A Team of Business and Estate Planning Attorneys
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.
2155 112th Avenue N.E.
Bellevue, WA 98004
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
-Durable Powers of Attorney
-Health Care Durable Power of Attorney
-Health Care Directives ( "Living Wills")
-Organ Donation Authorizations
-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
-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 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.
University of California at Davis
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.
Bar Number: 9139
Georgetown Law Center
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.
Bar Number: 2878
Harvard Law School
Juris Doctorate, 1967
Kristina focuses her practice on personal planning for high net worth individuals and family groups and their closely held business and investment entities and trusts. She is experienced in preparing wills, revocable living trusts, powers of attorney, health care directives ("living wills"), burial instructions, life insurance trusts, charitable and personal residence trusts, gift trusts, beneficiary designations for life insurance and retirement plans, and prenuptial and cohabitation agreements. Kristina also has experience creating and advising nonprofit entities, including applying for and receiving tax exempt status from the IRS, as well as probate and trust administration expertise. In addition, Kristina is experienced in tax planning for non-U.S. citizens and residents and U.S. citizens holding property or residing outside of the United States. She was a past Vice President for the Washington chapter of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners ("STEP"), an international organization of estate planning professionals. Kristina is a member of the Washington and Illinois Bars and has been admitted to practice before the U.S. Tax Court. She graduated cum laude in Theatre from Arizona State University, and holds dual law degrees from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago, where she earned her Juris Doctor and her LL.M. in Taxation. Prior to joining Smith & Zuccarini, P.S., Kristina was a tax associate at the Canadian firm, Moody's LLP Tax Advisors in Calgary, Canada, and an associate at Stoel Rives, LLP in Seattle, Washington.
Bar Number: 46043
Northwestern University School of Law
juris doctorate, 2005
Northwestern University School of Law
LL.M., Taxation, 2009
Lindsey moved to Seattle from New York City, where she practiced for ten years in the areas of individual tax planning, wills, trusts and estates. Her practice has focused largely on sophisticated domestic and international tax planning for high net worth individuals, including through the formation of charitable trusts, life insurance trusts, asset protection trusts and perpetual dynasty trusts.
Lindsey attended Vassar College where she received a BA in English Literature. She holds a Juris Doctor (JD) from the University of Chicago Law School, where she served as Articles Editor for the Chicago Journal of International Law and as research assistant for Judge Richard A. Posner. She also holds a Master of Laws (LLM) from NYU School of Law, with a specialty in estate and gift taxation.
Prior to joining Smith & Zuccarini, P.S., Lindsey was an associate in the New York law firms of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP, Blank Rome LLP, and Kaye Scholer LLP.
Bar Number: 52345
NYU School of Law
Master of Laws (LLM),
University of Chicago
Doug is an estate-planning lawyer who focuses his practice on assisting clients with the tax-efficient transfer of wealth to family members. His experience includes creating comprehensive estate plans, estate and gift tax planning, and probate administration. Doug believes that each individual's estate plan is unique and should be implemented to accomplish family and personal goals, as well as an efficient tax strategy. Consequently, Doug regularly assists clients with the preparation of wills and trusts that accomplish both tax and family goals. He graduated cum laude in Spanish from Brigham Young University, and earned law degree from the University of Michigan (J.D.), where he graduated magna cum laude. Prior to joining Smith & Zuccarini, P.S., Doug was an attorney at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP for over a decade.
Bar Number: 34457
University of Michigan
Brigham Young University