Debbie Cohn’s keys to professional success are as diverse as her eclectic client base that consists of professionals, business owners, retirees, and non-U.S. citizens. Yet perhaps her most critical—and comforting—characteristic is an ability to explain complex concepts in a way her clients can understand. Debbie’s approach to estate planning is equal parts pragmatic and creative, which helps put her clients at ease with the knowledge that their families will be cared for and protected, and their asset protection and wealth management goals will be met. And her wealth of experience and vast knowledge of the law allow her to blend her tax planning skills with a genuine compassion and empathy for a wide range of families.
As a member of the firm’s Estate Planning, Estate & Trust Administration and Tax practice groups, Debbie concentrates her practice in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust administration, business planning and taxation. She works extensively on the estate, gift and other tax concerns of non-U.S. citizens, U.S. citizens owning property abroad and beneficiaries of overseas funds. Many of her clients include foreign nationals employed by The World Bank and other similar international institutions.
Debbie was Chair of the Estate & Trust Section Council of the Maryland State Bar Association from 2012-2013, a position in which she supported the section’s charter to promote the interests of both the public and Estate & Trust Section bar members. In this role she worked with other section members to continually improve the law, further legal education among judges and attorneys and coordinate with the Register of Wills to improve the administration of estates. In addition, she assisted legislators in shaping estates and trusts legislation and testifies before committees of the Maryland General Assembly on legislation impacting Maryland estate and trust law.
Areas of Concentration
- Estate Planning
- Estate and Trust Administration
International tax planning — Assisted US beneficiary of foreign trust that was part of a multi-layer planning structure created by parent to migrate the trust to the US, minimizing adverse tax consequences and future administration expenses, while eliminating compliance problems created through administration by foreign trustee.
International tax planning — Advised foreign nationals on pre-immigration tax planning, including making non-taxable transfers to U.S. beneficiaries through complex structures and shedding foreign holding companies and other foreign assets that would create significant adverse US compliance burdens for parents and children upon parents' immigration.
International tax planning — Advised foreign parent of US child on options for structuring transfer cash and complex and extensive business holdings to US dynasty trust for child so as to minimize or eliminate burdensome tax compliance issues for child and significantly reduce child's potential US tax exposure.