GREENWICH, Conn. – June 22, 2021 – Smith Legacy Law LLC is pleased to announce its launch as a national firm catering to the sophisticated legal needs of private-wealth clients at all stages of life. Founded by Jason J. Smith, one of the nation’s premier estate planning and litigation attorneys, the Greenwich, Connecticut-based firm opens its doors just as Congress considers massive increases to taxes on inherited wealth under President Biden’s American Families Plan.
“Smith Legacy Law’s mission is to provide ultra-personalized services for clients seeking to plan, protect and preserve their assets throughout all significant stages in their lives,” Smith said. “Our team combines knowledge of advanced financial and legal strategies with a genuine care for our clients, offering them holistic counsel that goes beyond the four corners of legal documents.”
A graduate of Yale Law School and former consultant at a big four accounting firm, Smith founded Smith Legacy Law after practicing for several years as a partner in the estates group at Am Law 100 firm Katten Muchin Rosenman, as well as a New York law firm at which he built a highly successful trusts and estates litigation practice group.
Smith Legacy Law will serve a client base of individuals, family offices, and businesses with significant assets and complex estate-related matters. The new firm will also guide trustees, grantors, and settlors through the often-complicated estate and trust administration process. For all its clients, Smith Legacy Law will seek to act as a “lawyer for life,” building long relationships that add value to any engagement.
“Private clients have serious concerns at the moment, including the prospect of inflation and potentially seismic changes to the capital gains tax rates,” Smith said. “We are there to walk our clients through these issues – and far more personal ones – that can have a serious impact on their assets and their peace of mind.”
The American Families Plan, first announced by the Biden administration in April, proposes an increase in the capital gains tax rate to 39.6% and creates an effective tax rate on inherited wealth as high as 61% – the highest level in a century.
Smith Legacy Law begins operations with four attorneys and a total staff of six. Unlike many trusts and estates practices, the firm’s lawyers also have experience in estate and trust litigation, representing fiduciaries, beneficiaries, and other parties in contested matters, including tax audits and controversies.
Smith Legacy Law recently secured a critical victory for grantors and made new law in New York in a case of first impression, whereby a New York court held that an irrevocable trust could be decanted to a new trust pursuant to the terms of the original trust without having to follow the rigorous procedures required under New York’s so-called “decanting” statute. The trial court’s ruling was unanimously upheld by the intermediate appellate court and the New York Court of Appeals declined to hear any further appeal.
Jason is a graduate of New York University and Yale Law School.