Stephen Putnoki-Higgins, Bailey Glasser Photo
Attorney

Stephen Putnoki-Higgins

Overview

Protecting hard-earned family wealth through careful estate and tax planning is Stephen Putnoki-Higgins’ dedicated focus. Bringing New York energy and a Master of Laws in Taxation to Florida-based families and companies (many of whom also hail originally from the Northeast), allows him to strategically focus his legal practice on the tax, estate planning, business planning, and estate administration needs of sophisticated individuals and their families. With a combination of compassion and cutting-edge strategy, Stephen guides his clients, through pro-active and highly-prepared-and-customized assistance, in achieving their key tax and non-tax goals, such as probate avoidance and the preservation of familial harmony. His practice also strategically assists in transfer tax planning for high-net worth individuals, including closely-held business owners and other professionals, and he utilizes a variety of sophisticated techniques such as trust modification and decanting, dynasty trusts, sales to grantor trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, and more, to accomplish his clients’ goals.

Stephen is additionally highly experienced in estate administration; assisting fiduciaries and beneficiaries alike through all aspects of the process, including probate, contested estates, tax, and post-mortem estate planning issues. His aim is to make these difficult life transitions go as smoothly and expeditiously as possible.

Stephen also regularly advises individuals and their consultants regarding the formation of tax-exempt organizations and other non-profit entities, in addition to assisting with the compliance, structural, operational, and governance-related issues clients face in administering these entities.

Education

LL.M., Master of Law in Taxation, New York University School of Law, 2011

J.D., University of Connecticut, School of Law, 2010

B.A., University of Connecticut, 2007

Admissions

  • Connecticut
  • Florida
  • New York

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Prepared tax-efficient estate planning documents for high-net-worth couple where one spouse moved to Florida and obtained residency there for tax purposes while other spouse remained resident in New York State for state tax purposes.
  • Assisted high-net-worth client with contested gift-sale of multiple entity interests to grantor trust in exchange for promissory note.
  • Assisted high-net-worth client with buyouts and consolidated sale to venture capital group of roughly a dozen fitness centers.
  • Obtained zero tax due ruling from Scandinavian tax authorities based on recommended treaty position with respect to the estate of a dual citizen who died while residing in Finland.

News & Insights

News & Insights

Selected Publications

Selected Events

  • "2018 National Tax Moot Court Competition," Judge, Florida Bar Tax Section, St. Petersburg, FL, February 2, 2018
  • "2016 Ullman Year in Review: Estate & Gift Tax Update," Florida Bar Tax Section Annual Meeting, Amelia Island, FL, July 4 2018

Community & Professional

Community and Professional Activities

The Connecticut Bar Association, Estates and Probate Section, Tax Section

The Florida Bar Association, Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section, Tax Section

The American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section, Taxation Section

The Hillsborough County Bar Association, Real Property, Probate & Trust Section, Tax Law Section

Notary Public, State of Florida (Commission Expires May 26, 2024)

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