Q&A with Peter Slater
Peter Slater is a partner in Porter Wright's Tax, Estate Planning and Personal Wealth practice group and joined firm in March 2021. Peter's practice centers on the succession and management of property during his clients’ lifetimes and after death. He counsels clients on gift, estate and tax planning, charitable giving and asset protection.
What influenced your decision to become a lawyer and practice in the area of tax, estate planning and personal wealth?
When I was younger, my grandfather gifted money to my brothers and me and explained that he was doing this to save on estate taxes when he died as the government taxed your “earnings” a second time when you died. I thought that was unfair and with my interest in math and the stock market, that led me to pursue a career in estate planning.
What is the most common advice you give to your clients?
I break down my clients into three categories regardless of wealth, 1) the early planners, 2) the mid-life planners and 3) the retirees. For the early planners, I advise them to put a foundation in place and don’t put it off because you and your spouse can’t agree on the guardian for your minor children. Nobody will be as good as you, but it is better for you to pick the next best option than have the family fight in deciding after you are gone. For the mid-life planners, I advise them not to let the tax tail wag the dog, saving taxes is great but don’t jeopardize your future standard of living. For the retirees, I tell them don’t make any big decisions for one year, and then let’s get to work.
What are your hobbies or interests?
Before children: golf, snow skiing and horse racing. After children: my daughters Nina and Quinn. Once they are in bed: my wife, Bianca, and both of us getting some sleep. We’ll be back to golf, skiing and the ponies in a few years.
What is your favorite video conferencing blooper?
Both the ones who talk while they are on mute, and the ones who talk to others at home while they think they are on mute.