Kent W. Silvester

Kent W. Silvester


Kent Silvester specializes in all facets of tax, business and estate planning for high net worth individuals. He designs and implements succession plans to transition ownership of family businesses and investments from one generation to another in a tax efficient manner, while addressing the personal concerns of each family.

Kent’s practice involves the design, implementation and defense of estate and business plans for high net worth individuals, many of whom have family-owned businesses. He provides advice on how to minimize estate taxes, gift taxes, generation-skipping taxes, income taxes and property taxes. In order to implement these plans, his practice involves the formation and administration of trusts and business entities such as partnerships, limited liability companies and corporations as well as planning for charitable giving. He represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries in estate and trust administration matters.

He represents clients in income tax, estate tax and gift tax audits and supervises the preparation of gift tax returns and estate tax returns. He also assists clients by applying his tax expertise to a wide variety of business transactions.

Prior to practicing law, Kent worked as a certified public accountant with a Big Four accounting firm, having been promoted to tax manager in just three years.

Learning about family and business relationships helps me create a plan that will be more successful in the future. There is a lot that can be done to reduce the chances of conflict, bad feelings and even litigation in the future.

“I do tax and estate planning for high net worth individuals, particularly those who need succession planning for closely-held businesses. My practice is multi-disciplinary and combines estate planning with tax and business entity law. My job is to understand the clients’ objectives and then create a plan that will protect the family, and in some cases, the future of a business. Tax savings and maintaining flexibility to deal with changed circumstances are often key considerations.”

I worked as a professional musician for many years. One of my highlights as a musician came when I played at the Concord Pavilion in the band that was backing up all of the original Temptations on their 25th anniversary tour.



  • “Vintage Generosity – Trusted Advisor Makes it Easy,” Sacramento Region Community Foundation 2010 Annual Report
  • “The Family Partnership: Part Two,” McDonough Holland & Allen Quarterly Review, Estate Planning and Probate, Volume 8, Number 2, Co-Author
  • “The Family Partnership: Protecting One’s Assets, Relatively Speaking,” McDonough Holland & Allen Quarterly Review, Estate Planning and Probate: A Special Report, Volume 8, Number 1, Co-Author


  • “Charitable Lead Trusts,” Sutter Hospitals Foundation Board of Trustees, Presenter
  • “A Survey of Charitable Giving Techniques,” The State Bar of California, Presenter
  • “Charitable Giving Without Trusts,” Financial Planning Association of Northern California (FPANC), Presenter
  • “Sophisticated Estate Planning Techniques,” Sacramento Chapter California Society of CPAs, Presenter


  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2016 – 2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America Lawyer of the Year in Trusts and Estates, 2022, 2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America Lawyer of the Year in Tax Law, 2020
  • Sacramento Magazine Top Lawyer, 2017 – 2021
  • Northern California Super Lawyer, 2004 – 2006, 2018 – 2023
  • Sacramento Business Journal Best of the Bar, 2018
  • Recipient, Don Poole Award, Sacramento Region Community Foundation. Awarded for significant contributions to philanthropy in the region, the award was created to honor the advisor who embodies commitment to charitable causes, devotion to educating clients about charitable giving, and mentoring fellow advisors to support clients’ philanthropy.
  • Law School: Graduated with Distinction, Order of the Coif, Dean’s Honor List, Traynor Society
  • Undergraduate: Dean’s Honor List, Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Past President, Sacramento Estate Planning Council
  • Past-Chair, Pass-Through Entities/Real Estate Committee, State Bar of California Taxation Section
  • Past-Chair, Young Tax Lawyers Committee, State Bar of California Taxation Section
  • Past-Chair, Sacramento County Bar Association, Young Tax Lawyers Committee
  • Member, California Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • Member, American Bar Association Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Member, State Bar of California Taxation Section


  • California Musical Theatre Foundation, Past President and Director
  • Past Trustee, Sutter Medical Center Foundation