Clients and colleagues tell me I’m a very good listener and technical lawyer; I understand the rules at a deep level and try to integrate that information with the human side of the equation. Although I’m willing to weigh in with my opinion, I give the most consideration to what clients want to do and how we can best accomplish their objectives. I also strive to explain difficult tax concepts in a way that can be readily understood.
Michael Frankel’s practice encompasses sophisticated estate planning (both U.S. and international), administration of estates and trusts and litigation of both tax matters and disputes involving estates and trusts. He also represents non-profit entities, including significant private foundations, and brings his specific knowledge of art law to bear when representing artist-related charities.
Michael provides counsel in all aspects of estate planning. His clients include U.S. and foreign entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals. Michael helps clients who have international connections to navigate the laws and tax systems of multiple jurisdictions to achieve the best overall results.
In his litigation practice, Michael handles trust and estate related disputes and tax matters. He has significant experience in negotiations with the IRS and state tax authorities and has appeared in New York Surrogate’s Courts, the United States Tax Court and federal district and appellate courts. In the tax cases he handles, he draws on experience gained from his own practice and from his clerkship with Judge Arnold Raum on the United States Tax Court. Michael’s extensive experience in tax law, estate planning and trust and estate administration compliment his litigation skills, making him a highly effective advocate in family disputes and other matters.
Michael is sensitive to the costs, both financial and emotional, of litigation involving trust and estate disputes. He works to reach optimal settlements for his clients while avoiding protracted litigation. He is often retained to take over difficult matters that have become stalled and is able to achieve successful resolutions for his clients.
Michael enjoys the contrasts of handling estate planning matters – which require carefully structuring a plan and putting it in place – and litigation – which requires reacting strategically to the opposing side’s actions and crafting arguments to counter them. He also finds it gratifying to help charities that are striving to do good work while navigating a complicated set of rules. Constantly surveying the tax law landscape, Michael stays abreast of developments and helps clients anticipate and prepare for likely changes in the tax laws.
Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® and Super Lawyers®, Mike has also been named as one of the “Top 100 New York Super Lawyers®.” He has chaired the Estate and Gift Taxation Committee of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York and is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, where he serves on the Business Planning and International Estate Planning Committees, and has also been a member of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). Mike has been an editor and a contributor to Practical Drafting®, published by U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, for more than 30 years.