How does one deal with a family inheritance and/or the succession of a business in today’s complex world of taxes, competing state and international laws, and the emotional reality of family dynamics?
Not everyone will receive a sizeable inheritance or need to deal with a business succession, of course, but according to the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, fewer than 18,500 specialists across multiple financial and legal disciplines in 80 international jurisdictions — 14 jurisdictions stateside — actually have the legal and technical expertise to effectively navigate today’s complicated issues and help ensure families a successful outcome on such occasions.
Contrast that number with the current U.S. population of more than 316 million people and that’s not a lot of specialists.
Santa Barbara has but two STEP attorneys to our knowledge. One of them — local attorney J. Lee Johnson of the law firm of Ambrecht & Associates in Montecito — has just been awarded “with distinction” STEP’s most comprehensive Advanced Certificate in International Succession and Probate, an honor bestowed only on graduates with the highest test grades.
Johnson also graduated first in his class at the University of Miami School of Law in Florida. With an additional L.L.M (Masters of Laws) degree, he has been practicing civil litigation, probate and trust litigation, and estate planning for more than 15 years, adding specializations in complex international estates and trusts, tax minimization techniques, and IRS tax controversy matters over that same period of time.
He is currently licensed to practice in California, Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky and Tennessee. A published writer with the American Bar Association, Johnson also enjoys educating people about the law through public speaking.
"Given the increasing mobility of our society, the ability to navigate a plan over multiple jurisdictions is essential," he said.
For more information, Johnson can be reached at [email protected] or 805.965.1329.
— Jonatha King is a publicist representing Ambrecht & Associates.