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Estate Planning & Administration

“There is no ‘one-size-fits-all’  estate plan or estate administration process. Many plans and planning tools work well for a majority of  clients. Some work well for many clients. Others work well for only a few. Only an experienced attorney knows the difference and how to design, prepare, implement and operate a customized estate plan or how to conduct an estate administration appropriate for a given client.STEVE YAHNIAN, Attorney/CPA, Yahnian Law Corporation

For more about our Estate Planning & Administration services, see below. Also,  for  more specific information concerning our Estate Planning & Administration practice, as well as  articles to inform and arm you with important, powerful Estate Planning & Administration written by STEVE YAHNIAN,  visit our affiliated information and Estate Planning & Administration  advocacy website: YAHNIAN ESTATE PLANNING & ADMINISTRATION

Detailed Description of the Estate Planning and Administration Services we Provide

A detailed description of our Estate planning and Administration services is set forth in the following paragraphs.

Asset Preservation Planning

Asset Protection involves Legal ways to preserve your assets.

Asset protection is the process of

  • analyzing how title is held to each asset and
  • structuring ownership in a way that provides  protection against
    • creditors,
    • divorce,
    • taxes, and
    • litigation

Properly analyzed, designed and implemented, asset protection can provide significant advantages to

  • Business owners;
  • Property owners,
  • Professionals such as doctors and lawyers,
  • Real estate developers, and
  • Heirs or beneficiaries.

Through proper planning, assets can be protected during the owner’s life and during the life of beneficiaries or heirs.

Maximum asset protection can be achieved through the use of:

  • Insurance;
  • Available state and federal exemptions;
  • Entities such as limited liability companies and corporations;
  • Irrevocable trusts [including qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs) and qualified terminable interest trusts (QTIPs)];
  • Equity Strips; and
  • Properly structured sales of assets.

Although there is no absolute form of asset protection, proper planning can

  • eliminate or reduce reciprocal liability between and among businesses, assets, and persons and
  • greatly improve one’s ability to negotiate a fair and reasonable settlement.

Business Succession Planning

Yahnian Law Corporation has been substantially involved in the counseling, planning and design of Business Succession strategies and plans over the years. These services involve the following:

  • Complete explanation of common succession techniques
  • Review, analysis, plan, design, documentation and implementation of succession plans
  • Using succession plan to achieve your  business and tax goals
  • Drafting and using buy-sell agreements
  • Succession plans for professional  practices
  • Managing difficult family issues
  • Planning and Management of third party employee and manager issues
  • Use of Closely held and Family Entities such as Family Limited Partnerships, LLCs and Corporations
  • Integration of trusts and other entities to achieve business succession
  • Integration of creative compensation planning
  • Wills and Trusts forms for combining business succession plan and client’s estate plan
  • Business valuation methods and protocols; how to select an appraiser
  • Valuation Discounts
  • Management Succession

Captive Insurance Companies

Captive Insurance companies are a novel planning technique involving the creation of an insurance company owned by the closely held business owner to service his small businesses. A captive insurance company can be used to accomplish the following, among other objectives:

  • income tax savings
  • estate tax savings
  • asset protection
  • business succession

Charitable Gift Planning

We design and prepare planned giving programs, and advise charities and donors regarding the tax and other benefits of such programs.

Particular emphasis is given to advising clients regarding the income tax aspects of charitable contributions as well as the creation and implementation of charitable remainder trusts and pooled income funds.

We also assist clients regarding valuation issues and the implementation of private foundations as a vehicle for effecting charitable gifts.

Elder Law and Medi-Cal Planning

Our Elder Law and Medi-Cal Planning services

  • Government benefits and resources
  • Planning to stay at home
  • Long-term care insurance
  • Financial management and health care decisionmaking
  • Medi-Cal

Estate Planning

Steve Yahnian is one of a limited number of lawyers statewide who has been designated a Certified Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate law specialist by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization.

We prepare estate plans of all kinds and complexity, and for all sizes of estates. We incorporate into the planning considerations of our clients’ estates income tax, estate and gift tax, generation-skipping transfer tax, charitable trusts, life insurance, pension law, property tax, and the potential future need for long-term nursing or custodial care.

Particular emphasis is given to tax planning for family wealth transfers, including the creation of intra-family gift programs involving outright gifts, gifts of stock in family corporations, the creation and implementation of family partnerships and grantor annuity and income trusts.

In Summary, Yahnian Law Corporation provides the following Estate Planning services:

  • Wills;
  • Living Trusts;
  • Life Insurance Trusts;
  • Family Limited Partnerships and other Entities;
  • Family Foundations;
  • Charitable Remainder Trusts;
  • Powers of Attorney;
  • Health Care Planning;
  • Retirement Plan Strategies and Optimization;
  • GRATs
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts
  • Intentionally defective grantor trusts
  • Long Term Care Planning
  • Nonprobate and nontrust transfers
  • Taxing income of estates and trusts
  • Income tax basis and real property tax
  • Marital deduction planning
  • Valuation planning strategies and freeze techniques
  • Life insurance
  • Annuities,
  • Employee benefits and IRAs
  • Charitable giving and asset protection
  • Health care decisions and Medi-Cal planning

Estate Planning for Special Assets

  • Succession planning for the family business
  • Vineyards, farms, and ranches
  • Business entity valuation planning strategies
  • Vacation homes
  • Companion animals/pets
  • Disposition of a professional practice
  • California residents with out-of-state property
  • Charitable giving of works of art and other collectibles
  • Patents and copyrights
  • Restricted securities and compensatory stock

 Estate Planning for Farmers, Dairymen and Ranchers

  • Economic Aspects of Farm Estate and Tax Planning
  • Preparation for Planning
  • Joint Tenancies and Spousal Partnerships
  • Interspousal Property-Holding During Lifetime and Succession at Death
  • Applications of Trusts
  • Gift Planning
  • Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies
  • The Farm Corporation
  • Multiple Entities
  • Installment Sales and Private Annuities,
  • Leases,
  • Family Loans,
  • Like-Kind Exchanges
  • Life Insurance
  • Retirement Planning for Farmers and Ranchers
  • Valuation of Intangible Property
  • Valuation of Real and tangible Personal  Property
  • Special Use Valuation
  • Deferred Payment of Estate Taxes
  • The Special Use Value Recapture Tax
  • Family-Owned Business Interest
  • Post-Mortem Income Tax Planning for Farmers
  • Post-Mortem Estate Tax Planning
  • Planning for Multistate Farm Property
  • Estate Planning for the Financially Distressed Farmer
  • Farm Specific Accounting and Reporting Rules

Estate and Gift Tax Returns

We represent personal representatives, trustees, beneficiaries and heirs in audits by the Internal Revenue Service or Franchise Tax Board regarding estate tax returns. We prepare or, where requested, assist accountants in the preparation of federal and California estate tax returns, gift tax returns, fiduciary tax returns and final federal income tax returns of the decedent.

International Estate Planning

Our international estate planning services include:

coordinating and developing an estate plan for individuals who have family and/or assets in multiple countries that will deal with potentially conflicting laws, minimizing to the extent possible double taxation, and carrying out the individual’s estate planning objectives;
analyzing and advising on U.S. residency issues from a U.S. income tax perspective for a non-U.S. citizen person, living in the U.S. on a temporary basis;
analyzing and advising on U.S. residency issues from a U.S. transfer tax perspective (i.e., gift, estate and generation skipping transfer tax) for a non-U.S. citizen person, living in the U.S.;
advising the non-U.S. person on acquisitions of U.S. situs assets;
coordinating and developing an estate plan to minimize and/or eliminate U.S. estate taxes on U.S. situs assets for the non-U.S. person;
advising on the possible tax consequences and reporting requirements associated with making a gift or bequest to a U.S. beneficiary and developing a tax efficient plan to minimize U.S. transfer taxes both at the donor level and the donee level;
advising on the U.S. income tax and transfer taxes that may arise for the married couple when one spouse is a U.S. citizen and one spouse is not;
advising on the U.S. income tax, transfer tax, and reporting rules associated with establishing a non-U.S. trust that does or may have a beneficiary who is either a U.S. citizen or resident;
advising on how to avoid inadvertent triggering of gift taxes when transferring funds or making gifts to beneficiaries residing in the U.S.;
developing and implementing estate plans to minimize U.S. estate taxes on a non-U.S. person’s U.S. assets;
providing pre-immigration and expatriation tax planning; and
advising on U.S. tax and reporting obligations associated with the ownership of foreign assets and interests in foreign trusts, foreign corporations and foreign partnerships.



Living Trusts

Yahnian Law Corporation provides complete and comprehensive Living Trust planning, design, preparation and implementation services. Those services include the following:

  • Complete preparation including Pourover wills, powers of attorney, funding, beneficiary designations for retirement plans, annuities and life insurance and letter of instructions for operating the trust
  • Managing property during client’s lifetime
  • Transferring property at death
  • Drafting and tax considerations
  • Creation of trust, distribution provisions
  • Marital deduction QTIPs and QDOTs
  • Survivor’s trust, bypass and disclaimer trusts
  • Payment of taxes, debts, and administration expenses
  • Trustee powers and duties
  • Revocation and amendment
  • Funding the trust and related documents

Powers of Attorney and Health Care Directives

  • Assisting clients with medical decisions, including do not resuscitate orders, organ donation, and end-of-life decisions
  • HIPAA and CMIA
  • Using power of attorney for estate planning decisions when the principal loses capacity
  • Alternatives to using power of attorney and advanced health care directives, and ethical obligations of the attorney in drafting documents and enforcing their terms, including judicial proceedings
  • Reverse mortgages

Probate Administration

We represent fiduciaries in the administration of estates.

Our practice includes petitioning for appointment of personal representatives in estates, preparing and evaluating inventory and appraisements, monitoring the creditors’ claim process, petitioning for instructions regarding interpretation of wills or for instructions regarding actions to be taken by the personal representative, and petitioning for preliminary and final distributions.

We also advise personal representatives regarding their fiduciary duties, the sale of assets in the estates, and the preparation of accountings and reports.

Special Needs Trusts: Planning, Drafting, and Administration

  • Public benefits primer including SSI, Medicaid, Medicare, VA, Section 8, and more
  • Establishing Medicare set-aside trusts
  • Required and recommended first and third-party SNT provisions
  • Considering SNT alternatives
  • Pooled SNTs with a full description of every California pooled trust
  • SNT administration and appropriate distributions
  • SNT taxation, accounting, termination, purchase of a home, and hiring of caregivers
  • Third-party SNTs

Summary Estate Procedures

We represent beneficiaries and heirs in obtaining assets that may be passed by a summary probate procedure. We prepare and record affidavits of death of joint tenant for the passage of joint tenancy assets to the surviving joint tenant. We prepare affidavits for the passage of personal property under $100,000. We prepare affidavits for the passage of real property under $10,000. Our practice also includes petitioning to the court for determination of succession of real and personal property if the property is valued under $100,000 and petitioning for the determination and confirmation of property passing or belonging to the surviving spouse. We also assist in the transfer and distribution of assets under the summary probate procedures.

Trust Administration

In addition to estate planning activities in drafting a trust instrument, we also represent trustees and beneficiaries in administration of trusts.

Our practice includes petitioning for transfer of assets into the trust after the death of the trustor in the event title was incorrectly cleared, funding subtrusts, petitioning for instructions regarding the interpretation or modification of trusts, monitoring the creditors’ claim process, petitioning for instructions regarding actions to be taken by the trustee, petitioning for termination of trusts, and petitioning for resignation of trustees and for the appointment of successor trustees.

We also advise trustees regarding their fiduciary duties, the sale or distribution of trust assets, and the preparation of accountings and reports.

  • Trustee’s duties, standards, and powers
  • Rejection of trust; resignation and removal of trustee
  • Investments and management of trust assets
  • Recordkeeping and accounting
  • Trustee compensation and attorney fees
  • Creditor’s rights against trust and beneficiaries
  • Income taxation of trusts and estate tax returns
  • Administering single-person trust after settlor’s death
  • Administering the married couple trust after the death of each spouse
  • Subtrust funding and long-term administration
  • Modification, revocation, and termination of trust


  • Review of existing wills
  • Preparation of wills and codicils
  • Gifts to charity and noncharitable gifts
  • Charitable split-interest trusts
  • Powers of appointment
  • Marital deduction QTIPs and QDOTs
  • Bypass trusts and disclaimer trusts
  • Trusts for children
  • Tax payment and “spendthrift” clauses
  • Powers and duties of executor and trustee
  • Disinheritance

 You can reach us by calling

(559) 733-8505

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Our Office
  • Visalia Office
    3130 W. Main Street
    Suite F
    Visalia, California 93291
    Phone: 559-733-8505
    Fax: 559-627-6785