Anderson Mori & Tomotsune has considerable experience and know-how in handling inheritance and business succession disputes.
Our experience has included advising clients in connection with disputed matters such as conciliation for the division of an estate, litigation to claim abatement of a (testamentary) gift, and business succession litigation concerning the control of family-owned and closely held companies following the death or withdrawal of a principal shareholder or partner. In addition to our litigation expertise, we are experienced with alternative methods of dispute resolution such as mediation and arbitration. We also advise clients on how to avoid estate and business succession disputes, by providing careful counsel on the preparation, custody and execution of wills, and innovative advice on the structuring and establishment of family-owned and closely held businesses to avoid potential tax and legal problems in the future.
We are highly effective in representing and advising English-speaking clients involved in, for example, inheritance disputes in situations where the heirs or ancestors are Japanese nationals or where the inherited property is located in Japan. Other relevant experience includes advising on business succession disputes involving Japanese domiciled companies owned or controlled by non-Japanese individuals or entities.
In our practice, we always strive to achieve the best solution for our clients, carefully examining all aspects of a given situation, including domestic and international tax issues. In that regard, we regularly work with lawyers in other countries to assist clients in complying with complex multijurisdictional tax and other rules. Our Firm also represents the interests of estates and beneficiaries against the government in connection with tax disputes, which are often resolved through negotiation.
- Examples of our experience include the following:
- Acting for a U.S. resident in a court mediation procedure in Japan involving the division of inherited Japanese real property. Our representation included negotiating contracts with lessees and buyers of the property, and assisting the client in filing inheritance and estate tax returns in Japan and the U.S., which required skillful negotiation with the Japanese tax authorities;
- Acting for an heir resident in Korea and two Japanese heirs in a court procedure in Japan involving a dispute with their mother over the division of their father's estate, which was governed by Korean law. One of the central issues was agreeing to an appraised value for certain property and buildings in a major commercial area in Tokyo; and
- Acting for a Japanese heir resident in California in a lawsuit in Japan to exercise a claim for abatement of testamentary gifts to preserve the statutory reserved portion, which involved an appraisal of the value of shares of stock in the companies that were included in the gift.