Bhavik Patel, Shareholder

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Biography

Bhavik R. Patel joined Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard in 2004 and is the firm’s Managing Partner and Chairman of the Executive Committee. Additionally, he is the Chair of the firm’s Wealth Planning Group and Special Needs Planning Group. He practices in both the Business and Business Litigation Practice Groups and focuses in the following areas:

  • Wealth/Tax Planning and Administration
  • Business/Corporate Planning
  • Special Needs Planning
  • Probate and Trust Litigation
  • FINRA Litigation
  • Trademarks

Bhavik has been recognized as the 2013 Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly Up & Coming Law Firm Leader of the Year. In 2016 and 2017 he was named to the list of Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, and was named a Rising Star by Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers in the area of Estate Planning and Probate in 2010 and 2013. For his outstanding work with Closely Held Companies and in Family Business Law, Bhavik was selected by his peers as a Best Lawyer for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America in 2015 and 2016.

Over the last four years, Bhavik has also enjoyed teaching Practical Aspects of Wealth Planning and Drafting for Washington University School of Law and Graduate Tax Program. Prior to joining Sandberg Phoenix, Bhavik worked at a tax law boutique in St. Louis County.

Wealth/Tax Planning and Administration

Bhavik brings his technical and practical perspective to his clients. He devises and implements a personal and customized plan specific to each client and their family. To that end, Bhavik works closely with accountants and financial advisors to ensure a comprehensive plan that helps his clients recognize their objectives in light of individual circumstances and values. Bhavik works with them to chart a financial and legal course so they can effectively direct and secure the future for themselves, their families and beneficiaries. Bhavik counsels individuals and families of all levels of wealth and at nearly every stage of life. Bhavik has experience drafting revocable and irrevocable trusts, qualified spousal trusts, life insurance trusts, gift trusts, family trusts, dynasty trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, discretionary trusts, blind trusts, GST trusts, asset protection trusts, voting trusts, and much more. In addition to estate planning, Bhavik has extensive experience with complex and unique estate and trust administrations, as well as, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.

Business/Corporate Planning
Bhavik utilizes his LL.M. in Tax Law and his M.B.A. to provide his business clients with the advice and knowledge of an outside general counsel. Bhavik offers a unique perspective to his clients by understanding how to keep a company’s goals in focus while working to prevent or resolve issues. Bhavik’s business planning expertise ranges from creating or forming entities to developing and structuring exit strategies that maximize the client’s goals and objectives. Bhavik has extensive experience in negotiating and closing a variety of asset and stock purchase agreements. Bhavik is also uniquely positioned to advise his business clients in obtaining and optimizing a variety of minority certifications, such as women owned and minority owned business enterprises (WBEs/MBEs) and disadvantaged business enterprises (DBEs). Bhavik combines his knowledge in business and estate planning to advise clients on effectively and practically devising a business succession plan. Bhavik has prepared numerous buy-sell agreements, stock restriction agreements and family business plans.

Special Needs Planning
Bhavik helps families plan for the future of their dependents with special needs, to achieve the best possible quality of life. He possesses in-depth knowledge of the laws pertaining to government benefit eligibility and advises his clients on the use of special needs trusts and guardianships and conservatorships. Bhavik is considered an expert in special needs planning and is often approached to speak to families that care for loved ones with special needs. Bhavik has presented on a plethora of special needs topics for St. Louis Arc, Life Skills, Albert Pujols Foundation, Edwardsville Special School District, St. Lukes, National Convention for Williams Syndrome, Men’s Health Conference in Southern Illinois, and many more. Bhavik has prepared numerous Stand Alone Special Needs Trusts, Testamentary Special Needs Trusts, Medicaid Payback Trusts and other Discretionary Trusts. He understands and plans for his client’s unique and customized goals to effectively implement an appropriate special needs plan.

Probate and Trust Litigation
Bhavik utilizes his substantive knowledge in business and estate planning to effectively litigate contested probate, trust and business matters. He represents businesses, individuals, personal representatives, beneficiaries and omitted or potential heirs in the following areas:

  • Will Contests and Litigation
  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty
  • Fraud and Forgery
  • Beneficiary’s Rights
  • Elective Share Claims
  • Abuse of Power of Attorney
  • Joint Bank Account Litigation
  • Pay on Death Disputes
  • Estate Litigation and Settlements
  • Undue Influence Claims
  • Lack of Mental Capacity Claims
  • Contested and Uncontested Guardianship and Conservatorship
  • Removal of Fiduciaries
  • Trust Contests and Litigation
  • Trust Modification, Termination and Construction
  • Trustee Removal
  • Business Owner Disputes

FINRA Litigation
FINRA Litigation Practice is an integral part of Bhavik’s legal practice. His practice specializes in the representation and defense of broker-dealers, registered representatives, and other financial professionals nationwide in actions initiated by former and current clients, as well as other entities and individuals. Bhavik’s FINRA litigation practice concentrates in the defense of broker-dealers, registered representatives and other financial professionals before the FINRA in litigation involving securities and consumer fraud litigation, punitive damage litigation, violations of state and federal securities laws, common law claims, and violations of FINRA Rules. Bhavik utilizes his general representation of several financial advisor firms to provide legal counseling in every facet of professional liability and FINRA litigation.

Trademarks
Bhavik provides services that enable businesses to establish, protect, and profit from a distinct, recognizable identity of a product or service. He works with clients at every step of the trademark development process, including creation, identification and protection. Additionally, Bhavik negotiates and prepares trademark licenses, assignments, and other business agreements, and when disputes arise will litigate trademark, trade secret and unfair competition disputes. Bhavik has handled several highly publicized trademark disputes.

Background

Civic Activities

Bhavik is an emeritus board member of the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition. The Coalition assists in placement of foster children and the training of foster parents. Bhavik founded and chairs the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition’s Junior Board.

Bhavik is also the Founder and Chairman of the Board for Families at Ease, a local not-for-profit entity focused on delivering information about programs, services and resources available for special needs children and their families.

Professional Activities
Bhavik is admitted to practice law in Missouri, Illinois, the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western District of Missouri and the United States Tax Court. He is a member of the Missouri Bar Association, the Illinois State Bar Association, the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis (BAMSL), and BAMSL’s Probate and Trust Steering Committee. Bhavik is also a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), Missouri Asian American Bar Association (MAABA) and South Asian Bar Association – St. Louis. He is an active member of the Missouri and Illinois NAELA Special Needs Planning Chapters.

In addition to his role as the Chair of the firm’s Business Practice Group and Wealth Planning Team, Bhavik is a member of the firm’s Diversity Committee.

Bhavik is currently a member of Washington University School of Law’s adjunct faculty. He is teaching a class entitled, “Practical Issues in Wealth Planning & Drafting.”

 

Education

Bhavik received his LL.M. in Taxation from the Washington University School of Law.

He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Arkansas-Little Rock School of Law. He served as the Associate Managing Editor of the University of Arkansas-Little Rock Law Review and graduated with honors.

He received his M.B.A. from the Illinois Institute of Technology-Stuart College of Business, and graduated with high honors.

He received his B.B.A., magna cum laude, from Georgia State University.

Successes

Bhavik was appointed as the North American Chairperson of GGI Practice Group.

Honored by Best Lawyers as a Best Lawyer in America in the area of Closely Held Companies in 2015, 2016 and 2017.

Recognized as a 2013 Up and Coming Law Firm Leader of the Year by Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly

 

PRESENTATIONS

St. Louis Business Journal Wealth Planning Table of Experts – 2015

Carbondale, Illinois Estate Planning for Physicians Presentation – 2015

Planning Ahead for your Estate for St Louis Arc – 2015

Special Needs Planning for St. Louis Special School District – 2015

Central State Closely-Held & Family-Owned Business Succession Planning – 2015

State and Federal Public Benefits for St. Louis Arc – 2015

Creating a Strategic Plan for your Firm for GGI in Boston – 2015

Understanding Public Benefits in Special Needs Planning – 2013

Estate Planning for Recent Retirees – 2013

Special Needs Trusts – Expert Panelist – 2013

Community Education on Wealth Planning and Tax Strategies – 2013

The Myths of Estate Planning – 2013

A Physician’s Estate Plan – 2013

Special Needs Planning for the High Net Worth Families – 2013

Estate Planning and Business Succession for You and Your Dental Practice –2012

Estate Planning and Business Succession for You and Your Medical Practice – 2012

Understanding Guardianships – 2012

Special Needs Trusts – 2012

Optimizing Your Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) – 2012

Understanding Public Benefits from the Perspective of a Special Needs Planner – 2012

Wealth Planning and Preservation – 2012

A Physician’s Estate Plan – 2012

Grow Your Knowledge at the Garden: Grantor Trusts in the Age of the Re-Unified Credit – 2011

The Right Business Succession Plan for the Closely Held Business Owner: Ownership and Management Transition – 2011

Why Your Clients Want You to Engage and Involve Your Paralegal, NOW, Sandberg Phoenix Professional Development Series

Business Succession Planning: Buy-Sell Agreements, Sandberg Phoenix Professional Development Series (with Kristy Bourgeois)

PUBLICATIONS
Bhavik currently authors the monthly case reviews for new trust and probate litigation in the Missouri Court Bulletin. Bhavik authored and continues to supplement several chapters in theMissouri Bar Estate Planning Series CLE including Chapter 6, “Planning and Techniques for Making Gifts” and Chapter 14, “Antenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements.”

BIOGRAPHY

Bhavik R. Patel joined Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard in 2004 and is the firm’s Business Law Practice Group Leader. Additionally, he is the Chair of the firm’s Wealth Planning Group and Special Needs Planning Group. Bhavik is also the managing member of the firm’s Clayton, Missouri office. He practices in both the Business and Business Litigation Practice Groups and focuses in the following areas:

  • Wealth/Tax Planning and Administration
  • Business/Corporate Planning
  • Special Needs Planning
  • Probate and Trust Litigation
  • FINRA Litigation
  • Trademarks

Bhavik has been recognized as the 2013 Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly Up & Coming Law Firm Leader of the Year, and was also named a Rising Star by Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers in the area of Estate Planning and Probate in 2010 and 2013. For his outstanding work with Closely Held Companies and in Family Business Law, Bhavik was selected by his peers as a Best Lawyer for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America in 2015 and 2016.

Over the last four years, Bhavik has also enjoyed teaching Practical Aspects of Wealth Planning and Drafting for Washington University School of Law and Graduate Tax Program. Prior to joining Sandberg Phoenix, Bhavik worked at a tax law boutique in St. Louis County.

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The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. © 2016 Sandberg Phoenix & von Gontard P.C. All Rights Reserved. Sandberg Phoenix & Von Gontard P.C.is a law firm with a primary office located in Downtown St. Louis, Missouri. Website Hosted by St. Louis Web Hosting

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