Photo of Michael T. Clear

Michael is the Chair of our Private Client Services Department where he leads our group of over 30 lawyers and allied professionals.  As a Partner in the firm’s Private Client Services Department, Michael regularly counsels clients on the far-reaching financial implications of estate planning, estate and trust administration, probate litigation, and business succession planning. Yet he is also a trained counselor with insight into the family dynamics these matters can effect. Known for his empathy and good humor, he helps clients take prudent action in the face of indecision, hopefully resolving contested issues before litigation. He is also a member of wiggin(x).

Income tax reporting obligations do not cease at death. In fact, there may be multiple taxpayers required to file income tax returns after the death of an individual.  For example, the decedent, the executor of the decedent’s estate and trustees of trusts created by the decedent each has income tax reporting requirements.  The basics of

A directed trust is a sophisticated planning technique that divides the traditional duties of a trustee among more than one person or institution.  Unlike a standard trust with multiple co-trustees, all of whom would share the same duties, a directed trust makes each “trust director” responsible for a different type of task on behalf of

Sometimes, a Trustee of an irrevocable trust needs guidance on properly administrating a trust or seeking formal approval for their actions. Historically, in Connecticut, the Probate Courts have served that function. Probate Courts provide a forum for a Trustee to raise questions or to seek formal approval of the Trustee’s actions. That could include seeking clarification

On this episode, Partner Michael Clear sits down with Larry Lipoff, CPA, TEP, CEBS, who is a Director in CohnReznick’s Trusts and Estates Practice, to discuss the key takeaways from the 58th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning Conference. They dive into topics such as the “Rockefeller Waterfall,” planning with fluctuating interest rates, a

With so many people fleeing their northern home states and heading south for a sunnier lifestyle, it’s more important than ever to understand the process of changing domicile and residence. On this week’s episode, Partner Michael Clear travels to sunny Florida and chats with Florida-based Partner Veronica Bauer on the necessary “checklist” to declare domicile

On this episode of “Future Focused: Sophisticated Estate Planning,” Partners Erin Nicholls and Michael Clear sit down with Partner Helen Heintz to discuss the intricacies of prenuptial agreements. From the nuances of defining separate and marital property to navigating potential pitfalls, they review the complexities and importance of prenups in protecting wealth. Helen also sheds

In this episode of “Future Focused,” Partners Erin Nicholls and Michael Clear discuss the operation of family foundations as a wealth planning strategy. They highlight the trade-offs between donor advised funds and private foundations, focusing on the annual requirements of private foundations. They cover topics such as federal reporting, the 5% minimum distribution requirement, state-level