About Ambrecht & McDermott, LLP

Ambrecht & McDermott, LLP is a boutique law firm in the Montecito area of Santa Barbara, California, founded in 1980 by tax and estates and trusts attorney John W. Ambrecht.

We focus on the complex needs of clients at risk for higher estate taxes, or who have specialized needs for family business succession planning, property tax planning, or assistance with estate and gift tax appeals and IRS litigation. See further specialty descriptions on our Practice Areas page.

Our clients are from California, and other states and countries. We also serve in consultation to other attorneys and CPAs.

Core Beliefs
Death and taxes shouldn't destroy families. Succession should be designed to be harmonious, not leaving doors wide open to disputes and factions. Your beneficiaries should receive what you desire them to have, not to have it swallowed up in unnecessary taxes, costly disputes, or unreasonable creditor action given our litigious society. The typical legal estate plan needs to stop facilitating family disputes and family business failures, and instead learn from research done in industry as to what works to make a successful management transition. When any tax controversy arises, you should not pay any more tax than is your due.

We bring the value of preserving both the family legacy and the family relationships to everything we do. All our trusts and estate plans are customized to your particular needs, and we do what is best for you and your family in your particular situation. We do not over-reach any ethical or legal boundaries.

Our clients require confidentiality and privacy. We go beyond the minimal California State Bar and American Bar Association (ABA) Rules of Professional Conduct to protect and ensure the confidentiality of our clients' identities as well as their personal and business affairs.

Attorneys with Ambrecht & McDermott, LLP are required to have both the usual J.D. law degree as well as a specialized LL.M. degree either in tax or estate planning. In addition, John Ambrecht has an MBA.

Development of expertise and continuing education is a very high priority. Our attorneys and paralegals attend major tax and estate planning conferences each year, as well as attending and giving continuing educational seminars. We write and publish to assist others in the legal community with the fruits of our specialized expertise. Generally once a week all attorneys and paralegals gather for an in-house educational presentation, and daily via email we are kept informed of the latest tax news from Washington and Sacramento and the latest planning ideas from the top thinkers in the country.

Team Approach
With the complex legal and tax issues our clients face, no one person has all the knowledge and insight to see all the issues and solutions in every situation. While each client has generally an attorney and paralegal for ongoing contact, the analysis, thinking, research and work product will be a combination of the unique talents of our attorney and paralegal team members, as well as other outside experts as may be required by a family. We want the best of our varied expertise to give you the best solutions for your needs.