Smith & Zuccarini, P.S.

A Team of Business and Estate Planning Attorneys

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Firm Overview

Wending and winding upward and onward life takes its turns, sometimes predictable sometimes not, but always an adventure. Climbing alone or trudging on with others each of us moves through life at our own pace, in our own way. Each of us inimitable and each endeavoring to fulfill a mission of our own making.

Individuals are unique and so are law firms. We see ourselves as counselors first. We are here to listen and then to provide focused advice and service to our clients aimed at creating legal structures that facilitate the client's climb toward his or her calling. The client builds the stairway and determines its course. We increase certainty and peace of mind. We reduce costs. Our expertise is added to the client's team of advisors. We construct the railing.

We are a firm comprised of attorneys and staff with varied experiences and expertise within our field. We provide counseling in business and estate planning with an emphasis on proactive tax planning and asset protection. Our mission is to assist our client in protecting the businesses and estates which are a lifetime in the making.
Main Office

Main Office
2155 112th Avenue N.E.
Bellevue  WA  98004

Phone
  • (425)453-4455
Estate Planning
Basic Estate Planning Services
We spend a lifetime earning a living... watching the market...growing our estates
We often spend very little time evaluating methods for protecting and preserving these same assets. We do not like to think about disability or mortality yet think about it and deal with the financial ramifications of these inevitabilities if necessary. If we want to leave a financial legacy that empowers our heirs and allows them to build upon our efforts than planning is an imperative. Even relatively simple estate planning techniques can defer or reduce income and capital gains taxes during life and reduce or eliminate estate taxes at death. Estate planning is more than preparing a will, community property agreement, or revocable living trust although for many people this is the first step.

At different stages in life we have different estate planning needs. Early in life a simple will and durable power of attorney may be all that is necessary to ensure an orderly distribution of assets on death, but as our assets and families grow in size and complexity our estate plan must be able to meet additional contingencies.

No two families or individuals are alike and so no two estate plans are identical. The increase in both personal wealth and the divorce rate have made estate planning more necessary and more complex. We walk with our clients and often their financial planners, accountants, and insurance professional to devise a comprehensive estate plan. Our focus is on creating plans that accomplish client objectives in a manner that is as simple and efficient as possible. That is not to say that we do not deal with complex planning solutions, we just feel that complex should be driven by client objectives. Below is a partial list of the services we provide:

Our Basic Estate Planning Program is designed to meet the needs of most individuals on the most cost-effective basis possible. You meet with an experienced estate planning attorney who ascertains your family and financial circumstances, and your estate planning objectives. Once your needs are determined, we will quote you a fixed price to prepare all of the necessary documents, and make appropriate implementing arrangements.

Our Basic Estate Planning Program includes:
-A Will for a Single Individual
-Wills for Married Couple, including appropriate Estate Tax Planning Trusts
-(Credit, Marital Trust and/or QDOT Trust(s) for Spouse)
-Provisions for Descendants
-Other Appropriate or Desired Provisions
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-Durable Powers of Attorney
-Health Care Durable Power of Attorney
-Health Care Directives ( "Living Wills")
-Organ Donation Authorizations
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-Asset Titling Recommendations
-Life Insurance Beneficiary Designation Recommendations
-Retirement Plan or IRA Beneficiary Designation Recommendations
-Specialized Estate Planning Services

We provide the very highest quality sophisticated estate planning services for individuals and family groups with substantial net worth. Our services for those with "larger" estates include:

-Wills & Revocable Trusts
-Substantial Life Insurance Policies & Life Insurance Trusts
-Business Succession Planning
-Estate "Freeze" Techniques for Business and Real Estate Holdings
-Family Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies & Gifting Programs
-Family Wealth Management Programs for Grandchildren
-Qualified Personal Residence Trusts ("House GRITs")
-Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax Planning & "Dynasty Trusts"
-Grantor Remainder Annuity Trusts & Unitrusts ("GRATs" & "GRUTs")
-Charitable Lead Trusts and Charitable Remainder Trusts
-Family Foundations
-Retirement Plan or IRA Planning for those with "Substantial" Retirement Plan Accounts
-Asset Protection Planning & Off-Shore Trusts

We endeavor to serve even our wealthiest clients on the most efficient, cost-effective basis possible. We will meet with you to discuss your family and financial circumstances, and your estate planning objectives. Once your needs are determined, we will give you our estimated fee to prepare all of the necessary documents, and make appropriate arrangements for implementation.

George L. Smith

George has practiced law (and public accounting) for over 25 years, and has substantial experience helping individuals and families with significant net worth arrange their business and personal affairs so as to accomplish their objectives with minimum tax and risk. He has extensive experience drafting ordinary and complex Wills and Trusts, structuring closely-held business and investment entities and arrangements among co-owners and with key employees, implementing family gifting programs utilizing trusts, family partnerships, and life insurance, and planning charitable gifts including charitable remainder and lead trusts, supporting organizations and family foundations. George has a special interest in, as well as substantial experience, assisting owners of closely-held businesses plan for the orderly transition of business ownership to family members, key employees or outsiders. George also helps professionals and other individuals with substantial retirement accounts coordinate their beneficiary designations so as to minimize estate taxes without sacrificing their successors' continued income tax deferral. George is active in the Washington and California Bars, and earned a CPA certificate in Washington and California (now inactive). He graduated magna cum laude in economics and accounting from Claremont McKenna College, and earned law degrees from the University of California at Davis (J.D.) and the University of Florida (LL.M. in Taxation). Prior to founding Smith & Zuccarini, P.S. in 1995, George was a partner in the Northwest regional law firm of Foster Pepper & Shefelman. Before that he worked for Graham & Dunn, in Seattle, and for Touche Ross & Company, a "big eight" public accounting firm (now Deloitte & Touche, PLLC), in that firm's San Francisco and Los Angeles offices. George is Past-President of the East King County Estate Planning Council, is a long-time member of the Seattle Estate Planning Council, and is active in various legal and accounting professional organizations. He speaks and writes frequently for professional and lay audiences on estate planning and business succession topics.
Education
  • University of California at Davis
    Juris Doctorate

Michael J. Zuccarini

Mike has more than 25 years experience practicing law on both sides of the Cascades, helping businessmen, professionals, and other individuals arrange their affairs in a manner designed to reduce taxes, protect assets, and control the transfer of wealth to succeeding generations. He has extensive practical experience formulating and implementing business and personal planning strategies, including the preparation of wills, private and charitable trusts of all kinds; business incorporations, acquisitions and dispositions; the formation of family limited partnerships and limited liability companies; and probate and trust administration. Mike has practiced law in Seattle and on the Eastside since 1989. Prior to that time, Mike was a shareholder in the Spokane firm of Witherspoon, Kelley, Davenport & Toole, P.S., where he practiced for more than 10 years. Before moving to the Pacific Northwest, Mike spent three years in the office of the National Director of Tax Services of Coopers & Lybrand in Washington, D.C., providing liaison with the tax committees of Congress and the legislative, regulatory and rulings divisions of the Internal Revenue Service. He has also been an estate and gift tax attorney with the IRS in New York. Mike holds a degree in civil engineering from Bradley University, a law degree from Cornell Law School, and an LL.M. in Taxation from Georgetown Law Center. He has been admitted to the bars of New York, New Jersey and the District of Columbia, and is currently an active member of the Estate and Gift Tax Committee of the Washington State Bar.
Education
  • Georgetown Law Center
    LL.M.

David B. Sweeney

David has been practicing law in the King County area for over 30 years. His practice is mainly in the estate planning, probate and trust area, with additional extensive experience involving real estate transactions. He has years of experience preparing wills, trust agreements of all kinds, and other estate planning documents. He is very familiar with estate and gift taxes (including tax audits), and estate and trust administration. Born in Seattle, David graduated magna cum laude from Yale University and his law degree is from Harvard Law School. He is active in the Seattle Estate Planning Council and prior to joining Smith & Zuccarini, was a partner for many years in the Northwest law firm of Foster Pepper & Shefelman.
Education
  • Harvard Law School
    Juris Doctorate
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