Brian G. Smith focuses his practice in the areas of estate and tax planning, estate and trust administration, litigation, family law and charitable giving for high net worth individuals. In the estate planning area, Brian represents clients in implementing complex tax-planning strategies, including, but not limited to, dynasty trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trusts and life insurance trusts, to reduce the wealth transfer tax paid as a result of transferring wealth to future generations. He also creates traditional wills, revocable trusts and limited liability companies, among other estate planning and corporate vehicles and structures, with respect to his clients’ estate plans. In the estate and trust administration area, Brian supervises fiduciaries and beneficiaries in all aspects of the administration of estates and trusts, including representing clients in audits of their estate tax returns and gift tax returns.

Brian received his B.A. from Duke University, where he double majored in Public Policy and History, and went on to obtain his J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law, where he was an Articles Editor of the St. John’s Law Review. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Soul Ryeders and is a former co-chair of the New Members Committee of the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

Publications

“The Promise of a Tasty Dessert Cannot Replace a Healthy Entree: Why Portability Is Not a Substitute for Estate Planning,” New York State Bar Association Trusts and Estates Law Section Newsletter, Vol. 46, No. 4, Winter 2013 (co-author)

“Drafting Trusts for FATCA after the Final Regulations,” Estate Planning, Vol. 40, No. 10, October 2013 (co-author)

“Protecting Life Insurance Proceeds From Tax and Other Legal Landmines,” New York Law Journal, Sept. 16, 2013 (co-author)

“New York Decanting Statute,” Fulbright Briefing, Feb. 9, 2012 (co-author)

“Expanding Liability of Estate Planning Attorneys,” Connecticut Bar Association Estates & Probate Newsletter, December 2011 (co-author)

Speaking Engagements

“Lifetime Transfers and the Federal Gift Tax: The Enduring Wealth Tax,” NYU School of Professional Studies Tax Conference — Introduction to Trusts and Estates, New York, July 2022

“Estate Planning in 2021: Nothing is Certain except Death, Taxes…and Administrative Nightmares Without Proper Planning,” St. John’s University School of Law Webinar, May 2021

“Split Dollar Life Insurance and Tax Consequences,” SRZ CLE Presentation, September 2018

“Offshore Trust Taxation: Planning Issues,” New York State Society of CPAs International Taxation Conference, January 2014

“FATCA for Trusts and Estates: What Fiduciaries and Beneficiaries Need to Know,” Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. Webinar, May 2013

“Maximizing 2012 Tax Advantages Before They Expire,” AXA, October 2012

“Trust Decanting,” National Business Institute CLE Program, August 2012

Memberships

  • New York State Bar Association
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • Soul Ryeders, Board of Directors, 2020-Present

Prior Experience

  • Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP
  • Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP