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estate planning

Our attorneys have expertise in all aspects of creative estate planning, as well as the details of post-death planning and administration with special emphasis on:

  • Customized gift and estate planning for high-net-worth individuals
  • Representation of fiduciaries and beneficiaries in disputed estate and trust administration matters

In our estate planning practice, we prepare all documents including:

  • Wills, living trusts, powers of attorney and irrevocable trusts
  • Family limited partnerships and other vehicles to transfer wealth efficiently

In doing so, we pride ourselves on tailoring our estate planning services so that each client’s estate plan is customized to fit that client’s wealth, asset mix, family situation and planning goals.

For our clients with larger estates, we have developed planning approaches for specific assets including:

  • Retirement plans
  • Art collections
  • Copyrights

We also assist with the preparation of gift tax returns to report the tax consequences of the lifetime gift planning we structure.

trust and estate administration

Our practice group also counsels executors, administrators, trustees, guardians and conservators in matters of estate, trust, guardianship and conservatorship administration. These matters require the necessary attention to detail throughout the administration process, ranging from identification and valuation of assets, transferring title to those assets, and making distributions to beneficiaries of estates and trusts. Since one of the principal duties of a fiduciary during post-mortem administration is compliance, we also prepare, or assist in the preparation of, estate tax returns. We also counsel the fiduciary through the estate tax (or gift tax) audit process.

trust and estate litigation

Our team of experienced trusts and estates litigation attorneys represent individuals, banks and trust companies, private professional fiduciaries, charitable organizations and educational institutions in a broad range of trust, estate, conservatorship and guardianship disputes and proceedings in probate courts throughout California.

Combining extensive knowledge of the underlying substantive law and an acute understanding of the procedural nuances involved, our attorneys have successfully represented clients in a diverse range of disputes or contested actions, including probate proceedings, fiduciary accounting proceedings, proceedings for the discovery and turnover of estate or trust assets, as well as matters involving alleged breaches of fiduciary duties and responsibilities, reformation of testamentary instruments, investment performance, and contests of wills and trusts involving allegations of undue influence, fraud, duress, lack of due execution, lack of capacity, and coercion.

Our attorneys approach all disputed trust, estate, conservatorship and guardianship matters cognizant of the complex income, estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax ramifications and consequences, as well as the sensitive issues that arise and the emotional, psychological and interpersonal tolls that often result from such disputes. Where appropriate, we leverage our track record of success in the courtroom in furtherance of efforts to achieve favorable settlements of disputes outside of the courtroom. In addition, our seasoned trial lawyers counsel fiduciaries on ways to avoid litigation and advise our clients on litigation prevention techniques.

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