The information contained on this website is not intended as a source of legal advice.  You should not act upon or rely on information at this or any other website without the advice of competent counsel.  Nothing provided by this website is intended to create an attorney-client relationship or an engagement for legal services.  Neither forwarding a questionnaire nor sending an e-mail to this firm or to an attorney at this firm will create an attorney-client relationship.  This website is intended for educational and informational purposes only.  I am licensed in California and Colorado, and may offer my services only to those residing or doing business in California or Colorado, unless associated with local counsel.

Circular 230 Notice: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, the Law Firm of Allen T. Ratcliffe, Jr. informs you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this Website is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed within.
San Ramon estate and business planning firm of Allen T. Ratcliffe, Jr. focuses on providing estate, business and tax planning services to individuals and small to medium sized businesses.

1) Estate planning.  The estate planning process involves providing for management of assets during your life, selecting guardians for minor children and directing the disposition of assets upon death, and includes preparation of:  
   * Wills,
   *  Revocable trusts, and
   * Durable powers of attorney,
plus, the review of property titling, and retirement plan and insurance beneficiary designations.

2) Advanced estate planning.  You may also choose to address specific issues, such as income or estate tax, asset or divorce protection for yourself or your heirs, the dispostion and management of a specific asset, such as a business, or the handling of assets for the benefit of heirs with special needs.  In such event, techniques such as the following may be employed: 
   * Gifting strategies,
   * Family limited partnerships and limited liability companies (LLCs),
   * Special purpose irrevocable trusts,
   * Incentive and substance abuse provisions for children,
   * Treatment of life insurance ownership, and
   * Dynasty trusts.

3) Business planning.  When planning for your business you will want to consider the advantages and disadvantages of various business entities, including LLCs, corporations, partnerships and limited partnerships, and ensure their proper formation; thereafter, questions pertaining to business operations, governance, and contracts may arise.

4) Business succession.   While you are actively engaged in your business, unforseen circumstances, such as the death of a partner, divorce, disability or an attempted sale of an interest by a partner may trigger the need for a pre-designed purchase via a Buy-Sell Agreement

Several years before your retirement, it is advisable to consider and begin planning for ownership and management succession in order to ensure an orderly transition maximizing the business value, minimizing estate and income tax, and which considers your needs during retirement and, perhaps, the needs and interests of family members participating in the business.  

Our aim is to determine and address the client's objectives in a friendly and congenial atmosphere, to assist the client in selecting a strategy specifically tailored to his or her unique circumstances, and to utilize our years of experience in order to provide quality representation in a cost effective manner.
Estate, Business and Tax Planning in Northern California
© 2011 Law Firm of Allen T. Ratcliffe, Jr.  All Rights Reserved.
3150 Crow Canyon Place, Suite 250
San Ramon, CA 94583  925-806-9008
email: atr@ratcliffelaw.com
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