A tax principal at Anchin, Mela Garber is Chair of the Firm’s Trust & Estates Services Group and serves on the Steering Committee for the Firm’s Private Client Group. Mela has extensive experience handling all aspects of taxation and planning for high net worth families, their trusts and estates.
In trust and estate administration, Mela works closely with trustees and executors, guiding them through complex tax laws and advising them on creative funding of bequests and tax efficient ways of distributing the assets. In the estate planning area, Mela utilizes sophisticated tools to ensure maximum savings for her clients. Mela also helps them with their philanthropic goals, establishing family foundations and structuring gifting programs. She also develops tax strategies for her clients with substantial art holdings to minimize their tax liabilities.
Mela assists clients in matrimonial issues working with divorcees and works closely with widows. Utilizing a holistic approach, Mela helps women navigate through their new financial lives. Mela creates cash budgeting programs, helps to educate her clients on financial independence, provides proactive tax planning and works in conjunction with money managers/financial advisors, attorneys and other advisors to help create the best advisory team possible.
Over the past 25 years, Mela also has gained valuable experience handling tax and gift audits with the Internal Revenue Service and produces favorable results for her clients. Mela has significant experience providing support in Trust & Estates litigation and preparation of judicial accountings.
In 2012, Mela was featured in The Seven Pearls of Financial Wisdom, A Woman’s Guide to Enjoying Wealth and Power, a book where she contributed her knowledge on a variety of matrimonial topics. In addition, she often presents before law firms on topics of planning to minimize or avoid income taxes on trusts.
Mela is a member of the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants (NYSSCPA), the Estate Planning Council of New York City Inc., the Association of Divorce Financial Planners and 100 Women in Hedge Funds. She is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst (CFDA) by The Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts, the premier national organization dedicated to the certification, education and promotion of the use of financial professionals in the divorce arena. Mela is often quoted by the press, appearing in publications such as The Wall Street Journal, U.S. News & World Report, and Private Wealth Magazine. She is a frequent panelist, speaker and author on issues related to tax planning issues for women. Mela has also served as a lecturer at the Practicing Law Institute Conference.
In addition to English, Mela is fluent in Russian.
- Matrimonial Advisory
- Private Client
- Tax Planning and Compliance
- Trusts and Estates
- The Pitfalls of Keeping the HouseMay 30, 2017
One of the most common questions during a divorce is “Who gets the house?” Though maintaining the ownership of the family home may be the desired result, there are potential financial burdens that should be considered before making this decision.
- Gray Divorce: The Financial Challenges and OpportunitiesApril 20, 2017
Mela Garber, Leader of Anchin's Matrimonial Advisory Group, explains why some older couples may separate and advises women who married young and may not have financial experience to work with a financial planner.
- How to Prepare to Care for a Sick SpouseMarch 31, 2017
At a time when people are at their most vulnerable, they are often expected to make some of the most difficult financial decisions. This is why putting a plan in place when all parties are healthy is so important.
- How to Talk About a Prenuptial AgreementJune 1, 2016
It’s hard to think of a good time to introduce a contractual component to unconditional love.
- Family Financial Meetings Should Have a Place on Your CalendarApril 11, 2016
Mela Garber, Trust and Estates Services Chair, explains how parents can avoid estate issues with a letter explaining any distribution inequalities to their children.
- Why You May Need A PrenupApril 1, 2016
If a prospective couple plans to sign a prenuptial agreement, it’s wise to design the agreement with an estate plan in mind.
- 7 Toxic Money Habits You Need to Quit NowJanuary 6, 2016
Mela Garber, tax expert at Anchin, advises how to break common bad money habits.
- How Family Loans and Trusts Can Create Big WinsSeptember 26, 2015
With interest rates at historic lows—for the time being—wealthy families are turbocharging their estate-planning strategies by pairing intrafamily loans with trusts.
- 5 Biggest Estate Planning Mistakes You Can MakeJuly 15, 2015
Avoid these common estate planning mistakes.
- Here Are the Worst Estate Planning Mistakes You Can MakeJuly 13, 2015
Good luck to your loved ones when you die, because you’re going about your estate planning all wrong.
- What we can learn about prenups from the Ben Affleck-Jennifer Garner divorceJuly 4, 2015
Earlier this week, the world learned that beloved Hollywood couple Jennifer Garner, 43, and Ben Affleck, 42, have decided to split—ten years and one day after their wedding.
- How to Set Up a Trust Without Costing Your Children a CentApril 17, 2015
If personal finance was a teen movie, the trust would be the blonde, snotty rich kid who wins all the ski races and uses his flawless martial arts technique to sweep some working-class kid’s injured leg.