Preserve. Protect. Bestow.

Leave your legacy as you intended for your family, your business, and your charities

You’ve worked hard to grow your wealth and build a comfortable life for you and your loved ones. Now you want to ensure that they– and future generations – are cared for after you’re gone. You also want to share your good fortune with others. To accomplish both, you need a tax-efficient estate and gifting plan.

Our advanced estate planning and wealth preservation solutions help you achieve your goals while mitigating your tax liabilities and those of your heirs. Recommendations are tailored to your unique situation and reflect our expansive knowledge of estate, trust, gift and tax laws.

  • Wealth protection
  • Transfer strategies
  • Asset titling & beneficiary review
  • Charitable planning
  • Gift coordination

Estate planning is one of the most priceless and enduring gifts you can give your loved ones—and yourself.

The most important reason for estate planning is to give yourself and your loved ones peace of mind. Creating your estate plan gives you control. As I’ve often said to many clients, if you don’t have an estate plan, the state will write one for you, and its likely not what you would want. At Cerity Partners, we work with clients to create a full comprehensive financial and estate plan to protect both their wealth and well-being.

Susan Hartley-Moss, Partner

Comprehensive Wealth Preservation that Reflects Your Vision

Your legacy provides loved ones with the resources to pursue their passions and puts them on the path to financial well-being. But ensuring that these resources last is a challenge. We help you build a legacy that:

  • Preserves your wealth by mitigating state and federal estate and inheritance taxes
  • Passes wealth efficiently by creating trust structures that facilitate the transfer of assets from one generation to the next
  • Protects your family by incorporating provisions about your loved ones’ financial security and the care of any special-needs beneficiaries

Your life isn’t static, and your estate plan shouldn’t be either. We monitor it regularly to make sure it keeps up with you, your family, and changing tax laws.

Paul Chmielewski


Estate Planning

Estate Planning Documents Everyone Should Have

July 15, 2022 — The basic message is that most people think estate planning is important but are often confused about how to get it done. So, what are the basic estate planning documents every adult should have?

The Power of Planning

State and federal estate taxes can significantly erode a family’s wealth over time—more so than income taxes. This is especially true for individuals who live in high-tax states. We work with you and your attorney to create and execute a comprehensive plan for your unique needs and intentions.


Wealth Protection and Transfer Strategies

How you pass your wealth from one generation to the next directly impacts your taxes and the protections afforded in the event of a lawsuit, divorce, or bankruptcy. Dynasty Trusts and Private Trust Companies are just two ways we help address these concerns and sustain the viability of your estate.


Review of Wills, Trusts and Other Estate Planning Documents

The first step to enhancing your estate plan is understanding where you’re at today. Reviewing your existing documents helps us ensure that all your assets are addressed, including investments, real estate, jewelry, and artwork, and identify opportunities for improvement. Once identified, we work with you and your attorney to close any gaps so you can feel confident your legacy and loved ones are protected.


Review of Beneficiaries and Titling of Assets

The type of asset and how it is owned impacts who receives your property after your death. For example, IRA accounts automatically pass to your beneficiaries. Any property owned jointly with rights of survivorship passes to the other owner. Our review helps ensure your assets are titled according to your intentions and that your beneficiary information is up to date.


Coordination of Estate Plan with Life Insurance Coverage

Life insurance is more liquid than many assets you may own, making the proceeds a good source for paying estate taxes and other liabilities while leaving the rest of your estate intact. We help you determine the level and type of life insurance that’s right for you.


Charitable Planning and Gift Coordination

Should you make your gift now or in the future? Should you bundle your gifts together in one year? Does a Donor Advised Fund make sense for you? Should you make a monetary gift or donate investments or real property? We answer these questions and more to help you maximize the value of your gifts while minimizing taxes.


Succession Planning

If you’re a business owner, the future of your company is an essential part of any estate planning conversation. Do you want to transfer ownership to family members? Do you plan to sell the business and allocate the proceeds amongst loved ones? Whatever your vision, we help you create a comprehensive exit strategy that prepares you, your business, and your family for the transition.


Next-Gen Education

Loved ones who understand the reasoning behind the provisions in an estate plan are more likely to embrace the plan and carry it forward. We offer education materials that focus on the rising generation to help you have this important conversation.

Explore Our Offerings for Individuals and Families

Ben Pace

Partner & Chief Investment Officer


Sticky Inflation

Economic & Market Update After backing off a few times last month, the S&P 500 finally broke into bear market territory on Monday with a nearly 4% decline on the day and is now down roughly 22% from the January 3rd high. The more heavily technology-weighted NASDAQ index has been in a bear market for […]

Judith Gordon


Estate Planning

Planning for Those Who Are at the End of Life’s Journey

While death is inevitable for us all, many of us push the thought out of our minds as we go about our daily lives. In addition to being reflective and appreciative of your time left on this planet, the following “to dos” may help you feel more confident that you’ve left your personal and financial matters in the best possible state for grieving loved ones.

Daniel Park


Employee Stock Purchase Plans

Should You Consider Exercising ISOs Now?

While tech stocks have had a challenging start to 2022, this environment could present an opportunity for you to take advantage of their incentive equity.

Paul Chmielewski


Insurance Planning & Risk Management

When It Comes to LLCs, Pay Attention to Liability Direction

When properly structured, the use of SMLLCs in conjunction with an MMLLC provides important upward and downward liability protection benefits while reducing the number of tax returns that need to be prepared.

Paul Chmielewski


Estate Planning

Biden Green Book Proposals

The Green Book contains the Administration’s policy tax and budget policy goals for the coming year. This year’s Green Book proposes significant changes to the current estate tax planning regime.

Susan Hartley-Moss


Estate Planning

Avoid the Trustee Trap

Our dedicated Family Office team has assisted many families with their trustee and fiduciary needs. Susan Hartley-Moss shares two client experiences to help others avoid similar situations.

Judith Gordon


Estate Planning

Estate Planning Strategies for Married Couples in the New Decade

For the first half of the new decade a married couple may be able to transfer approx. $23 million without triggering any federal estate tax for their heirs.

Brett Dearing


Business Owner Advisory

How to Bring Your Business Value Up Before You Sell

Preparedness planning is an essential tool for any owner interested in selling their business for maximum value. It provides a framework for owners to take control of their exit and it also minimizes perceived risk by a potential buyer that may create a discounted value at sale.

Andrew Fisher


Cross-Border Planning

Warning Signs for American Expat Investors Working with Large U.S. Investment Firms

Investors who chose to live overseas or anywhere outside the U.S. border face inevitable complications to their financial life. There are seven warning signs that can help safeguard you against firms that should be avoided.

Select your specialty

Investing is a commitment to your future. It's a way to grow and preserve what you've earned. Our disciplined and goal-centric investment approach helps ensure your portfolio is positioned to withstand changing market and economic conditions.

Our advanced estate planning and wealth preservation solutions help you achieve your goals while mitigating tax liabilities. Recommendations are tailored to your unique situation and reflect our expansive knowledge of estate, trust, gift, and tax laws.

Successfully navigating the financial challenges that come with wealth involves planning, relevant advice, and an advisor who’s not afraid to say "no" when you ask, “can I afford this?” Cerity Partners does all three.

Protect the life you and your family have worked so hard to build. We help you understand your current level of risk exposure and offer personalized solutions that seek to protect the vulnerable areas of your financial life.

We design and implement tax optimization strategies including the creation of detailed tax projections and the preparation of personal, trust, and business tax returns.

Our family office services span the spectrum from full financial management to helping you establish and coordinate your own family office. Whatever level of support you need, we can help.

We’re here to help you create a comprehensive financial plan that reflects your shared vision. In the unfortunate event your marriage dissolves, we also provide divorce financial consulting.

We work with owners of privately-held businesses to help them create and execute transition plans that provide a seamless and successful exit for themselves, their families and other stakeholders.

Just because your professional life is spread across different regions of the world doesn’t mean your financial life has to be complicated. Cerity Partners has extensive knowledge of U.S. and global tax laws and regulations, and we will work with you to preserve and grow your wealth here and abroad.