• Its A Good Time To Review Your Revocable Living Trust

    A couple’s revocable living trust can be freely amended during their joint lifetimes.  Amendments can be used to adapt to changes in law, family circumstances, or the couple’s wishes.  However, once the first spouse passes away, a revocable living trust usually becomes wholly or partly irrevocable and cannot be easily fixed or modified.  Therefore, it must be frequently reviewed and maintained to ensure it achieves its intended purpose.

  • Montecito Mudslide Strikes David M. Grokenberger and Family

    Montecito Mudslide Strikes David M. Grokenberger and Family

    The realization that houses might simply vanish didn't start to set in until a 30-foot tree trunk barreled by.  
     
    Trina Grokenberger stared out the upstairs window of her white Colonial house Tuesday morning, as a river raged through her front yard. 
     
    It was 3:58 a.m. "Dave!" she called to her husband. "We can't leave now, right? That's all trees coming down the driveway."
     
  • Pet Trusts: Protection For Our Furry Friends

    The primary goal of estate planning is to have our wishes carried out, especially when we are not here. Those wishes include care for ourselves if we become disabled, and care for those that matter the most to us, for example, the pet companions that have made such a difference for us. You naturally want to make sure that your dear pet companions are cared for when you are no longer able to be their caregiver. They have served you and added to the quality of your life. How can you guarantee that others will provide for them as you would wish?

  • Qualified Personal Residence Trusts

    We are fortunate to live in an area where strong demands for real estate have pushed the prices to unimagined levels.  For many of us, home ownership has increased our net worth beyond the exemption amount from federal estate taxes.  Since one the goals of estate planning is to minimize the costs associated with transferring assets to your beneficiaries, it pays to make transfers in a way that minimize, if not eliminate, transfer taxes such as gift and estate taxes.  Personal residence trusts are a valuable tool in achieving that goal by leveraging the value of gifts.

  • Real Estate Co-Ownership Agreements

    With the high price of real estate, we increasingly see arrangements between parents and children, unmarried couples, or friends who pool money to buy residential property. Owners often do not understand their rights and responsibilities. This article is intended to educate potential co-owners by asking questions that affect their relationship.

    A written co-ownership agreement maximizes the odds of a successful relationship. It does so in two ways. First, it documents the parties’ understanding. The best time to decide what each person gives and receives, and when, is before any disagreements arise. Secondly, creating the agreement means that the parties must think about and resolve issues they otherwise might not consider. Resolution is much easier before we have a stake in the outcome.

  • Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell Partners With Panish Shea & Boyle on Montecito Mudslide Litigation

    Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell Partners With Panish Shea & Boyle on Montecito Mudslide Litigation

    Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell has partnered with the Los Angeles law firm, Panish Shea & Boyle, a highly respected personal injury and mass tort powerhouse, boasting successful Plaintiff verdicts totaling in the billions of dollars. The firms intend to jointly pursue justice and damages for victims of the Montecito Mudslides.
     
    For those interested in learning more or initiating a claim against the parties responsible for the recent tragedies, contact Travis C. Logue or Jason W. Wansor.
     
    The firms will be holding a free informational workshop for those affected by the Montecito Mudslides.
     
    January 30, 2018, 6:30-8:30 PM
    Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara
    1111 E. Cabrillo Blvd
    Santa Barbara, CA 93103
     
    David Grokenberger, attorney for Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell, and his family are longtime residents of Montecito. They were lucky to escape the total destruction of their home at 321 Hot Springs Road on January 8. He will share his first-hand experience of the event and in dealing with his insurance carrier, State Farm, who recently confirmed coverage for the loss. According to Mr. Grokenberger, “My goal is to initiate a dialogue that is comfortable and without commitment so that informed decisions can be made.” Mr. Grokenberger is available for interviews with media outlets.
     
    Additional experts will be present at the event to address other issues:
     
    • Potential claims against Southern California Edison and/or other third parties responsible for the Thomas Fire
    • Evacuation and Displacement
    • FEMA – applications for disaster assistance
    • Insurance issues – how and when to make a claim
    • What to do if you are uninsured or underinsured
    • What to do about your mortgage
    • How to remediate environmental hazards
    • How to address your property tax
  • Shared Ownership of Real Property

    Remember way back in 2008? Over 20% of American real estate owners had property that was worth less than the outstanding debt on the property. In the meantime, the lending industry became increasingly stringent, and fewer people qualified for loans, especially in areas like Santa Barbara. For anyone that occupied real estate as a residence, a foreclosure or short sale resulted in the lender sending a 1099 form reporting the amount of the debt that was written off.  That debt forgiveness was included as income, and counted in the income tax calculation.  All in all, that was a tough climate for investors.

  • Should You Amend Your Family Trust to Eliminate the “Bypass” Trust?

    Recent changes in federal tax law suggest that we might benefit from rethinking how we set up many estate plans. We now have a generous $5,340,000 per person estate tax exclusion, which is adjusted by the cost of living. That means in 2015, it will increase to at least $5,450,000 per person.  At that rate, it won’t be long before it reaches $6,000,000 per person, so that the first $12,000,000 per couple will pass to the next generation free of estate tax.

  • Six Estate Planning Mistakes Most Commonly Made

    If you’re like most people, you have the best of intentions to execute plans for how you want your estate distributed when you die or your affairs handled should you become incapacitated. Unfortunately, unless you take action, those best intentions will not be enough. Here are six of the most common estate planning mistakes people make:

  • Special Client Bulletin: Montecito Mudslide Disaster

    Special Client Bulletin: Montecito Mudslide Disaster

    All of us have been deeply moved by the Montecito Mudslide disaster. 

    Our firm was directly affected. One of our firm’s attorneys, Rebecca Koch, lost her step-mother, Rebecca Riskin, and her father, Ken Grand, was seriously injured.  Another firm attorney, David Grokenberger, was lucky to escape with his family, but suffered the total destruction of his house on the 300 block of Hot Springs Road.  Several of his immediate neighbors were lost or seriously injured in the debris flow.

    Regrettably, it appears the disaster was preventable.  Preliminary investigations have revealed the Thomas Fire was likely caused by the negligence of Southern California Edison.  Experts believe the subsequent and devastating mudslides would not have occurred but for the loss of vegetation and scorched soil conditions created by the Thomas Fire in the mountains above Montecito.  The resulting damages and impact on those affected are unfathomable. 

    A call to action against the entities responsible for this tragedy has been made.  Due to our reputation and strong local ties, we have been in discussions with multiple firms to act as local counsel. 

    We made the decision to partner with Panish Shea & Boyle, one of the preeminent mass tort litigation firms in California, to represent the victims of the Montecito Mudslides.  Combining our firm’s 45 years of experience and commitment to representing the Santa Barbara community, with the vast resources and expertise of Panish Shea & Boyle, we have assembled a strong legal team to prosecute damage claims and seek justice for our clients.  We have already engaged a group of experts to assist in building the legal case against Southern California Edison.

    We will be holding a free informational workshop on January 30, 6:30 p.m., at the Hyatt Centric, 1111 E. Cabrillo Blvd., Santa Barbara. There will be a presentation by multiple experts, including our attorney, David Grokenberger, who will share his first-hand experience of the event and in dealing with his insurance carrier, State Farm, who recently confirmed coverage for the loss.

    In addition, our firm is well equipped to handle all the other types of issues raised by this catastrophe, including real estate, insurance, construction, land use, landlord-tenant, and estate planning.

    If you, your family, friend, or neighbor may be interested in pursuing legal action to recover damages or need assistance navigating issues related to the disaster, please contact Travis C. Logue (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Jason W. Wansor (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for more information.

    Download the PDF

  • The Big Roth IRA Mistake

    Raiding a retirement account is a last resort: you’re losing tax-free compounding interest on the amount you withdraw, and you can’t replace the money withdrawn. In this day and age, though, the last resort is being tapped more than any of us would like. 

    The big mistake occurs because people don't know the answer to the big question, "Do you know how much you can pull out of your Roth IRA tax-free and penalty-free before retirement?"

  • The Golden Rule of Estate Planning: Your Spouse Comes First

    "Until Death Do Us Part…Then Everything Can Change" is a new report from RBC Wealth Management that simplifies some of the challenges of estate planning faced by families when they transfer assets. The report gets pretty deep into the role of the surviving spouse in managing family wealth for future generations. 

  • The Grantor Retained Annuity Trust

    A key goal of what we refer to as “estate planning” is to preserve a legacy for your family.  How can you get as much of your estate as possible into the hands of your beneficiaries?  That means minimizing, if not eliminating erosion from taxes and court related fees. While there is uncertainty surrounding the future rates of gift and estate taxes, you may be tempted to put your plans on hold. But strategies exist to pass significant assets to your beneficiaries at little or no tax cost to you.

  • The Most Expensive Way To Transfer Your Wealth Is To Die With It

    Anyone who has thought about what to do with the wealth they've accumulated when they die has also thought about the cost of transferring that wealth. We all know we can't take it with us when we go, and we all go. Death is one of those "law of nature" things. Right now, Baby Boomers are in the middle of the greatest transfer of wealth in our nation's history ($59 trillion, according to the Center on Wealth and Philanthropy at Boston College), yet the savings/investing statistics for this generation are not good. Baby Boomers didn't start investing soon enough, didn't invest enough, and now it costs more per dollar to preserve what there is. OK, so I guess this generation just blew it.

    Instead of wringing their hands and moaning, "woe is me", though, the Baby Boomers are already over it, and looking to the future. Now it's about the grandchildren.

  • Total Asset Protection

    Life is full of risks. We may get sued because of the activities we engage in, what we own or even who we know. Virtually every aspect of life can be the source of creditor’s claims, litigation and judgments. Being alive is risky business! You have worked hard to accumulate your assets, now how can you protect them for yourselves and your heirs? Is it really possible to have total asset protection? This article is intended to describe the tools that can offer near, if not complete, protection from life’s legal risks.

  • Trust Beneficiaries' Bill of Rights

    One of the advantages of trusts is privacy. Unlike the probate of a will, there is no legal requirement that the trustee file the trust with the local court. However, privacy is also one of the disadvantages of trusts. Unless the Trustee provides information about the trust and trust assets to the trust beneficiaries, the beneficiaries will have no idea whether or not they have received all that they are entitled to, or whether the trustee has properly done his or her job.

  • Understanding Federal Estate Taxes

    Federal and state taxes are important factors to consider when administrating a trust, going through probate court, or in any stage of the estate planning process. Taxes are so important that even the idea of an estate exists largely for taxation purposes. After all, as the name implies, only the “taxable estate” is subject to taxation after death. For your estate to survive the probate process intact, you must understand your taxable estate and how to protect it.

  • US Treasury Targets More Estate Taxes in 2015

    IRSThe United States Department of the Treasury will not do much in 2014, what with it being an election year and all. The year 2015, however, is a different story.  It is not too early to make some reasonable guesses as to what estates and estate planners can look forward to.  In fact, the 2014 General Explanations of the Administration's Fiscal Year 2014 (the Green Book) proposals that pertain to estate planning offer a view of what could potentially happen in 2015. Here are some bullets on a few of the key provisions of the Green Book proposals.

  • Using Mediation in Estate Planning, Estate Management, and Elder Care

    Planning for the well-being of your family requires that you take into account the special circumstances or needs of each member. While one person has the training and ability to manage money well, others may not be so fortunate. Since every person is unique, the question is how you can best support each family member so that they are a success and are provided with comforts that you want them to have. How can you support them so that they continue to develop and achieve their goals?

  • Well-Designed Trusts Support Your Family's Well Being

    Planning for the well-being of your family requires that you take into account the special circumstances or needs of each member. While one person has the training and ability to manage money well, others may not be so fortunate. Since every person is unique, the question is how you can best support each family member so that they are a success and are provided with comforts that you want them to have. How can you support them so that they continue to develop and achieve their goals?

Practice Areas And Regions Served

Rogers, Sheffield & Campbell, LLP primarily serves individuals, families and businesses up and down California's Central Coast and North Los Angeles County, including many Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura County communities.

Our experienced legal team includes business lawyers, real estate lawyers, tax lawyers, estate planning lawyers and civil litigation lawyers. Our areas of legal practice expertise include Business Law, Entity Formation, Real Estate Law, Tax Law, Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Wine Law, Vineyard Law, Civil Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Disclaimer

This website is offered as a service to our clients and to the public  Read our disclaimer

Privacy Policy

Our privacy policy applies to information collected online from users of this website.