James J. Costello, Jr., Co-Chair of the firm’s Trust, Estate, and Individual Tax Group, focuses his practice on estate planning and administration, litigation and disputes among beneficiaries, general federal and state tax law and controversies, and the formation, dissolution, purchase, sale and mergers of all types of closely-held business entities.
Jim represents individuals in all aspects of general and sophisticated estate planning, including drafting wills, lifetime and testamentary trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives, prenuptial and co-habitation agreements, employing sophisticated strategies when warranted matters including family limited liability companies (“LLCs”), sales to intentionally defective grantor trusts, spousal lifetime access trusts (“SLATS”), dynasty trusts, and charitable trusts.
His representation of fiduciaries includes all aspects of estate and trust administration, including preparation and filing of federal and state estate and income tax returns, representation in IRS and New Jersey Division of Taxation audits, litigation and disputes among beneficiaries, preparation and filing of federal and state estate and inheritance tax returns, and defending those returns on audit.
Jim handles federal and state tax disputes, including collection matters, appeals, and representation in U.S. and New Jersey Tax Courts.
Small business owners look to Jim for assistance not only with respect to the formation, dissolution, purchase, and sale of closely held businesses, but also as a discussion partner with respect to the strategy in connection with the transition of ownership to younger generations. He also represents individuals and entities in residential and commercial real estate transactions.
Elderly and incapacitated individuals and their families engage Jim for counsel regarding guardianships, asset protection planning, including irrevocable grantor trusts and Medicaid spend-downs, as well as preparing and filing Medicaid applications.
Jim has published articles and lectured extensively to civic and professional groups about a variety of estate planning and tax law topics. He is a former Trustee and current Advisory Board Council member of the Greater New Jersey Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, now known as Alzheimer’s New Jersey, is a former officer of the Bernardsville Library Foundation, Inc., and has been elected to the Vestry of the Church of St. John on the Mountain in Bernardsville.