Richard M. Hess, Jr., AEP®


Richard HessRichard joined the firm in 2005. His practice emphasizes wealth preservation and transfer, family philanthropy and the related fields of succession and exit planning for closely-held businesses and professional practices. He assists business partners, entrepreneurs, professional practices, individuals, and family groups in preserving and facilitating the transfer of wealth as well as managing inter-generational philanthropy.

His practice includes the subspecialties of estate planning; estate and gift tax planning; estate and trust administration; charitable/philanthropic planning (including charitable trusts and private foundations) and tax-exempt organizations. This work frequently involves developing strategies to protect assets while addressing specialized family needs and goals. He uses a broad array of approaches in order to address each individual client situation while emphasizing simplicity to minimize long-term administrative expenses.

Typical issues involved in intergenerational wealth transfer include preservation of assets from events such as divorce, creditors and financial irresponsibility. A key aspect of Richard’s work is educational – mentoring both parents and children in the responsibilities and obligations of wealth transfer, including charitable undertakings, management of assets, decision making, corporate and nonprofit governance, and other matters.

A native of New York State, Richard pursued a career in financial services after graduating from law school and worked in investment, insurance, and tax planning. In 1985, he moved to Denver and in 1988 entered private legal practice specializing in taxation and non-profit organizations.

Awards & Recognition

  • Listed in Best Lawyers in America – Trusts and Estates – 2013 through present

  • Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating of AV Preeminent
  • Named an ACCREDITED ESTATE PLANNER® Designee by the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils

Address
198 Union Blvd. #200
Lakewood, CO 80228

T 303.987.3800
F 303.987.0748
rhess@buchananstouffer.com

Richard Hess

Assistant
Karen Zajac

Education

  • Juris Doctor, Pace University School of Law, 1982,
  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Oral Roberts University, 1979


Richard HessDesigned and drafted numerous comprehensive estate plans that utilize an installment sale to a grantor trust. These grantor trusts have been structured as a multigenerational dynastic trusts. These trusts contain highly customized statements of intent prepared by the grantors with my assistance The statements provide instructions to  Family Councils that advise and oversee the trustee and discretionary distributions from the trusts.

• Prepared numerous IRA trusts designed to permit the realization of benefits over the lifetime of the beneficiary, thereby comprising “stretch” IRA trusts.

• Implemented a charitable lead trust with a 15 year term that incorporated a Junior Family Council, upon which the grantors grandchildren will serve upon reaching age 12. The Junior Family Council assist with the selection of the charitable beneficiary.

• Implemented an estate plan incorporating a family held limited liability company, charitable lead trust and multigenerational family trust designed to preserve a family’s interest in valuable ranchland. The strategy saved estate taxes in excess of $4 million.

• Designed and implemented numerous spousal access trusts that facilitated large lifetime gifts by the heads of families while maintaining a “safety net” for the spouse.

• Advised families regarding succession plans for their closely held businesses, including the gifting and sale of business interests.

• Implemented buy/sell agreements amongst closely held business owners that included provisions protecting the businesses from competent competition and disclosure of trade secrets.

• Implemented option agreements concerning the sale of real property and other assets.

• Prepared relationship agreements including cohabitation agreements and prenuptial agreements.

Address
198 Union Blvd. #200
Lakewood, CO 80228

T 303.987.3800
F 303.987.0748
rhess@buchananstouffer.com

Richard Hess

Assistant
Karen Zajac

Education

  • Juris Doctor, Pace University School of Law, 1982,
  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Oral Roberts University, 1979


Richard HessAn active member of many community organizations, Richard is a member of the Chamber 100, Leadership Denver Class of 2001, Leadership Arts Class of 2002, the American, Colorado and Denver Bar Associations, and the Rotary Club of Denver Southeast.

He lectures frequently to groups of professionals and the public on a range of topics relating to estate planning, estate and gift taxation, estate administration, business planning, professional practice organization, and asset protection. Groups to which Richard has spoken include the National Endowment for Financial Education, the College of Financial Planning, the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, the Alzheimer’s Association of Colorado and various insurance agencies.

Richard is current member of the Board of Directors of Belay Enterprises and a former member of the Board of Directors of the Crestmoor Community Association (Crestmoor Swim and Tennis Club) and Treasurer of the Graland Country Day School Parent’s Association. Richard previously served as president of the Wednesday’s Child Foundation, president of Mountain International Exchange, and president of Curious Theater Company.

Address
198 Union Blvd. #200
Lakewood, CO 80228

T 303.987.3800
F 303.987.0748
rhess@buchananstouffer.com

Richard Hess

Assistant
Karen Zajac

Education

  • Juris Doctor, Pace University School of Law, 1982,
  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology, Oral Roberts University, 1979

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