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Couple a Will with a Living Trust to Avoid California Probate

Living Trust, WillsNo Comments

Trustpic 150x150 Couple a Will with a Living Trust to Avoid California ProbateThe California court system has been impacted by statewide budget cuts, meaning court dockets are becoming more crowded and backlogs are the norm. This is just one of several reasons Californians should look at ways to avoid the probate process altogether, and marrying a will with a living trust can help you do this.

A living trust allows you to make your wishes known and have them followed both while you are alive and after you pass away. And since living trusts are considered contracts, they are not subject to probate, ensuring a circumnavigation of the California probate process and the ability to keep your private matters private.

A living trust protects you while you are alive by enabling you to name a power of attorney, which gives your family the ability to make healthcare decisions for you in case you become totally incapacitated. It also allows them to manage your finances without having to have a court intervene.

You will also name a successor trustee as part of establishing your living trust, who will manage the trust in the event you die unexpectedly. The successor trustee you appoint has the power to manage trust assets, including real estate, for your children or other trust beneficiaries you designate.

For more strategies to avoid probate in California, contact our Orange County law firm.

How to Prevent a Family Feud Over Inheritances

Estate Planning, Living TrustNo Comments

Boxing e1321902650338 How to Prevent a Family Feud Over Inheritances Tips on Asset Protection and Living Trusts

An important part of estate planning is to ensure the orderly disposition of your assets to heirs and beneficiaries after you die.   However, inheritances can often spark family feuds, even over the most mundane items that you may never have guessed would cause a fight.  Here are some ideas to help prevent a feud from occurring in your family:

Living trust – a living trust will enable you to make a list of all the special gifts you wish to make and who you want to have them.  If you change your mind, you can make a new list and have it notarized.  If you have a sizeable estate, your estate planning attorney should review the list to identify any potential adverse tax consequences to your heirs.

You can also make your bequests via a will, but if you change your mind, your attorney will need to prepare a new codicil.  Other advantages of a living trust are that, unlike a will, a living trust does not become public record and the property you transfer into the trust does not go through probate.

Ask heirs what they want – There may be something that has special meaning to someone that you are not aware of; knowing in advance and planning to pass that item along to the right person will help keep things friendly.

Give now – you may want to start gifting possessions now, especially if the items are things you no longer need or if you believe there could be a potential problem after you pass.

Contact our Orange County law firm for expert guidance on protecting your assets.

Two wealth planning industry leaders, Matsen and Voorhees, join forces to provide the ultimate service

Asset Protection, Business Litigation, Business Planning, California Trusts, Domestic Asset Protection, Estate Planning, Foreign Asset Protection, Living Trust, Offshore Trusts, Probate, Real Estate, Retirement Planning, Tax Planning, Trust Litigation, Uncategorized, WillsNo Comments


March, 2012


Orange County California


Attorney Jeffrey R. Matsen of Wealth Strategies Counsel, one of the Nation’s ”Top 100 Attorneys”, and Tim Voorhees, JD, MBA,  a 34-year veteran of the advanced planning industry, have merged to form the Matsen Voorhees partnership. This new entity will operate as Matsen Voorhees, part of Bohm, Matsen, Kegel & Aguilera LLP.  The Voorhees-Matsen relationship will offer a broad array of resources to clients and advisers on each planning team. The merged law firm will emphasize Estate, Business and Asset Protection Planning as well as Real Estate and Probate services. Voorhees Family Office Services will continue to offer Zero-Tax Planning workshops, Wealth Blueprinting, Wealth Counseling, and Tax-Efficient Asset Management Solutions through its “TEAMS” affiliate. The service mark of the revised firm is, “Maximizing Value with Zero Tax and Asset Protection Planning.”


Attorney Jeffrey R. Matsen has been designated by Worth magazine as one of “America’s Top 100 Attorneys,” by Los Angeles Magazine as one of California’s “Super Lawyers,” and by OC Metro Magazine as an “O.C.’s Top Lawyer. He is also listed in The Best Lawyers in America. The Nationally Renowned Attorney Rating Service, ‘AVVO’ has rated Mr. Matsen a perfect “10/10 Superb” and he has continued to achieve the highest “AV rating.“  He has been designated a “Preeminent Lawyer” by the only other prestigious attorney rating directory, Martindale Hubble. He is internationally recognized in the areas of Asset Protection, International Trusts and Offshore Business Entity Formation and has a myriad of world-wide legal, financial and business connections.

Matsen is the founding partner of Wealth Strategies Counsel (WSC), the Estate Planning and Business Transactions Department of the Orange County California premier law firm of Bohm, Matsen, Kegel & Aguilera, LLP with offices in Orange County California, Connecticut, New York City, Washing D.C., Detroit, Chicago, Kansas City, Salt Lake City, Boise, and Monterey/Carmel California, San Diego and Honolulu.  With over 35 years of experience, WSC handles complex and sophisticated asset protection, estate and business planning matters locally, nationally and internationally.  WSC serves a variety of clients by providing integrated solutions through advisors they can trust.  The WSC process fulfills clients’ wishes using a proven and tax advantaged process.

Attorney Tim Voorhees has 34 years of experience as a Wealth Counselor.  In addition to a Juris Doctorate with a concentration in corporate and estate planning, Tim holds a BA in economics and an MBA in finance.  Since focusing on zero tax planning in 1990, Tim has had key roles in planning several hundred cases for clients with net worths ranging from $3 million to over $1 billion.  His planning staff integrates any of more than 300 tactical planning tools into comprehensive plans that reduce or eliminate taxes, increase transfers to heirs, enhance charitable giving potential, or achieve other personal or financial goals.  Tim has a well-developed and effective process for coordinating a client’s advisors to develop plans using proprietary software.  Tim regularly publishes in Estate Planning Magazine, the Journal of Practical Estate Planning, Insurance News, the elite advisor website of Financial Planning Magazine, and other leading publications.  Tim has spoken at national conferences of the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys, ALI-ABA, Kingdom Advisors, the Southern California Tax & Estate Planning Forum, etc. He has also presented at annual conferences for numerous financial advisory firms.

When interviewed, Jeff Matsen shared the following comments about the merger, “I am excited to partner with Tim!  The decision to merge our firms was made after considerable due diligence where I found Tim to be very professional and trustworthy with impressive knowledge, skills, connections and a talented team.  Perhaps the deciding factor is that I really like Tim and the way he conducts himself and his practice.  We have Co-counseled on a few clients and it was evident that we work well together and complement each other.  It is an honor and pleasure for me to be affiliated with Tim and to have a younger and vigorous partner who I know, not only can keep up with me and the demands of my practice, but will add considerable value to it.  Our combined expertise and resources provide a strategic advantage to our mutual clients,” stated Jeffrey R. Matsen, Founding Partner, Wealth Strategies Counsel.

Tim Voorhees shared the following comments about the merger, “We needed a world-class team of lawyers and paralegals to help us implement strategies in our Family Wealth Blueprints®.  While we have been honored to serve many of the top law firms and CPA firms around the country as a back office during the last 20 years, ultimately, our success depends on implementing our blueprints most effectively with support from a highly experienced legal team that knows our process.  We are honored and thrilled to tell our clients about the deep and broad capabilities now available through the Matsen Voorhees partnership.”


jeffmatsen small Use Two wealth planning industry leaders, Matsen and Voorhees, join forces to provide the ultimate serviceJeffrey R. Matsen of Wealth Strategies Counsel helps his clients structure their personal and business assets in the best way possible to preserve, protect, and transfer them in the most efficient and tax saving manner.


Tim Voorhees1 Two wealth planning industry leaders, Matsen and Voorhees, join forces to provide the ultimate serviceTim Voorhees of Family Office Services helps advisors plan for high-net-worth individuals, with a focus on zero tax and charitable planning issues of concern to individuals with estates of $3million or larger.

Contact us today and let our Newport Beach law firm help you with all your financial planning needs.

“Nations Top 100 Attorney” Publishes Insightful New Book

Asset Protection, Business Litigation, Business Planning, California Trusts, Domestic Asset Protection, Estate Planning, Foreign Asset Protection, Living Trust, Offshore Trusts, Real Estate, Retirement Planning, Tax Planning, UncategorizedNo Comments

New Book Helps You Plan for and Protect Your Assets

Book RGB online1 e1334601969431 “Nations Top 100 Attorney” Publishes Insightful New Book Orange County, California (March 29, 2012) – There are few things in life more certain than death and taxes and perhaps, in today’s society, Law suits.  However, the fact is few people actually plan for them.

In the New Book The Ladder of Success: An Asset Protection Planning Primer, Attorney Jeffrey R. Matsen (“Top 100 Attorneys in U.S.” Worth Magazine) has provided a straightforward and elementary description of what Asset Protection really is and demonstrates how it can be effectively implemented by taking various steps, like rungs on a ladder, to truly climb the ladder of success.

“The one constant over the many years of my practice and among the hundreds of different clients I have served is the imbalance of, on the one hand, their profound concern regarding Asset Protection, and on the other, their lack of understanding as to how to implement it,” says Attorney Matsen. “I have dedicated my career to assisting these clients in planning the fortification of their resources to ensure their financial security in the face of taxes, liability and creditor attacks.”

The Ladder of Success: An Asset Protection Planning Primer explains:

  • Why Plan?  The Need for Asset Protection
  • The Limitations
  • The Operating Business Entity
  • Basic Estate Planning
  • Bankruptcy Considerations, Exemptions and Marital Planning
  • Liability Protective Entities for Investment Assets
  • Domestic Asset Protection Trusts and Modular Planning Utilizing LLCs
  • The Offshore Asset Protection Trust and the Modular Planning that Accompanies It
  • Advanced Estate Planning Techniques
  • Special Issues and Strategies for Physicians and Dentists
  • Climbing the Ladder and Putting It All Together

Chock full of authoritative information about estate planning and asset protection, The Ladder of Success: An Asset Protection Planning Primer is one book every conscientious person should own.  “Nobody understands the nuances and practicalities of this area better than Jeff Matsen.  His unique ability of making issues clear for clients and their advisors is a gift.  This book is required reading for any layperson or professional who wants to learn more about asset protection and more importantly, take action,” says Bill Deitch, Leading Estate Planning Attorney, Chicago.

“Jeff Matsen is an expert to the experts in the asset protection field.  Those seeking asset protection often share common characteristics—such as wealth, business ownership, real estate ownership, considerable income and estate tax exposures, as well professional practice ownership—and I recommend they read Jeff’s book to protect their families,” states Joseph J. Strazzeri, Fellow, Southern California Institute; Co-founder, Laureate Center for Wealth Advisors.

Tim Voorhees, JD, MBA President, Family Office Services;  Principal, Matsen Voorhees, Orange County, CA. explains “Because of Jeff’s broad, multi-disciplinary experience, he knows how to integrate protection from lawsuits with protection from taxes. Jeff’s ability to combine creditor protection with tax planning helps clients accumulate more wealth and maximize upside potential.”

“Jeff Matsen is one of the best estate planning and asset protection attorneys in the country.  His knowledge, wisdom and direct experience have truly made him one of the elite group of top experts in his field. If you are concerned about protecting your assets and want to leave a legacy for future generations, I highly recommend you read this book,” says Stephen Fairley, CEO of The Rainmaker Institute, LLC, The Nation’s Largest Law Firm Marketing Company.

Marc Selden, Nationally Recognized Estate Planning Attorney, New York City, states “Jeff is widely recognized in the legal community as an asset protection guru.  In this book, Jeff does a wonderful job of explaining the principles and strategies of complex asset protection planning in a very clear and easy-to-understand way.”

The Ladder of Success: An Asset Protection Planning Primer,  $19.95, Paperback 179 pages, ISBN 978-0-9852041-1-2, is published by Wealth Strategies Counsel, and is available by calling 714-384-6527 or by visiting .



JEFFREY R. MATSEN, JD, received his law degree with honors from the UCLA School of Law and served as a Military Judge with the rank of Captain in the US Marine Corps.  Matsen has been a Professor of Law in Business, Estate Planning and Advanced Taxation. He is a highly sought-after and respected speaker and educator and has published numerous legal articles.  Matsen is the founder of “Wealth Strategies Counsel,” the Estate Planning and Business Transactions Department of Matsen Voorhees and Bohm, Matsen, Kegel & Aguilera, LLP, in Orange County, California.  His practice areas include: Business and Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Probate and Trust administration and litigation, Real Estate and Offshore structures.  Matsen has been designated one of the Nation’s “Top 100 Attorneys” by Worth Magazine, A “Super Lawyer” by Los Angeles Magazine and he is listed in The Best Lawyers in America.  The Nationally Renowned Attorney Rating Service, AVVO, has rated Matsen a perfect “10/10 Superb.” Besides continuing to achieve the highest “AV rating,” he has been designated a “Preeminent Lawyer” by the prestigious attorney rating directory, Martindale Hubble.

Let our Costa Mesa law offices help you get started by contacting us today.