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Legacy Legal Services

LeClairRyan’s legacy practice area team is comprised of attorneys with significant experience in real estate, land use, wealth management and estate planning law. Our collaborative team provides custom legal services to high net worth individuals and families with accumulated wealth in the form of land or estate properties. Our unique services combine years of experience handling legal matters involving land conservation, tax, and estate planning and administration. We regularly advise clients on how to address the multi-generational ownership challenges of large estates.

Our distinctive strengths include:

Family limited partnerships and estate succession planning

Among the estate planning techniques that we have employed for our clients are the use of family limited partnerships and limited liability companies. These proven methods of structuring real property ownership have allowed our clients to pass valuable assets on to future generations while minimizing estate and gift taxes.

We also have extensive experience representing families with multi-generational ownership interests in land. Our knowledge of local land use laws, combined with our depth of tax experience, has helped achieve welcomed results, whether through in-kind land partitioning or planned, intra-family exchanges of interests.

Conservation easements

Our clients consider their land to be more than a portfolio asset – they think of their land as a legacy to leave for future generations. Conservation easements are a great option not only as an estate planning tool, but also as a stand-alone measure for our clients who are stewards of the land for which they have a passion.

Conservation easements can yield federal tax deductions and, in many states, tax credits for the owner, while retaining all the current benefits of land ownership.

Wineries and agritourism

Families and individuals seeking to preserve the rural and natural character of their land have also found successful, compatible commercial uses, such as in farm winery and agritourism uses. We have significant experience in local land use regulations, state alcohol beverage control and federal licensing for such endeavors. Members of our team have authored local regulations pertaining to ancillary uses of farm wineries, including wedding and other tourist events.

Historic tax credits

Our team advises clients on the financial benefits associated with conserving their heritage and culture through historic preservation tax credits. While the federal historic credit program benefits commercial or income-producing properties, several states offer incentives for preserving personal residences. These programs require careful planning, structuring and documentation, all which our team provides.


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