ESTATE PLANNING, ESTATE ADMINISTRATION, AND RELATED LITIGATION

Our attorneys have more than 60 years combined experience in estate planning, estate administration and probate and trust litigation. We have the ability to achieve our clients’ goals and protect their rights in the most tax efficient and cost-effective manner. Moreover, in the event a dispute arises in any of these areas, our firm understands the many aspects of probate court and litigation. Such understanding has come from years of experience and it has led to notable success in probate matters of all types.

We provide sophisticated estate planning techniques to minimize estate, gift, generation-skipping, federal and state income taxes, and California property taxes. To achieve our clients’ goals in a tax efficient manner, we have employed a number of different structures including grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs), irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs), and transfers to an “intentionally defective” irrevocable grantor trust. We also help business and real estate owners structure their affairs to minimize tax consequences and plan for an orderly transfer to the owner’s intended beneficiaries. In charitable endeavors, we are experienced in grantor and non-grantor charitable lead trusts, as well as charitable remainder trusts.

For more information on our senior attorneys practicing estate planning, estate administration, business planning and related litigation matters, please click on the following links: Brett BjornsonKen Heisz, Paul Levinson.

REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS:

Structured commercial real estate investments to pass ownership to our client’s heirs through an intentionally defective grantor trust (IDGT).

Created business succession plans for family-owned businesses.

Provided estate planning, including the preparation of wills and trusts, for a large range of estates from those of modest size to estates exceeding $100 million.

Advised trustees in connection with the modification, reformation and termination of trusts.

Advised trustees in connection with the administration of trusts.

Represented business owners in the sale of family businesses.

RECENT LITIGATED CASES:

Represented the primary beneficiary of a significant estate who was not related to the decedent in a will contest and related litigation filed by decedent’s adult children. A favorable settlement was reached on behalf of our client.

Represented personal representative accused of financial elder abuse by relatives of decedent and Los Angeles County in which the client’s bank accounts were frozen and personal possessions were taken by Los Angeles County. Defense verdict rendered after lengthy trial in probate court with accounts ordered released and possessions ordered to be immediately returned.

Represented administrator of an estate against heirs seeking suspension of administrator’s powers and removal of the administrator. Verdict rendered in probate court that the administrator had acted in fair, impartial and neutral manner.

Represented an administrator in probate court against claims of having a conflict of interest and inability to be fair and impartial. During litigation, we uncovered evidence of prior relationship between opposing law firm representing the heirs and the retired judge appointed as the special administrator. A motion to disqualify was filed leading to the recusal by the special administrator and the withdrawal of the law firm representing the heirs prior to the hearing on the motion to disqualify.

Represented the trustee in a probate action to resolve competing claims by the beneficiaries of a living trust and the beneficiaries of a will to a parcel of real property. A favorable settlement was reached following a court of appeal decision.