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Carmen Irizarry-Díaz assists US and international private clients in accomplishing their personal goals for legacy planning and charitable giving. Her practice encompasses all aspects of tax and charitable planning and related instruments and structures - including charitable foundations and trusts – the administration of trusts and estates, and related tax reporting and compliance, including the representation of clients and estates in intra-family controversies as well as before the Internal Revenue Service and other tax authorities. Carmen’s client base includes corporate executives, philanthropists, professionals, families with complex issues (including children with special needs), charitable entities, fiduciaries, and business owners – whom she also counsels on the efficient lifetime and death transfer, restructuring, and succession planning of their business interests, including sales, ESOPs, and other exit strategies. Carmen also advises accounting professionals on the reporting of transactions and compliance with adequate disclosure requirements.

Carmen is an empathetic listener who endeavors to understand her clients’ singular perspectives to best design their legacy plan and further their goals for preserving family harmony, providing incentives for social responsibility and positive values, and addressing the financial and philanthropic education of their legacy recipients. Carmen’s high standards of commitment to her clients and years of experience enable her to pinpoint core issues, create alternative and innovative courses of action, and identify the best strategies and opportunities while simplifying complexity, identifying efficiencies, and motivating others to take action, all in a client-centric, collaborative, and tax-conscious manner.

Carmen is a Martindale Hubbell AV® Preeminent (5 out of 5) rated tax attorney for ethical standards and professional ability in the areas of legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication, and legal experience, based on evaluations by other attorneys and the judiciary in the United States.


  • U.S. and international income, gift, estate, and generation-skipping transfer tax planning
  • Business counseling, restructuring, and succession planning
  • Sophisticated life insurance and premium-financing planning
  • Charitable planning
  • Nontraditional couples and families
  • Estate and trust administration
  • Post-mortem tax planning
  • Federal and state fiduciary, gift, and estate tax reporting
  • Federal and state income, gift, and estate tax controversies



  • Prepared core legacy plans for several generations of high-net worth family’s members located in various states of the U.S. in coordination with families Family Offices and local counsel.
  • Assisted senior non-U.S. generation of international families comprised of U.S. and non-U.S. persons with core legacy plans and implementation and funding of foreign trusts.
  • Assisted in the structuring and funding of, managing annuity payments (including in further trust) from, and exercising powers of substitution with respect to, Grantor Retained Annuity
  • Trusts (GRATs), for federal income and transfer-tax efficiency.
  • Structured and funded of Qualified Personal Trusts with interests in principal and vacation homes, including obtaining appraisals, preparation of post-retained interest term lease agreements, and related gift-tax reporting.
  • Structured shared-use agreements for vacation homes.
  • Assisted non-traditional couples with property agreements.
  • Assisted non-traditional couples with gift and estate tax planning, retitling of assets, and property agreements.
  • Structured and implemented Qualified Domestic Trust planning for non-U.S. citizen spouses.
  • Structured and funded irrevocable trusts designed to avoid the application of the state’s intangibles tax to state residents.
  • Structured and implemented severance of trusts into GST exempt and non-exempt trusts.
  • Assisted in the structuring and exercise of powers of substitution with respect to irrevocable trusts in coordination with corporate counsel and investment advisors.
  • Structured and implementing families’ investment structures.
  • Structured and implemented sales to dynasty trusts.
  • Structured and implemented irrevocable trusts for grandchildren and more remote descendants.
  • Restructured stock ownership of closely-held businesses for purposes of gifting of minority interests, including federal and state government contractors, real estate developers, technology companies, and other operating businesses.
  • Structured and funded dynastic trusts structured as grantor trusts with business interests and other assets.
  • Structured irrevocable trusts funded with S corporation stock for which QSST elections were filed to preserve S corporation status for business.
  • Structured irrevocable trusts funded with S corporation stock for which ESBT elections were filed to preserve S corporation status for business.
  • Structured sales of insurance policies to trusts.
  • Assisted in obtaining and challenging insurance companies’ valuation of life insurance policies.
  • Prepared and advised on implementation of Split Dollar Agreements, included income and gift-tax reporting.
  • Assisted with retirement planning for highly-compensated executives, including the implementation and funding of grantor charitable lead trusts in the year of retirement.
  • Structured and funded charitable remainder trusts.
  • Structured and funded charitable lead trusts (both grantor and nongrantor).
  • Structured and funded and private foundations (structured as trusts or corporations).
  • Prepared federal and state applications for recognition of exemption
  • Advised donors and others regarding governance and tax issues.
  • Prepared post-mortem disclaimers by surviving spouses to allow full utilization of predeceased spouse’s federal estate tax exemption.
  • Prepared post-mortem qualified disclaimers by descendants to allow property to pass to surviving spouse.
  • Counseled personal representative/surviving spouse of non-US citizen deceased spouse regarding availability of deceased spousal unused exclusion amount (DSUEA) and related federal estate tax return preparation issues.
  • Assisted in the administration of estates and funding of trusts, including obtaining appraisals for tangible and real property.
  • Prepared judicial and non-judicial appointments of trustee’s appointment of trust property to second trust (decanting).
  • Structured judicial and non-judicial reformation/modification of trusts.
  • Prepared and advised regarding numerous gift tax returns and related adequate disclosure statements.
  • Prepared and advised regarding elections in and out of automatic generation-skipping tax exemption.
  • Prepared and filed returns making late allocation of GST exemption to dynasty trusts.
  • Assisted with disclosure of unreported foreign accounts to IRS.
  • Prepared and advised regarding federal and state estate tax returns for estates comprising assets in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Assisted with and advised on preparation of Section 9100 relief.
  • Assisted clients, fiduciaries, and other counsel in IRS and state audits and litigation.
  • Attorney-Advisor, Honorable Jules G. Körner III, United States Tax Court, 1984-1986
  • Research assistant to Professor Charles Terry, New York University, Summer 1983
  • Summer Intern, Securities and Exchange Commission, 1981

Recognition & Leadership

  • Member, American Bar Association, Sections of Taxation and Real Property, Probate and Trust
  • Member, District of Columbia Bar Association
  • Member, District of Columbia Estate Planning Council
  • Member, Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia
  • Member, International Bar Association
  • Member, National Hispanic Bar Association
  • Member, Puerto Rico Bar Association
  • Member, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
  • Member, Virginia State Bar Association  
  • Past Chair of the Subcommittee on Reporting Requirements and Gift Tax of the American Bar Association Section's Estate and Gift Taxes Committee


  • J.D., magna cum laude, University of Puerto Rico School of Law
  • B.B.A., Business Administration and Finance, magna cum laude, University of Puerto Rico College of Business Administration
  • LL.M., Taxation, New York University
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • Portuguese, Conversational
  • Spanish