Jeff Stephens’ legal practice focuses primarily on advanced tax and estate planning for high net worth individuals and their families. He works closely with clients and their advisors throughout the process to integrate the plan with existing investments and business structures. He has extensive experience with estate plans utilizing irrevocable grantor trusts to protect and preserve assets in a way that is both tax-efficient and helps clients maintain their current lifestyles. In addition to minimizing estate, gift and GST taxes, part of this planning may include property tax planning, income tax planning and the use of QPRTs, GRATs, insurance trusts, partnerships and LLCs.
The balance of Jeff’s estate practice is devoted to general estate planning centered on wills and revocable family trusts and all aspects of probate and trust administration, including ongoing income, estate and property tax planning and preparation of estate tax returns and fiduciary accountings.
The ever-changing tax landscape provides opportunities for proactive families to develop plans that minimize their taxes and maximize the impact of their ventures and legacy.
Although these plans can be complex, the benefits can be tremendous, and I strive to work with the client and his or her advisors to create a plan that works within the client’s day-to-day lifestyle. I enjoy working closely with clients and respect the trusted advisory role I am privileged to hold.
I focus on helping clients and their families protect their assets and legacy through proper estate and tax planning. I also help them through the probate and trust administration process when the time comes.
I have been privileged to assist many clients and their families preserve a variety of assets, including farms, vineyards, wineries and other businesses. In some cases, this has helped to save millions of dollars in potential estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes and to ensure the long-term succession of the business.
Outside the office, I enjoy spending time with my family visiting bookshops and libraries, playing basketball and fantasy football and exploring new places on the open road.
“The Probate Process from Start to Finish: Tax Reporting and Post-Mortem Tax Matters; Handling Claims Against the Estate,” National Business Institute (NBI), Vacaville, CA
“Estate Planning for Farms, Ranches and Vineyards,” State Bar of California Trusts and Estates Section, 2016 Summer Education Conference, Sacramento, CA
“IDGTs – The Sale is Done, Now What?” State Bar of California, 24th Annual Estate and Gift Tax Conference, San Francisco, CA
“Estate Tax Refocused,” CALCPA Education Foundation Farmers Tax and Accounting Conference, Fresno, CA
“The Art of High End Estate Planning,” Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), San Francisco, CA