Trusts & Estates

JMBM's Trusts & Estates practice focuses on estate planning, wealth transfer planning, trust administration and the resolution of trust disputes. Our firm has one of the most active trusts and estates practices in California and our clients include individuals and families, and their business interests.

A Basic Guide to Estate Planning

JMBM publishes A Basic Guide to Estate Planning, which describes many important estate planning issues, and introduces some principal estate planning techniques. Click on the image to the left download a copy. 

A Basic Guide to Estate Planning

JMBM  publishes A Guide to Qualified Personal Residence Trusts, which discusses how owning your residence through an irrevocable trust can reduce your estate tax. Click on the image to the left to download a copy.

Estate planning and wealth transfer planning

We offer basic estate planning services that focus on the use of revocable living trusts as the primary tool to provide for the orderly and tax-efficient transfer of assets to designated beneficiaries. We pride ourselves on drafting plans that accomplish our clients’ goals while eliminating or at least minimizing potential conflicts or disputes.

We also offer sophisticated estate tax services utilizing a variety of techniques and strategies designed to reduce the cost of transferring assets to designated beneficiaries and, in some cases, achieving charitable goals. These include:

  • Family limited partnerships (FLPs) and limited liability companies (LLCs)
  • Grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs)
  • Charitable remainder trusts (CRTs)
  • Charitable lead trusts (CLTs)
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs)
  • Sales to grantor trusts
  • Insurance trusts
  • Self canceling installment notes (SCINs)
  • Private foundations
  • Public charities

Trust and estate administration

We represent trustees, estate executors and administrators in both probate proceedings and trust and estate administration. We advise trustees in a wide range of matters and issues including:

  • Allocation of assets among trusts
  • Preparation of Form 706
  • Distributions to beneficiaries
  • Resolution of estate tax disputes
  • Principal and Income Act
  • Accountings to beneficiaries
  • Modification of irrevocable trusts
  • Interpretation of trust provisions
  • Environmental issues
  • Determining community and separate property
  • Trustee removal
  • Settlement of claims against trustees
  • Trustee compensation

Estate and Trust Dispute Resolution

Disputes often arise in the administration of an estate or trust when there are substantial amounts of money involved or when family conflict is present. The disputes are generally between one or more beneficiaries and the person or entity responsible for administering and distributing the estate or trust assets.

We offer extensive expertise and experience in trust litigation and dispute resolution. Most disputes are resolved without litigation through negotiated settlements; however, when necessary, we have a formidable litigation capacity.