Personal Attention

At Carr McClellan, we are experienced attorneys with a proven track record of successfully handling complex and simple wealth transfers, administration, and related controversies. Our experience has taught us that the best solutions are the most cost-effective. As a client, you cannot afford to focus on just part of the cost equation and ignore the other; the cost of an ineffective estate plan, or even worse, litigation.

Estate Planning

Our experience has shown that it is better to face difficult issues on day one, when we have the opportunity to shape the process with realities firmly in mind, rather than post death, or when a disgruntled beneficiary files an adversarial contest.

One of the first issues we address in estate planning are the goals and objectives of the client. Defining the goals and objectives will guide the client in decision-making between the different estate planning alternatives. We discuss the different tax systems that may apply to the client’s situation, but more importantly, we discuss the client’s goals with regards to the client’s beneficiaries.

The tools for estate planning practice include basics such as wills, revocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, advance health directives, and retitling of assets.

In addition, we use advanced estate planning tools, such as a irrevocable life insurance trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, qualified personal residence trust, charitable remainder trust, family limited partnerships, and family foundations to craft a plan that best meets our client’s objectives.

Estate Administration

We represent individuals and corporate trustees as executors and trustees. As legal counsel for the fiduciary, we inform and advise our client in a manner that will reduce expenses and liability. Our client is the fiduciary, whether that is an executor, administrator, or a trustee. The primary goal is to reduce liability for the fiduciary. To accomplish this we are in continual communication with our client.

We work with other professionals, especially accountants, to achieve successful outcomes for the estate administration.

Representative Services in Estate Administration

  • Post mortem tax planning
  • Reformation petition to modify the bypass trust
  • Guidance for the fiduciary regarding S corporation issues, including Qualified Subchapter S Trust (QSST) and Electing Small Business Trust (ESBT)
  • Propose and implement disclaimers
  • Guide the fiduciary through asset allocation decisions
  • Proposed tax elections
  • Running the decedent’s business
  • Navigate family issues, including intra-family sales
  • Assist in the marketing and sale of the estate’s real estate
  • Continuation of leasing and rent collection on rental real property
  • Sale of residential property
  • Negotiation and sale of commercial buildings
  • Advising on transfer of intellectual property rights
  • Advising about life insurance death benefits, public employee benefits, California Public Employees Retirement System benefits, State Teachers’ Retirement System benefits, ERISA plan benefits, and IRA’s

Representative Matters


Low Transfer Tax Costs: A Good Time to Review your Estate Plan
The Estate Tax Portability Election
Estate Tax v. Income Tax
Transfer Tax: Proposed Regulations Issued Under I.R.C. Section 2704