areas

“There is nothing like the death of a moneyed member of the family to show persons as they really are, virtuous or conniving, generous or grasping. Many a family has been torn apart by a botched-up will. Each case is a drama in human relationships — and the lawyer, as counselor, draftsman, or advocate, is an important figure in the dramatis personae. This is one reason the estates practitioner enjoys his work, and why we enjoy ours.”

– Jesse Dukeminier and Stanley M. Johanson, introduction to 1972 edition of Family Wealth Transactions: Wills, Trusts, Future Interests, and Estate Planning.

Estate Planning

At Wakefield, Sutherland & Lubera, P.L.C., we believe that estate planning is more than just drafting a document. An estate plan ensures that a client’s wishes are honored both during their life and after their passing. Our approach to estate planning is to establish and maintain close personal contact with each of our clients to help them develop unique estate plans that will provide for their family and business needs. By explaining your options and informing you about the latest laws regarding estate planning, we strive to make this a positive experience for you and your loved ones. We utilize tools such as living trusts, pour over wills, financial powers of attorney, medical powers of attorney, HIPAA forms, irrevocable life insurance trusts and charitable trusts to achieve these goals.

Our attorneys are specialists who have extensive experience in both common and unique planning situations that can involve minor children, beneficiaries with special needs, trusts for a family cottage or provisions for the well being of a client’s family pets. Also, a proper estate plan ensures that a client’s end of life decisions are honored.

We also represent donors and donees with respect to charitable giving. For clients with charitable intentions, we analyze all aspects of various alternatives including tax implications, to determine the best charitable giving plan for them. We prepare all documents to effectuate the gift, whether it is an outright charitable bequest or a more complicated gift such as a charitable remainder annuity trust, charitable lead trust, or a private foundation.

Our attorneys are also experienced in structuring integrated asset protection and preservation. This planning can range from the mere identification of potential exposure and risk assessment to the implementation of a plan designed to diversify concentrated asset risk.

Probate & Trust Administration

Facing the death of a loved one is a very difficult experience, not to mention handling the complicated legal process that occurs after a death.  Probate estate administration can be a very costly and time-consuming process. There are many documents that need to be filed with the probate court and strict deadlines that need to be met.  Wakefield, Sutherland & Lubera, P.L.C.’s skilled attorneys are prepared to handle this demanding administration process.  Clients trust our attorneys to take care of every detail on their behalf to handle this rigorous process.  Furthermore, our attorneys prepare all probate court filings, including accountings and inventories, and handle all probate court proceedings. Our attorneys analyze steps that can be taken to reduce taxes and will also prepare the necessary tax returns for the estate.

When it comes to a trust after a loved one passes, the attorneys at Wakefield, Sutherland & Lubera, P.L.C. are familiar with exactly what is involved to properly administer a trust and have provided countless clients guidance through the process. Having an attorney with extensive experience on your side to guide you and act as an advocate on your behalf will give you the sense of security you need at this time. You will be assured that everything is being handled correctly and delays are being avoided. We strive to provide comfort to you and your loved ones during your time of mourning.

Our goal is to give our clients the insight and dependability they require with the peace of mind they deserve.

Elder Law

In generations past, estate planning ensured that the beneficiaries of an estate were receiving the estate’s assets.  But today’s generation of seniors is a healthy and thriving generation that is living longer and therefore creating an entirely new set of legal concerns.

The attorneys of Wakefield, Sutherland & Lubera, P.L.C. are highly experienced in the relatively new practice of combining wills and trusts, healthcare planning, Medicare/Medicaid planning and Veterans benefits, also known as “elder law.” In addition, this practice involves protection from elder abuse as well as many other concerns of elderly individuals.

When dealing with elder law issues, our mission is to put our clients at ease knowing that each of their concerns have been taken care of with both sensitivity and a strong attention to detail.

Business Planning

Business owners are faced with a range of decisions to make, each requiring thorough preparation to promise an uncomplicated transition.

The transition of a business gives rise to unique and complex tax control considerations. Whether you want to pass your business to the next generation, appoint a new owner, or sell the business, you will need to work with an experienced attorney.

Having an attorney that understands your goals and can advise in the areas of business incorporation, buy-sell agreements, corporate record books, LLC operating agreements and shareholder agreements is critical in planning  for future success for everyone involved in the business.

Our clients have confidently relied on our expertise, skills and experience to help them make the best decisions and assisting them in implementing their plans.

Tax Planning

Our attorneys regularly counsel clients on a variety of federal and state matters. From entity formation to corporate restructurings we provide guidance on the tax consequences specific to corporations and such pass-through entities such as limited liability companies, partnerships and S Corporations. Wakefield, Sutherland & Lubera, P.L.C.’s tax practice includes structuring of transactions and business entities, corporate transactions and restructurings, partnerships, real estate transactions, tax-exempt organizations and estate planning. Our attorneys also provide client representation during tax audits and appeals.

The practice of tax law today requires technical expertise, the ability to keep pace with the ever-changing state of the law and innovative solutions to new tax problems. The recent legislative and regulatory activity, including enactment of numerous major federal tax acts, has made taxation one of the most challenging areas of the law.

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