About Diane B. Burks

Diane Burks advises her clients on matters related to tax and wealth transfer planning, estate and trust administration, business succession planning and charitable giving. Diane creates comprehensive estate plans for her clients so they can preserve their family's wealth for successive generations while minimizing transfer and income taxes and integrating the client's personal nontax goals.

Sophisticated estate and tax planning

Diane helps her clients with sophisticated estate planning, estate administration, and gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer tax planning. She works with her clients to create comprehensive estate plans, which may include wills, revocable trusts, irrevocable dynasty trusts, limited liability companies, shareholder agreements, marital agreements, irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs) and modification or reformation of existing irrevocable trusts. Diane also structures and implements lifetime and testamentary wealth transfer strategies such as grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), spousal lifetime access trusts (SLATs), charitable lead trusts (CLTs), charitable remainder trusts (CRTs), and gifts and sales to grantor trusts. Diane also advises clients on estate, gift and tax planning strategies for noncitizen spouses, including the drafting of and counseling on the use of qualified domestic trusts (QDOTs).

Diane also assists clients with their charitable objectives, including the creation, administration and termination of charitable trusts, and the creation and administration of public charities, private foundations and other tax-exempt organizations.

She also represents executors, personal representatives, trustees and beneficiaries in all aspects of probate and trust administration, as well as post-mortem planning. Diane routinely advises executors on estate administration, including the preparation and filing of probate documents, the transfer of assets, and the preparation and filing of estate and gift tax returns.

Diane counsels business owners on business succession planning by drafting and reviewing organizational documents, operating agreements, shareholder agreements and buy-sell agreements, as well as implementing gifts or sales of business interest to irrevocable trusts. She advises clients on the formation, funding and governance of limited liability companies, partnerships, corporations or other business entities, including the structuring and drafting of partnership agreements, operating agreements, corporate bylaws and shareholders' agreements. Diane also works frequently with closely held business owners to structure purchases or sales of closelyheld business interests in a tax-efficient manner.

Diane represents private individuals and families including professionals, executives, business owners, professional athletes and retirees. She combines her extensive knowledge of transfer tax planning and her understanding of a client's goals to create a comprehensive and tax-efficient estate plan that takes the family's personal circumstances into account.

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Practice Focus

  • Estate planning and administration
  • Tax planning and wealth transfer
  • Charitable giving
  • Business succession planning