Walter is a Partner in Dorsey's Tax, Trusts and Estates practice group. His practice focuses on all aspects of wealth management, including estate planning, business organization and succession planning, charitable organizations, estate and trust administration, and estate and trust litigation.
Walter serves as a member of the firm’s Policy Committee (Board of Directors) and serves as a Senior Vice President and Director of the Dorsey & Whitney Trust Company.
Estate, Business, and Charitable Planning
- Advises high net-worth families concerning general estate and income tax planning.
- Represents wealthy international individuals and families with estate planning for assets within and outside of the United States. Representation focuses primarily on Canadian and Pacific Rim clients.
- Advises family offices in recommending and implementing estate plans for tax-efficient multi-generational wealth transfers.
- Prepares prenuptial agreements for high net-worth clients to protect family wealth.
- Advises owners of closely held businesses with respect to business succession and tax planning. Assists clients in developing leadership succession among key employees and family members and drafting governing documents, such as shareholders’ agreements and buy-sell agreements.
- Advises families with respect to minority-interest and marketability discounts and drafts limited liability companies (LLCs) and family limited partnerships (FLPs) to hold family assets and ultimately reduce transfer taxes.
- Advises individuals and families about a variety of wealth transfer techniques, and implements such plans, including grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs), installment sales to defective grantor trusts (IDGTs), and self-canceling installment notes (SCINs).
- Assists individuals and families in achieving charitable goals through the creation of private foundations, supporting organizations, charitable lead trusts (CLATs), and charitable remainder trusts (CRUTs).
Trust and Estate Administration
- Advises executors and trustees through all phases of the probate and estate administration process, including gathering assets, court appearances, disclaimers, estate and fiduciary income tax return preparation, and funding issues.
- Prepares estate tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns for complex estates.
- Participates in estate tax audits and directly represents individuals and estates in front of the Internal Revenue Service, including the preparation of estate tax protest letters and negotiations with internal appeals at the Internal Revenue Service with respect to allowable discounts.
- Prepares and submits Court Petitions and Private Letter Rulings on complicated issues of trust and estate administration and interpretation.
- Represents corporate fiduciaries in connection with seeking court approval of annual accounts and court instruction or authorization with respect to investment or distribution objectives, including charitable trusts. Reviews accounts and tax returns for corporate fiduciaries.
News & Resources
News & Press Mentions
Industries & Practices
- Closely Held Businesses
- Non-Profit & Tax Exempt Organizations
- Trusts & Estates
- Trusts & Estates Litigation
Professional & Civic
- Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), USA Board of Directors, Chair of Seattle Chapter
- Seattle Estate Planning Council, Member
- Mentoring Works Washington, Secretary and Member of the Board
- Friends of the Children – Seattle, Board of Directors
- Seattle University Planned Giving Committee