Teaching Note | HBS Case Collection | February 2014

Advising Families on Estate Planning

by Robert C. Pozen


Sean Warrick is an estate planning adviser at Hellwig & Macon. He is preparing for meetings with two clients. His first clients are Peggy and David Bartley, a professional married couple of moderate wealth. His second clients are Ray and Michelle Polanski, a couple that married late in life and had highly asymmetrical wealth and age. In the case, Warrick is reading a report written by Peter Sullivan, a top estate planning adviser, which considers how estate planning strategies might need to change due to recent changes in estate tax law. Specifically, Warrick must decide whether each couple should continue with their preexisting estate planning strategy, whether they should modify this strategy somewhat, or whether they should abandon their current strategy entirely.

Keywords: Estate Planning; estate tax; gift tax; gift giving; Generation Skipping Tax; Tax accounting; tax strategy; taxes; taxation; Taxation; Retirement; Financial Services Industry; United States;


Pozen, Robert C. "Advising Families on Estate Planning." Harvard Business School Teaching Note 314-089, February 2014.