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Estate & Business Succession Planning and Estate Administration Attorney in Menlo Park, California

Law Offices of John C. Martin

1145 Merrill St.
Menlo Park, California 94025

Phone(650) 329-9500
Fax 650-329-9510

Law Firm Overview

Our law firm focuses exclusively on legacy planning, wealth preservation, estate and business succession planning, and estate administration. We are a unique law firm, serving a select group of clients not only during the implementation of their plan, but also over their lifetimes.



Law Offices of John C. Martin - Providing services in the following areas of law:

Articles Published by Law Offices of John C. Martin

 How to Minimize or Eliminate Taxation of Your Retirement Accounts at Death

While retirement accounts do provide healthy tax incentives to save money during one’s lifetime, most people don’t consider what will happen to the accounts at death. The reality is, these accounts can be subject to both estate and income taxes at death. However, choosing a beneficiary carefully can minimize—or even eliminate—taxation of retirement accounts at death. This article discusses several issues to consider when choosing plan beneficiaries.

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 Warding Off Living Trust Disasters: Issues to Consider when Funding your Living Trust

A revocable trust can minimize or eliminate the supervision of probate courts; increase privacy, reduce expenses and costs; and simplify the administration process at death. However, a failure to fund can result in costly probate proceedings or worse—a transfer of your estate to the wrong beneficiaries. Rather than undermining the very purposes of the trust by failing to fund, individuals should take concrete steps in order to ensure complete trust funding.

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 How Anticipating Future Problems with Powerful Estate Planning Documents Can Save You Time and Money

This article discusses ways to beef up your California estate planning documents in order to minimize costs. Want to save money with wills, trusts, and estate? The best way is to plan for changed circumstances with estate planning documents that anticipate future changes in the law. Special emphasis on: special needs trusts; IRA accounts and retirement accounts; divorce protection; beneficiary-controlled trusts; asset protection; medi-cal planning; and generation skipping transfer tax.

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 Planning for Young Parents with Children

Young married couples who have just had their first child understand that the joys of parenthood come with great responsibility. These young parents want to do the best for their child by planning ahead for their future, and by making sure that the child will be secure no matter what happens.

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 How Titling Property can Affect your Estate Plan

The myriad options presented to home buyers when titling real estate have significant tax, asset protection, and estate planning consequences.

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 Three Ways to Ensure your Minor Children can Inherit without Costly Guardianship Proceedings

While it’s not a pleasant subject, sometimes parents pass away while their children are still under the age of 18. What happens then? In this article, we discuss the perils of guardianship and three ways to avoid it.

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 Which Legal Entity should I Choose for my Business?

Which business entity is the best from a legal, tax, and business standpoint? In this article, we discuss three major points that business owners should touch upon when considering a choice of entity.

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 Who Owns the Intellectual Property Developed by an Independent Contractor?

Businesses must be aware of the consequences that result when an independent contractor is hired instead of an employee. In this article, we discuss one often overlooked factor: whether inventions or discoveries made by an independent contractor will be owned by the employer.

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 The Responsibilities of Trustees after a Death

If trustees of revocable living trusts fail to observe their numerous responsibilities, this can open the door to a petition to be removed from their position, or worse—personal liability. This article explores a few of rules governing a trustee's administration of a trust upon the death of the settlor.

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 Three Reasons International Families Should Consider Qualified Domestic Trusts

What kind of estate planning is advisable for individuals with a non US citizen spouse? In this article, San Francisco Bay Area attorney John C. Martin discusses three reasons why individuals with a non US citizen spouse should consider estate planning with QDOTs, and how to avoid several pitfalls.

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 Three Ways to Save your Heirs Thousands in Property Taxes

In California, Proposition 13 has revolutionized the property tax system. Parents can pass on a house to their children without any reassessment of property tax. However, one might lose the exception from reassessment if one fails to structure the transaction perfectly. In this article, attorney John Martin explores three ways that the exception from reassessment can be lost, and what to do about it.

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 Estate Planning for Pets and Domesticated Animals

Companionship animals play an important role in the lives of humans. Nevertheless, more than 500,000 pets are euthanized in animal shelters throughout the United States annually because of the death or disability of the owner. How can pet owners prevent such a disaster from occurring? In this article, attorney John Martin explores three ways to provide for financial support and care for your pet when you no longer can.

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 Estate Planning for International Clients: Three Traps for the Unwary

International clients living in the United States face a number of Estate Planning challenges. For the unwary, a lack of planning can lead to disaster. In this article, attorney John C. Martin discusses four traps for the unwary expatriate who passes through, lives, or works in the United Sates.

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 Five Ways that an ILIT can Turbo-Charge your Estate Plan

What is an irrevocable life insurance trust (“ILIT”) and why would it be useful to me? This article explores the upsides and downsides of the “ILIT.” In this article, attorney John Martin concludes that an ILIT is both a cost-effective and powerful tool for providing liquidity, paying estate tax, avoiding Generation Skipping Transfer Tax (GSTT), protecting beneficiaries from creditors, and for business owners, keeping a business in the family.

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