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Michael Burnstein

Michael Burnstein is the founder of Zaffre Law. Mr. Burnstein has been an estate planning and tax law attorney for more than 20 years. He has been a partner in a national law firm and an international law firm. He has served as an attorney-advisor for Honorable Maurice B. Foley of the United States Tax Court in Washington, D.C. Mr. Burnstein attended St. John’s University School of Law (1992-1995) and later earned an advanced tax law degree from New York University School of Law (2002). He has been the President of the San Francisco Estate Planning Council (2011-2012) and a member of the Executive Committee of the Trusts and Estates Section of the California Bar (2010-2012). He is an adjunct professor of law in Golden Gate University School of Law’s advanced tax law program. Mr. Burnstein speaks regularly on tax and other legal topics.

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Estate Planning

Zaffre specializes in all aspects of California and Nevada estate planning. No financial plan is complete without an estate plan component. A basic estate plan includes a Will, a revocable trust, a financial power of attorney, an advance healthcare directive, and other documents. For some clients, advanced gift and estate tax planning will be beneficial. GRATs, charitable remainder trusts, limited liability companies and partnerships, dynasty trusts, and other planning techniques will be employed when appropriate.


Administration and Probate

Zaffre routinely advises fiduciaries on the proper administration of estates and trusts. Services include:

  • Advising trustees on the proper administration of irrevocable trusts, such as grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs), charitable lead trusts (CLTs) and charitable remainder trusts (CRTs), life insurance trusts (ILITs), annual gift trusts, and others.

  • Advising executors in connection with a decedent’s will and the probate (court) process and advising the trustees of a revocable trust.

  • Advising trust protectors and other trust power holders in connection with the exercise of their powers.

  • Seeking judicial and non-judicial modification of existing trusts.

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Contact Zaffre

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