Our Services

Bohne Law Group offers a focused range of services to clients. Our focus is on the individual and his or her estate. The estate focus, however, covers diverse areas of the law. An estate planning practice touches on almost all aspects of the law. If an issue is beyond our focus, then we bring in those accomplished in those areas impacting one's estate. 
 
Our areas of focus are:
 
 
Estates & Trusts Planning

We believe planning an estate is a two pronged approach. First, estate planning focuses on the maintenance and distribution of assets during life and upon one's death. This may include planning for a surviving spouse or other family members. We approach this portion as if there are no tax consequences since we do not want taxes to govern the planning. Second, we look at the estate and gift tax planning aspects. If an estate has tax exposure, we then look at how your estate planning can be structured to minimize or eliminate the estate tax. Regardless of the size of the estate, however, there are generally property tax and income tax issues that require our attention.
Estate Planning documentation can include:
  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Wills
  • Durable Powers of Attorney
  • Health Care Directives

Estate and Gift Tax documentation will have provisions in many of the above referenced documents as well as in the following:

  • Discounted Gifts via Split Interest Trusts such as a Grantor Retained Annuity Trust (GRAT)
  • Entity Discount Planning such as Limited Parternships (LP) and Limited Liability Companies (LLC)
  • Charitable Trusts that benefit the charity(ies) of your choice as well as you and your family. Examples include Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRT) and Charitable Lead Trusts (CLT)
  • Sales of estate assets to an Intentionally Defective Grantor Trust (IDGT)
  • Generation Skipping Transfer Tax planning with Dynasty Trusts
  • Retirement plan strategies

These are only examples of what can be done. The legal and tax strategies are myriad and the best strategy for an individual can only be determined after a gathering of the facts, goals and motivations.

 
Public Needs Planning

At times an individual is in need of specialized planning. This may occur when a family member has "special needs." Special needs planning normally revolves around securing for an individual particular governmental assistance. It can be a challenge to find the right public assistance. At the same time, a family may want to provide additional resources to this special needs individual or a court may direct that this individual have a damages award secured in trust. Special needs planning can include:
  • Third party special needs trusts
  • Family originated special needs trusts
  • Public assistance counseling
  • Personal care planning for a special needs individual
 
Business

Our experience also meets our estate planning clients' business needs. We are able to form most types of business entities and counsel as to the most effective vehicle from a tax, liability and control perspective. We also provide legal services during the life of a business as well as termination to wind up its affairs. Samples of our services include:
  • Formation of corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies.
  • Documentation of mergers and acquisitions for privately held companies.
  • Formation and review of general business contracts.
  • Protection of intellectual property interests.
  • Dissolution of corporations, partnerships and limited liability companies.
 
Real Estate

Real estate is a major component of many clients' estates. Our work in this area is generally complimentary to estate plans. When issues are beyond our scope of comfort, we bring in outside counsel with that particular focus. For example, we may bring on the team an attorney who is accomplished in commercial real estate transactions. That expertise may further require others with a more narrow focus such as dealing with hazardous waste.
 
California real estate is unique in that it is subject to Proposition 13 which was enacted in 1978. Many clients own property with low assessed property tax values. In planning transfers during life or at death, exemptions can provide substantial property tax savings each year. Our strategies have been known to save substantial property taxes for transferees.
 
 
Post Death Administration

Our work does not end with the planning. Death is a natural consequence of life and when it occurs, we guide and counsel the personal representative through this process as intended by the decedent. Post death administration may include the probate court or be done privately. The legal work includes transferring of assets, funding of testamentary trusts, and counseling with the newly appointed trustee. We coordinate with the tax preparer for income taxes of the decedent and any newly formed trusts as well as prepare the estate tax return when required.
 
 
Contested Matters

Periodically, family members can disagree on personal planning issues. Disputes may arise while a family member is alive or after death. Because of the nature of fiduciary relationships in an estate and dynamics typical to a family, it is not unusual for disagreements to require the need for legal representation and mediation. We are able to evaluate the nature of the dispute and help resolve issues without judicial intervention. If, however, that becomes a necessity, we are able to match litigation counsel to the matter to bring the matter to a conclusion.
 
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