Kate Willcox’s practice focuses on both foundational and complex estate and gift planning, including tax planning, as well as post-death trust administration. Her estate planning background includes working with blended families and same-sex couples. She also has experience working with clients to set up irrevocable trusts, including grantor trusts, ILITs, GRATs, QPRTs and charitable trusts. Her business succession planning practice includes structuring plans to efficiently and effectively transfer family businesses to the next generation, as well as “estate freeze” transactions to minimize the tax burden of doing so.
What I really like about being an estate planning attorney is working closely with individuals and families. Our clients have worked their entire lives to build a legacy for their children, and I find that inspiring. I like that I can be a part of working with families to pass that legacy on, and I am able to be there at a tough time for their children to help make it easier.
I do estate planning and estate and gift tax planning for moderate to high net worth individuals. I work from the planning stage to trust administration, and do all the components that go into a comprehensive estate plan.
In my career, I have worked with clients with a net worth of $50-$60 million and one-time gifts of up to $10 million. While the majority of the estate planning I do involves smaller estates, clients can have confidence in the work I do because the large range of estates I’ve handled.
I’m into urban gardening. We live in a Midtown house with no yard, so I enjoy making attempts at growing flowers in pots and boxes, but I also work a community garden plot in Oak Park. I’m a big believer in urban redevelopment, and I see this as my small contribution to making urban Sacramento a vibrant community. Being new to gardening, some attempts are more successful than others. The most successful things so far have been geraniums and root vegetables, because they can survive on minimal water and don’t fry in the Sacramento sun.
Within the Law: Dealing with Non-Confidential Sensitive Information in the Age of Online Legal Tabloids, 23 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 667 (2010), Co-Author with Joshua Landau
“Planning for Same-Sex Couples after Windsor, Hollingsworth, and Obergefell,” South Placer Professional Roundtable, Presenter (January 2016)
“Estate Planning and Administration: The Complete Guide,” Post-Mortem Tax Planning Options and Closing the Estate, National Business Institute, Presenter (June 2015)
“Estate Planning Considerations for Business Lawyers,” Sacramento County Bar Business Section, Presenter (February 2014)
“What Now? Estate Planning for Same-Sex Couples in a Post-Windsor World,” East Bay Planning Council, Presenter
“Prop. 8, DOMA and Thoughts on Same-Sex Planning in California,” South Placer Estate Planning Council, Presenter
The big change in our industry has been with the estate tax. The law was constantly changing until 2013, and before then, it was difficult to plan not knowing what the law would look like going forward. I never want to let taxes control the planning, though. I want to understand my client’s goals and then mesh that with what we can do on the tax side.