Frank is a Partner at Barton Klugman & Oetting, LLP representing high net worth individuals and the leaders of small to mid-sized companies in the preparation of estate plans and business succession plans.
He is a well-regarded resource on tax compliance with federal estate tax, generation skipping transfer tax, gift tax, California sales tax and other tax issues. He also engages in a broad-based transactional law practice, including trust and probate litigation, conservatorships, guardianship, prenuptial agreements, advising small to mid-sized businesses, forming new businesses, real estate and other business law matters.
Frank is a California Certified Specialist in both Taxation Law and Estate Planning (State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization).
He has broad expertise, examples of which include:
Estate Planning. Sophisticated estate planning for high net worth clients, including creation of living trusts, family limited liability companies, gifts to generation skipping transfer trusts, sales to defective grantor trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), qualified personal residence trusts (QPRT’s) and irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILIT’s). Prepared and amended hundreds of estate plans containing complex and unique distribution provisions. Commenced numerous probate and guardianship proceedings. Trained and supervised associates and provided mentorship and guidance on the design of estate plans.
Trust Administration. On the death of the creator(s) of the trust, perform all aspects of trust administration, including (1) preparing and serving trustee notice letter (2) identifying assets and searching chain of title on real estate, (3) retaining appraiser and guide appraiser in valuing properties and determining appropriate valuation discounts, (4) preparing and reviewing CPA prepared federal estate tax returns (706) and Form 8971 (“Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property From a Decedent), (5) funding subtrusts pursuant to formula clauses in trust documents, (6) assisting in preparation of accountings and (7) supervising distributions of assets, receipts and releases, and closing trust administration. Trained and supervised associates and provided mentorship and guidance on trust
Representing Clients in Probate Court. “Heggstad” petitions to confirm decedent’s assets as owned by trust; trust modification proceedings, participated with litigation group on numerous undue influence and other trust contests; represent and continue to represent Wells Fargo and Northern Trust, as Trustee, in numerous significant trust administrations and trust disputes.
Representing Clients in Mediation. Participated in numerous mediations to settle trust and probate disputes.
Tax Return Preparation. Have prepared federal estate tax returns (706s), Form 8971 (“Information Regarding Beneficiaries Acquiring Property From a Decedent”), federal gift tax returns (709s), trust income tax returns (1041), and individual income tax returns (1040). Reviewed and revised numerous corporate, subchapter “S” and partnership income tax returns.
Real Property Tax Law. Significant expertise in real property tax issues, including real property transfer planning to avoid reassessments. Filed numerous change of ownership reports, Death of Real Property Owner Reports, Parent Child Exclusion Forms, Grandparent Grandchild Exclusion Forms, Statement of Change in Control and Ownership of Legal Entities (BOE-100-B). Have appeared numerous times before the Los Angeles County Appeals Board on valuation and
change of ownership issues. Registered Los Angeles County real property tax agent. Author of one of the most widely read internet articles on tax traps on real property transfers in California.
Advanced Asset Protection Planning. Creation of limited partnerships and LLCs, equity stripping loans against real estate, Delaware and Nevada domestic asset protection trusts, foreign asset protection trusts governed by Cook Islands and other foreign jurisdictions. Specialize in integrating asset protection techniques into estate plan.
Premarital, Post Marital and Cohabitation Agreements. Prepared and negotiated more than twenty (20) complex premarital, post marital and cohabitation agreements. Creation of Delaware trusts prior to marriage to protect assets from marital dissolution claims. Significant knowledge of California community property and family law
Taxation Lawyer: Expert in general taxation law, with specialized knowledge in federal estate tax, gift tax, and generation skipping transfer tax. Due to the importance of income tax planning in estate planning, kept up with changes in the income tax law, including New “Section 199A” Small Business Tax Deduction, changes to the transfer for value rules, new rules under the Secured Act affecting IRA’s. Consulted with business lawyers in structuring business sales and acquisitions to minimize taxation. Assisted numerous litigation counsel on structuring settlements to obtain favorable tax treatment for the client. Assisted securities lawyers in reviewing tax sections in private placement memorandums and in other securities documents. To maintain tax skills, attended the three (3) day annual USC Gould Tax Institute forover 20 consecutive years. In addition, regularly attended the one day USC Gould Trusts and estate Conference.
Business Transactional Attorney. ·General corporate counsel for profit and non-profit corporate entities. Determination of necessary corporate structure tailored to meet client objectives and creation of associated corporate documents (corporate by-laws, operating agreements, including buy-out agreements and contribution/distribution agreements). Particular proficiency in preparing complex waterfall and tax distributions provisions in operating and partnership agreements. Preparation and negotiation of corporate contracts, including real estate purchase and sale agreements, and commercial lease agreements.
Real Estate Attorney. Specialized knowledge in creating LLCs, limited partnerships, tenancy in common agreements and trusts to acquire real estate. Review title reports, surveys and chain of title. Prepare corrective deeds and other documents to clean up chain of title. Prepared hundreds of leases for commercial properties, shopping centers and complex amendments to leases. Prepared and negotiated real estate purchase and sale agreements. Supervised escrow, including preparing escrow instructions, for both buyer and seller. Implemented numerous 1031 like kind exchanges, including preparing tax documents for tenancy in common interests (TICS) exchanges, drop and swap transactions, and reverse exchanges. Familiarity with opportunity zone real estate investments. Represented borrower in over fifty loan transactions, including complex conduit loans with special entity provisions and prepared opinion letters for lender.