Practice Areas

Private Client Services

Tax and Trusts and Estates Lawyers for Successful Individuals, Businesses, and Families.

Our Private Client Services Group serves some of the most discerning ultra-high net-worth individuals and families in California and beyond, as well as family offices, corporate and individual professional fiduciaries, and public and private non-profit organizations.  We provide advice and counsel to real estate investors and developers, internet entrepreneurs, hedge fund principals, actors, artists, authors and athletes in preserving privacy and control over their assets, and allowing for tax efficient succession that reflects their wishes and values at all stages of life. Our noted clients trust our seasoned professionals to help them successfully navigate wealth transfer and preservation, and develop the right documents to reflect their individual aspirations and values, and accomplish family and business objectives. Our clients also turn to us when there is a need for more public representation, whether involving gift and estate tax disputes with the Internal Revenue Service or contentious trusts and estates matters that require litigation advice.

Multidisciplinary Advice for Estate and Succession Planning.

We employ a multidisciplinary approach to effectively address our clients’ needs across a broad range of assets and diverse endeavors in the manner that most efficiently achieves our clients’ objectives. Collaborating with attorneys in our firm’s Real Estate, Corporate, Entertainment, and Intellectual Property groups early in the planning process enables us to craft effective, tailored solutions to complex business succession and tax planning issues. 

Highly successful entrepreneurs—people successfully focused on building wealth—often engage us when considering their next opportunity. They value our ability to help them navigate complex tax issues into actionable strategies that allow for tax-savings and business-succession planning while allowing for continued control. We partner with our clients to structure creative strategies that will satisfy our clients’ multi-pronged objectives of tax efficiency, privacy, preservation and control over assets and preservation of values, including business structures that dove-tail with the client’s estate plan, assuring that business objectives and family objectives are not only tied together, but also support one another. This kind of planning eliminates ambiguity and minimizes the potential for later disputes.

Philanthropic planning forms an important part of succession planning for most ultra-high net-worth families, whether that planning takes the form of a private museum for an artist or collector, a public charity for a family with a social mission, or a private foundation for a family seeking to involve multiple generations in the family’s philanthropic goals.  Our substantial experience in the area of non-profit organizations enables us to support and ensure our clients’ continued legal compliance in the face of rapidly changing rules and regulations governing tax exempt organizations.  

Trust Administration and Litigation.

Successful people can be incredibly business savvy and detail oriented and yet find it difficult to plan for their own mortality. We assist our clients to address not only the legally complex issues but also the emotionally difficult issues that arise when preparing a comprehensive succession plan, and we provide the same assistance for family members when death occurs. The attorneys in our Private Client Services Group possess wide-ranging knowledge and experience in post-death administration, income, and estate tax compliance for trusts and estates and gift and estate tax controversies. Further, we draw upon firm-wide resources to resolve exceptional issues that often occur following a death, whether those issues relate to business structures, real estate assets, intellectual property, or environmental concerns.

However, even the most careful and efficient planning techniques can face challenges with guarding and preserving family wealth when intra-family disputes arise. Should conflicts emerge, we call upon the highly specialized skills of our attorneys who specialize in contentious trusts matters and our Litigation  Group to efficiently and effectively resolve such disputes. Together, Greenberg Glusker attorneys manage all aspects of pre-litigation negotiations, alternative dispute resolution, and litigation.

At Greenberg Glusker, we don't just draft wills and trusts. Rather, we partner with ultra-high net-worth families and individuals to transition assets, businesses and values by creating strategies that not only leverage our experience and creativity but that of our clients.

  • Represented Rochelle Sterling, in her capacity as trustee of The Sterling Family Trust, in negotiations and litigation relating to the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Clippers.

  • Represented Manuela Herzer, in her capacity as agent under the Advance Health Care Directive for Sumner Redstone, in litigation relating to Mr. Redstone’s health care.

  • Counsel to founder of a technology company in connection with the creation of a multi-billion dollar succession planning structure for the founder’s company and family.

  • Counsel to founders of emerging technology companies in connection with the creation of private and tax efficient structures to transition and protect explosive growth.

  • Counsel to court appointed private fiduciaries in contentious post-death trust administration involving an extensive portfolio of residential and commercial real estate and an operating portfolio of skilled nursing facilities.

  • Coordinated planning by Portuguese, British and Dutch advisors for client acquiring real property in Portugal through a Dutch limited liability company and foundation.

  • Counseled high net worth families regarding the creation of estate planning structures that not only minimize transfer taxes but that also reflect the values of the family with respect to education, charitable giving and community involvement.

  • Provided United States transfer tax planning for multinational families, including lifetime planning with domestic securities, life insurance and real property, and planning, preparation and establishment of offshore trust and corporate structures.

  • Provided counseling under new regulations regarding the proper structuring of corporate and private split-dollar insurance transactions.

  • Provided counseling to families with closely-held business interests regarding business succession planning, state tax planning and tax planning prior to the sale or public offering of the closely-held business.

  • Successfully defended trustees who were alleged to have failed to follow the terms of the trusts that they were administering.

  • Obtained numerous favorable valuation settlements, including discounts for lack of control and marketability, with the Internal Revenue Service in connection with estate and gift tax return audits.

  • Established investment vehicles for families to diversify investments and centralize management.