Senior partner John W. Ambrecht focuses his practice on integrating sophisticated estate and tax planning with family business succession planning, including developing appropriate transitional structures with an emphasis on conflict resolution among generations and constructing a lasting framework for family business management and ownership succession. His practice also includes sophisticated multi-state domestic trusts and estate planning, national and international asset protection, and tax controversies (IRS).
John W. Ambrecht is also one of the principals and founders of Families & Wealth, LLC, formed to help families and their advisors to create succession, estate and family governance plans in the presence of family issues. See the Families & Wealth, LLC, website for more information.
- U. S. Court of Federal Claims (1986)
- U. S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (1978)
- U. S. Tax Court (1976)
- California Bar (1974)
- LLM in Taxation, New York University (1974)
- MBA, University of California Los Angeles (1968)
- JD, Loyola University (1973)
- BA, University of California Los Angeles (1966)
- Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
- Asset Protection Committee (2006-present)
- Business Planning Committee (2009-present)
- Principal, California Trust and Estate Counselors, LLP (CALTEC)
- Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
- Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization
- Member, California State Bar Taxation Section
- Executive Committee (1993-1996)
- Chair, Estate and Gift Tax Committee (1990-1993)
- Member, California State Bar Trusts and Estate Section
- Member, Family Firm Institute
- Member, Attorneys for Family Held Enterprises (AFHE)
- Association for Psychological Types (APT)
- Former Chair of the Tax Section of the Santa Barbara County Bar Association
- Westmont College Foundation, Montecito, CA, Board Member (2000-present)
- Bishop Diego Garcia High School, Santa Barbara, CA, Board of Trustees (2003-2006)
- Santa Barbara City College Foundation, Santa Barbara, CA, Board Member (1995-2001)
- Girl Scouts of America, Santa Barbara, CA, Board Member
- 8th Consecutive "Super Lawyer" Award, 2013
- Worth Magazine, one of Top 100 Attorneys, as published in its December/January 2009 issue
- Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, Family Business Advocate, 2008
- Certificate of Recognition, California Legislature Assembly, Family Business Award, 2008
- Pacific Coast Business Times Award for Family Business Advocate: A professional who fosters the growth of family business, 2008
- Southern California Super Lawyers, named one of Top Attorneys in Southern California (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
- Carpinteria Education Foundation, Inc., Award for Outstanding Legal Partner
LECTURE / SEMINAR PRESENTATIONS
- "Asset Protection Trusts: An Important Ingredient in the Estate Planning Process" Through the Looking Glass XII Symposium, Ventura County Community Foundation, Friday, November 13, 2015. Held at the Museum of Ventura County, Ventura, CA. Register online.
- Co-teaching intensive two-day State-certified online course aimed at qualifying more California Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law specialists for certification. Broadcasted live from Los Angeles September 27-28, 2013. www.ceb.com
- Co-presenter of, "The Rules of Professional Conduct: How to Work with the Ethical Rules to Enhance the Family Business Succession Process," California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), recorded July 2012, available online from CEB.
- "Multi-Generational Conflicts." 2009 Trusts & Estates Symposium sponsored by the Trusts & Estates Section of the Los Angeles County Bar Association, January 16, 2009, Los Angeles, CA.
- "Love & Money: Blending Law and Psychology in Family Business Succession Planning," St. John's Healthcare Foundation, November 7, 2008, Oxnard, CA.
- "Giving the Next Generation the Business(!): An Advisors' Challenge," Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP LA) Practitioners Series, October 1, 2008, Santa Monica, CA.
- "A Case History: The ‘Typical’ Family 2003," Estate Planning Council of Ventura County's 11th Annual Interdisciplinary Estate Planning Workshop, September 5, 2008, Oxnard, CA.
- "Giving the Next Generation the Business(!): A Parents' Dilemma and an Advisors' Challenge," First National Bank, Wealth Management, April 28, 2008, Tucson, AZ.
- For Love & Money, Protecting Family & Wealth in Estate and Succession Planning, A New Approach Blending Law and Psychology, book co-authored with Howard R. Berens, M.D., and Richard Goldwater, M.D., with Tom Gorman. Full edition published 2008; condensed version published 2007. The book will help you better understand why the family business failure rate is so high by understanding the relationship between the tax and non-tax reasons for such failures. It presents a new "conceptual framework" to use to integrate the tax and the non-tax issues by being able to manage the negative consequences of family dynamics in the family business succession process: The Roles and Rules™.
To obtain a copy of the book, contact us or you can obtain online (do a search to see all editions):
- Co-author of Chapter 2, "Ethical Considerations," and Chapter 4, "Managing the Family Dynamic During Planning," in Business Succession Planning: Strategies for California Estate Planners and business Attorneys, California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), annually 2010-present.
- Taming the Survival Instinct, published in Montecito Journal, June 27-July 11, 2013.
- Ten Ways to Shift to Whole-Family Financial Planning published in Pacific Coast Business Times, February 22, 2013.
- Mixing Business with ‘Family Stuff,’ published in Montecito Journal, November 16, 2006.
- Co-author of Risky Business: Family Succession and the Rules of Professional Conduct, California Trust & Estates Quarterly, published by the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section (now known as the Trusts and Estates Section) of the California State Bar, Vol. 12, No. 2, Summer, 2006.
- Co-author of From Roles to Rules: A New Model for Managing Family Dynamics in the Estate Planning Process, California Trust & Estates Quarterly, published by the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section (now known as the Trusts and Estates Section) of the California State Bar, Vol. 10, No. 1, Spring, 2004.
- "Successful Estate Planning: What Works and What Doesn't," in Private Wealth Advisor (now Private Wealth Management), Vol. 3 No. 9, May 2001.
- Chapter 4, "Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax," and Chapter 5, "Real Property Tax," in California Transaction Forms: Estate Planning, West Group, 1999.
- Co-author of Family Enterprise Planning: The Forgotten Component in the Family Business Succession Plan, California Trust & Estates Quarterly, published by the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section (now known as the Trusts and Estates Section) of the California State Bar, Vol. 4, No. 3, Fall, 1998.
- "Bad Dreams May Be Real: The Generation-Skipping Tax Inclusion Ratio after the Final Regulations," California Tax Lawyer magazine, published by the Tax Section of the California State Bar (1996).
- Co-author of "Handling Postmortem Trust Administration: A Checklist", Action Guide of California Continuing Education of the Bar (1996, updated 1997, 1999).
- Co-author of "Post Mortem Trust Administration: A Checklist Approach," published by the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section (now known as the Trusts and Estates Section) of the California State Bar (1995). (See Step 1)
- "The Value of Sustaining the Values," a paper presented to the University of Southern California Federal Tax Institute and published in the Institute's 1994 proceedings.
- Co-author of "California Real Property Tax Issues with Estate Planning Transfers to Legal Entities and Making Gifts" Estate Planning, Trust & Probate News (now, California Trust & Estates Quarterly), published by the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section (now known as the Trusts and Estates Section) of the California State Bar, Part I: Vol. 13, No. 3 (Fall, 1993); Part II: Vol. 13, No. 4 (Winter, 1993).
- Co-author of "Family Limited Partnerships: A Client Primer" (Estate Planning, Trust & Probate News (now, California Trust & Estates Quarterly), published by the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section (now known as the Trusts and Estates Section of the California State Bar, Vol. 13, No. 1 (Spring, 1993).
- "Selected Solutions for Coping with the Generation Skipping Transfer Tax Rules," California Tax Lawyer magazine, published by the Tax Section of the California State Bar (1991).