Category Archives: Trusts & Estates

New CLE on Wyoming Private Trust Companies

What is a Private Trust Company? How does it work? What are the advantages of setting up the PTC in Wyoming? Private trust companies have become an increasingly popular estate planning tool for managing dynastic wealth – but is a Private Trust Company a good fit for your clients?

What Is a Private Trust Company?

A PTC is a state-chartered entity designed to provide fiduciary services to members of a family. PTCs can perform many responsibilities commonly performed by the family office, including investment and financial management, accounting, and recordkeeping. A PTC is distinct from a “family office” in that it can serve as a fiduciary under state law.

In this CLE course Matthew and Christian Grupp, father and son, will teach you about the key considerations when deciding if a Private Trust Company can be a profitable structure for your clients. Matthew and Christian mainly cover how a Private Trust Company is organized in Wyoming, how the Private Family Trust helps all the parties involved, legal, regulatory & tax considerations, safeguarding assets, utilizing technology & the Entole Solution. To access the course please click here: Is a Private Trust Company Right for Your Clients?.

These additional topics are also addressed:

  • Planning considerations
  • Planning pitfalls
  • Governance
  • Processes
  • Legal structures
  • Federal & state regulatory considerations
  • “Heir conditioning”
  • IRS Notice 2008-63
  • Physical considerations
  • Recommended fiduciary policies & procedures

Matthew Grupp’s practice focuses on assisting families to achieve their enlightened dreams through Comprehensive and Integrated Wealth Strategies and Family Governance programs.  Over the last decade, Christian Grupp has accumulated a wealth of diverse skills and abilities, including estate planning & trust practices, law, financial, and consulting practices.

This CLE course is offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Missouri (MO)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers CLE for attorneys in California and around the country. For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

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TX CLE: New Texas CLE Courses Added

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Our goal at Attorney Credits is to bring you the most current and relevant CLE programming that will make you a better attorney. We try to create about 4-8 new CLE course each month to constantly expand and diversity our CLE library. These are the latest CLE courses that we have added for Texas attorneys:

  • Bankruptcy, Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing
  • Digital Asset Landscape: Preparation for Changes in Legislation
  • Discharging Taxes in Bankruptcy
  • Ethics in Jury Selection
  • Hot Topics and Emerging Trends in Cannabis Litigation
  • Keep Calm and Drone On: Regulation and Liability
  • Obtaining a Green Card Through Marriage
  • Securities Crowdfunding in the Age of Kickstarter
  • The Indian Child Welfare Act
  • Top Tech Tools for Lawyers
  • Will Bias Cost You Your Next Case?

We are constantly working hard to bring you the best CLE courses and the best CLE presenters. We are not limited by geography like many city and state Bar Associations. We bring you the best presenters and CLE content at your fingertips, available at any time of the day or night. For more information about Texas CLE, please click here: TX CLE.

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CLE: Ethical Issues for Trustees & Fiduciaries

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A fiduciary is a person who assumes responsibility for a position of trust. Fiduciaries serve by court appointment as guardians, conservators and personal representatives of estates. They also serve by agreement as trustees, representative payees or as agents under powers of attorney. Many seniors choose to appoint a professional fiduciary in order to avoid burdening family members and to avoid creating conflict with siblings and other relatives.

Who needs a Professional Fiduciary?[1]

Many seniors with family choose to appoint a Professional Fiduciary to avoid burdening family members. Even the most capable adult child is frequently fully committed to work and home responsibilities and may not live conveniently nearby. And, of course, many family members would not be a good choice for fiduciary work due to the lack of appropriate skills or the potential for conflict with siblings or other relatives.

To learn more about the role of the professional fiduciary join Marguerite Lorenz as she delivers an excellent presentation on the ethical standards that guide trustees & fiduciaries and the common everyday scenarios where these ethical issues come into play in the estate planning and administration process. The main topics discussed in this CLE course include the people involved in the estate planning process, the fiduciary’s Duty of Loyalty, determining the entire estate, marshalling the assets and interviewing the fiduciary. This course has also been approved for California fiduciaries, both for pre-licensing and for continuing education credit. To access the course please click here: Ethical Issues for Trustees & Fiduciaries.

Additional subjects covered include:

  • The role of the fiduciary/trustee
  • Triggering events
  • Beneficiaries & trustees
  • Licensing
  • Determining who is the client
  • The overall goal
  • Gathering all the key documents
  • Timekeeping
  • Securing the assets
  • Communications
  • Records
  • Distributions
  • The Prudent Investor Act
  • The succession plan

Marguerite Lorenz is a professional Trustee and Executor and frequent speaker on a variety of Estate Planning topics. As Co-Author of “Ethics for Trustees – A Guide for All Who Serve as Trustee,” she continues to write for various periodicals. Marguerite has always been interested in efficient administration. From her first job as executive secretary for a well established service organization in Los Angeles, to her work in the Internal Audit Department of SunAmerica Financial, to her position in Business Development for a Student Tuition Financing company, Marguerite has continuously streamlined processes, improved the client experience and delivered results. Marguerite has served as Chairman, after being appointed by Governor Brown in 2012, of the Fiduciary Licensing Bureau Advisory Committee in Sacramento. She served as Co-Chair of the Professional Fiduciary Association of California’s 2012 Annual Conference in Anaheim, California.

This CLE course is currently offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in New York and around the country. For more information about CLE in New York please click the following link: NY CLE.

[1] What is a fiduciary?

http://www.pfac-pro.org/whatis.php

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CLE Course: Administering an Estate With Firearms

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No one knows exactly how many firearms are owned by U.S. citizens – a reasonable estimate would put the number around 300 million. Yes, firearms ownership in our country is at an all-time high and is only trending higher due to increased participation in gun collecting and firearms purchases for self-defense and hunting – and don’t forget about all those “doomsday preppers” that are stockpiling weapons for the end of the world.

What happens to guns when their owners die? What many people don’t realize about firearms is that they also pose major legal issues when administering estates. Gun laws in the United States create a complex web of requirements that are rarely considered in the estate administration process…. do you still think it’s legal to sell your Uncle Earl’s shotguns at the estate sale???

In this CLE course, attorney Kim McGhee discusses the legal issues that you must consider when administering an estate with firearms. She mainly addresses the laws regarding the administration of estates with firearms, key considerations regarding possession, transporting & storing firearms, prohibited persons and transferring firearms. She concludes by providing a checklist for administration and further resources. To access the course please click here: How To Administer An Estate Which Owns Firearms.

Additional topics covered in this CLE course:

  • The National Firearms Act (NFA)
  • The Gun Control Act (GCA)
  • The definition of a firearm
  • Curios & relics
  • Minors
  • Drug-affiliated restrictions
  • Mental health
  • Noncompliance with transfer requirements
  • Private party transactions (PPT)
  • Liability
  • Selling/loaning firearms
  • Family transfers
  • NFA gun trusts
  • Locating & identifying firearms
  • Background checks on beneficiaries
  • The proper certificates
  • Gun trusts

Kim McGhee is an experienced attorney in advocating and protecting her clients’ best interests. She possesses a broad range of experience in the areas of estate planning, elder law, retirement planning, banking, real estate and legal ethics. Kim is active in both community and professional organizations and she is a member of the State Bars of California and Nevada, member of the North County Bar Association California Conference of Delegates, Member-At-Large and Chair of the Community Outreach and Fundraising Committees for the San Diego Dementia Consortium and a former Executive Board Member-At-Large of the Clark County Bar Association.

This CLE course is currently offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in New York and around the country. For more information about CLE in New York please click the following link: NY CLE.

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CLE Course: Advanced Asset Protection Planning

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For the past several years, asset protection has been one of the fastest growing areas of law. Asset protection is also one of the most controversial areas of law because the goal is to shield assets from the reach of creditors. Properly implemented asset protection planning should be both legal and ethical and it should not be based on hiding assets or on secrecy and it is not a means or an excuse to avoid or evade U. S. taxes. Asset protection should simply be about structuring the ownership of one’s assets to safeguard them from potential future risks.

There is no one “magic bullet” in asset protection and the term “asset protection” encompasses a number of planning and structuring mechanisms that may be implemented by a practitioner to minimize a client’s exposure to risk.  Most asset protection structures are commonly used business and estate planning tools – such as limited liability companies, family limited partnerships and trusts.

For each client the asset protection solution will be different – depending on the identity of the debtor, the nature of the claim, the identity of the creditor and the nature of the assets. These are the four threshold factors that are either expressly or implicitly analyzed in each asset protection case. The analysis of these four factors determines what planning would be possible and effective for a specific client. Join attorney Jacob Stein as he discusses these factors and more in this highly informative and practical CLE course on advanced asset protection planning. The main topics discussed include the main goals of asset protection planning, specific asset protection structures and assets that are commonly protected.  To access the course please click here: Advanced Asset Protection Planning.

Further issues addressed in this CLE course include:

  • The “Home Depot” method
  • Hiding assets
  • The debtor’s examination
  • Principle asset protection structures
  • Proactive vs. reactive asset protection planning
  • Retirement plans
  • ERISA
  • Life insurance
  • Fraudulent transfer laws
  • The intent test
  • Constructive fraud
  • The attorney’s liability
  • Transferring assets between spouses
  • Common law & community property states
  • LLCs
  • Piercing the corporate veil
  • Types of assets
  • The living trust
  • Revocable & irrevocable trusts
  • The trust protector
  • Key clauses in the trust
  • Offshore structures
  • Liquid assets
  • Protecting businesses
  • The personal residence
  • The equity strip
  • Additional asset protection structures

Mr. Stein is one of the nation’s leading experts on asset protection, teaching dozens of legal seminars each year on the subjects of asset protection and advanced tax planning. He is a Certified Tax Law Specialist and is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Stein is the author of numerous articles on asset protection and tax planning, and is the author of Asset Protection Planning (Education Foundation, 2009) and Advanced Tax Planning Techniques (Education Foundation, 2009). He is also an adjunct professor of taxation at the CSU, Northridge Graduate Tax Program, and has been an instructor with the California CPA Education Foundation and National Business Institute (NBI) for many years. He is also a frequent guest speaker at various Bar, Estate Planning Council and CPA group meetings. Mr. Stein is admitted to practice in California and before the United States Tax Court.

This CLE course on the use of trusts in asset protection is currently accredited in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in New York and around the country. For more information about CLE in New York please click the following link: NY CLE.

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CLE Course: Use of Trusts in Asset Protection

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The main goal of asset protection planning is simple: insulate assets from claims of creditors without concealing the assets or committing tax evasion. While it is generally impossible to completely and absolutely shield assets, the focus of asset protection should be on making assets more difficult and more expensive for creditor’s to reach. Trusts are often effective vehicles to protect assets because they function by splitting the beneficial enjoyment of the trust assets from their legal ownership.

Trusts function by splitting the beneficial enjoyment of the trust assets from their legal ownership. This is the chief reason that trusts are widely used in asset protection.

However, while not all types of trusts are effective asset protection devices, a properly drafted and structured trust can provide a very solid form of asset protection. In this CLE course attorney Jacob Stein details the main ways that trusts are used to protect assets from creditors. Mr. Stein also provides an overview of asset protection planning and presents numerous case examples of the use of trusts in asset protection. To access the course please click here: Use of Trusts in Asset Protection.

Further issues addressed in this CLE course include:

  • The effectiveness of asset protection
  • Making assets more difficult to reach
  • The “Home Depot” asset protection method
  • Hiding assets
  • Determining what structure to use to protect assets
  • Exemptions
  • Personal residences
  • Retirement plans
  • The types of assets that can be protected
  • Real estate
  • The use of LLCs
  • Assets & trusts
  • The limitations of trusts
  • The trust protector
  • The living trust
  • Inter vivos trusts
  • Irrevocable trusts
  • The key elements of a trust
  • The use of offshore trusts
  • The limitations of offshore trusts
  • Dealing with income producing assets

Jacob Stein of the Los Angeles firm Klueger & Stein is one of the nation’s leading experts on asset protection and is one of California’s most well known attorneys, teaching dozens of legal seminars each year on asset protection and advanced tax planning. He is a Certified Tax Law Specialist and is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Mr. Stein has authored numerous articles on asset protection and tax planning and he is the author of Asset Protection Planning (Education Foundation, 2009) and Advanced Tax Planning Techniques (Education Foundation, 2009). He is also an adjunct professor of taxation at the CSU, Northridge Graduate Tax Program, and has been an instructor with the California CPA Education Foundation and National Business Institute for many years. He is also a frequent guest speaker at various Bar, Estate Planning Council and CPA group meetings. Mr. Stein is admitted to practice in California and before the United States Tax Court.

This CLE course on the use of trusts in asset protection is currently accredited in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in Illinois and around the country. For more information about CLE in Illinois please click the following link: IL CLE.

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CLE Course: Advanced Planning with Trusts

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The primary goal of all asset protection planning is to insulate assets from claims of creditors – without concealing assets or committing tax evasion. Generally, it is impossible to completely and absolutely protect assets. The focus of asset protection is on making assets more difficult and more expensive to reach. All asset protection planning is based on two principle premises: creditors can generally reach any asset owned by a debtor, and creditors cannot reach those assets that the debtor does not own.

Not all types of trusts are effective asset protection devices, but a properly drafted and structured trust may be an almost impregnable form of asset protection.

In this obvious dichotomy, trusts are very useful because they split the beneficial enjoyment of trust assets from their legal ownership.  This is the reason that trusts are often used in asset protection. If you would like to learn more about how trusts are used in advanced asset planning and protection please join Jacob Stein as he provides a thorough and practical overview of this important topic. Mr. Stein mainly discusses trusts, specific planning areas, asset protection planning, the use of trusts in asset protection and special needs planning. To access the course please click here: Advanced Planning with Trusts.

Further issues discussed in this CLE course include:

  • The limitations of trusts
  • Ownership of trusts
  • Key elements of a trust
  • Revocable vs. irrevocable trusts
  • Trust protectors
  • Dealing with real estate
  • Where to set up the trust
  • Estate tax planning
  • AB Trusts
  • Life insurance trusts
  • Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust (IDGT)
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trust (QPRT)
  • The goal of asset protection
  • The “Home Depot” method of asset protection
  • Insulating assets
  • Fraudulent transfers
  • The Intent Test
  • Trusts & asset protection
  • Tax consequences
  • Foreign trusts
  • Choice of law
  • Needs-based government benefits

Jacob Stein is one of the nation’s leading experts on asset protection and is one of California’s best-known attorneys, teaching dozens of legal seminars each year on the subjects of asset protection and advanced tax planning. A Certified Tax Law Specialist and AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell, Mr. Stein is the author of numerous articles on asset protection and tax planning, and is the author of Asset Protection Planning (Education Foundation, 2009) and Advanced Tax Planning Techniques (Education Foundation, 2009). He is an adjunct professor of taxation at the CSU, Northridge Graduate Tax Program, and has been an instructor with the California CPA Education Foundation and National Business Institute for many years. He is also a frequent guest speaker at various Bar, Estate Planning Council and CPA group meetings. Mr. Stein is admitted to practice in California and before the United States Tax Court.

This CLE course on the use of trusts in asset protection is currently accredited in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in New York and around the country. For more information about CLE in New York please click the following link: NY CLE.

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CLE Course: Asset Protection Planning

Asset Protection CLEProtecting your client’s assets is not always a guarantee … but it is a better option than not taking any action and watching your client lose their home and everything they own. To maximize its effectiveness, asset protection should be engaged proactively in order to insulate your client’s assets and to protect them against future creditors or judgments.

If you need more information to help understand the process of asset protection and planning, we have recently added an excellent CLE course from one of the nation’s leading experts on asset protection, Los Angeles attorney Jacob Stein. Mr. Stein addresses specific planning solutions and strategies designed to protect assets common to all clients – bank & brokerage accounts, personal residence, rental real estate, businesses, professional practices and retirement plans. The main areas discussed include the goal of asset protection, the typical case, fraudulent transfers, asset planning in the context of marriage, choosing the appropriate business entity and the use of trusts in asset protection. To access the CLE course click on this link: Asset Protection Planning.

Further topics addressed:

  • Practical goals & limitations of asset protection
  • Practical implications for planning
  • Choosing the right structure
  • Understanding fraudulent transfers
  • Badges of fraud
  • Corporations
  • Community Property
  • Separate Property
  • Transmutation Agreements
  • LLCs
  • Limited Partnerships
  • Living Trusts
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Foreign Trusts

Attorney Credits is proud to present this excellent CLE course featuring Jacob Stein, one of the nation’s leading experts on asset protection. A Certified Tax Law Specialist, Mr. Stein is the author of numerous articles on asset protection and tax planning and also teaches numerous legal seminars each year to attorneys across the United States. In addition to teaching online CLE courses, he is a frequent speaker at numerous Bar, Estate Planning Council and CPA group meetings.

This Asset Protection Planning CLE course is currently accredited in the following states:

  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Georgia (GA)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Nevada (NV)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Thank You Washington: The Repeal of the Estate Tax

I came across this one on Law.com this morning over my morning cup of coffee at Starbucks:

A 77-year-old Texas billionaire’s death two months ago comes at a fortuitous time for his heirs because of a quirk in the U.S. estate tax.

Oil pipeline tycoon Dan Duncan may be the first U.S. billionaire to die within a one-year window of exemption from the estate tax, the New York Times reports.

His reported $9 billion in wealth would have been taxed at a tax rate of at least 45 percent if he had died three months earlier, the story says. If he lived until next year, the tax rate would be 55 percent.

The window was part of an estate tax bill signed into law in 2001. Democrats had sought to eliminate the 2010 window, but failed to reach an agreement in December. Even if a bill passes this year, it’s unclear whether it will be applied retroactively, the story says.

Yes, one of the most disturbing things to take place in the law this year is the repeal of the estate tax – or the “death” tax – as George W liked to call it. I know it’s not quite scary as the new Nightmare on Elm Street movie, but for legal practitioners that deal with wills, trusts, and probate matters there could be no bigger nightmare than the story of Dan Duncan. What is most troubling about the current situation is the partisan bickering and gamesmanship that has brought us to this point – complete uncertainty. It’s the beginning of June and nothing is even on the horizon, and nobody seems to think that Washington is going to get anything done until after the November elections have concluded.

If you don’t normally deal with estate matters, the disappearance of the estate tax on January 1, 2010 brings unintended consequences for many wills and trusts this year, and the threat of client dissatisfaction and lawsuits for legal practitioners. At this point everyone is asking what exactly can you do in these uncertain times? And the only answer anyone seems to have – who knows? I think if you talked to five different attorneys you would get five different answers because nobody knows exactly what’s going on.

If you need some enlightenment in this area please join S. Andrew Pharies in The Estate Tax: Tips for Practitioners as he details the issues surrounding the repeal of the “Death Tax,” presents four possible scenarios for resolution, talks about the effect of the repeal, discusses interpretive issues, and closes his presentation with a discussion of Professional Responsibility and malpractice liability. Mr. Pharies’ practice encompasses estate planning, charitable planning, post-mortem trust and probate administration and litigation, exempt organizations, transfer tax (estate, gift, and generation-skipping) planning, income tax planning, business planning, and tax litigation. He is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

Temporary Repeal of the Estate Tax

One of the most disturbing things to take place in the law this year – the repeal of the estate tax, or the “death” tax as Georg W. liked to call it. I know, it’s now quite scary as the new Nightmare on Elm Street movie, but for practitioners that deal with wills, trusts, and probate matters there could be no bigger nightmare. What is most troubling about the current situation is the partisan bickering and gamesmanship that has brought us to this point – complete uncertainty. It’s the end of May and nothing is even on the horizon, and nobody seems to think that Washington is going to get anything done until November once the elections have concluded.

What is this nightmare you ask? Well, if you don’t normally deal with estate matters, the disappearance of the estate tax on January 1, 2010 brings unintended consequences for many wills and trusts, and the threat of possible lawsuits for legal practitioners. At this point everyone is asking what exactly can you do in these uncertain times? And the only answer anyone seems to have is who knows? I think if you talked to five different attorneys you would get five different answers because nobody knows exactly what’s going on.

Join S. Andrew Pharies in The Estate Tax Repeal: Tips for Practitioners as he details the issues surrounding the repeal of the “Death Tax,” presents four possible scenarios for resolution, talks about the effect of the repeal, discusses interpretive issues, and closes his presentation with a discussion of Professional Responsibility and malpractice liability. Mr. Pharies’ practice encompasses estate planning, charitable planning, post-mortem trust and probate administration and litigation, exempt organizations, transfer tax (estate, gift, and generation-skipping) planning, income tax planning, business planning, and tax litigation. He is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.