Trusts & Estates

Trusts & Estates


Cox, Castle & Nicholson has extensive expertise in the areas of wills, trusts, and post-death and fiduciary administration. Estate and business succession planning are of critical importance to our clients, many of whom are entrepreneurs or heads of public or closely-held businesses.

We provide practical, effective, and high-quality estate planning. Over the years, we have developed and implemented sophisticated plans designed to carry out the personal and family objectives of our clients in a sensitive manner while minimizing income, estate, gift, generation-skipping transfer, and property taxes. In our view, estate and succession planning should focus not only on the disposition of a client's wealth/property at death but also should take into account planning opportunities that arise during a person's lifetime.

In addition to the planning aspect of our practice, we have developed strong capabilities in the probate, trust, conservatorship, and guardianship administrative areas. These include planning, preparation and audit of estate tax returns, representation of fiduciaries (i.e., trustees and executors) in administrative and dispute matters, representation of clients in will contests and other intrafamily disputes, and representation of beneficiaries in actions against fiduciaries.  

Our specialized Trusts & Estates attorneys concentrate their efforts in the following areas:

  • Living trusts and wills which provide for the disposition of a client's assets at death in a tax-efficient and administratively streamlined manner, and also for the management of property during the client’s lifetime in case of disability
  • Irrevocable trusts and related lifetime gift-planning structured to maximize estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax savings and/or income tax savings, to provide creditor protection and to preserve resources available for the support and education of intended beneficiaries
  • Family partnerships, joint ventures, and limited liability companies to develop, operate, and manage real estate and other business enterprises
  • The creation of business structures to maximize deferral of estate taxes and the implementation of "buy-out" agreements and insurance programs to ensure that sufficient liquid assets will be available to pay taxes
  • Planning and negotiating prenuptial agreements, cohabitation agreements, and other arrangements to protect assets and earnings from potential claims of divorcing-spouses or others
  • Planning and negotiating specialized marital settlement agreements to provide for the continued unified operation and control of a family business and investment properties following a divorce
  • Planning to incorporate the philanthropic goals of clients including the establishment and maintenance of tax-exempt charitable foundations

Attorneys &

Name Title City Phone  
Lapota, Jeffrey Partner Los Angeles 310.284.2211
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Twenty-Three Cox, Castle & Nicholson Attorneys Have Been Selected for the 2018 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

Cox, Castle & Nicholson is proud to announce that 23 of the firm’s lawyers have been selected for inclusion in the 2018... More»