Kristin L. Yokomoto

She | Her | Hers

Partner

Costa Mesa
T +1.714.966.8826
F +1.714.754.6611

Overview

Kristin Yokomoto is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law with the California Bar Association of Legal Specialization. With over 25 years of experience, Kristin devotes her practice to helping families, individuals and business owners with their estate planning, business succession planning, trust administration and probate needs. She guides her clients through all aspects of transitioning their assets and businesses to the next generation as efficiently and seamlessly as possible, while focusing on the legal and tax ramifications of various options. Clients and advisors trust that Kristin will understand the clients’ goals and help create lifetime plans that incorporate them in light of the taxes and impact on future generations.

Kristin has a background in real property financing, corporate governance, securities laws, venture capital and mergers and acquisitions, and was a financial analyst for Fortune 500 companies. Her business background helps her better understand the effect of decisions which involve an entity or real property. Kristin frequently presents and publishes to help other lawyers better serve their clients. She is a contributing author of the Guide to the California Rules of Professional Conduct for Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Counsel (Fourth Edition) written by The Executive Committee of the Trusts and Estate Section of the California Lawyers Association. She has been invited to speak at the University of Southern California Tax Institute, STEP Worldwide and STEP Orange County conferences, and the WealthCounsel Symposium on wealth transfer topics.

Select Experience

  • Advises clients on various structures to distribute wealth to the next generation and charities by focusing on transfer tax matters, including federal, gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes.
  • Frequently serves as counsel for corporate and individual trustees of revocable and irrevocable trusts, including directed trusts, to help trustees understand their responsibilities and comply with their duties.
  • Serves as counsel for businesses to evaluate tax strategies and ensure the necessary business succession planning has been completed in ways to ensure the smooth transition of leadership, management and ownership.
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Experience

  • Advises clients on various structures to distribute wealth to the next generation and charities by focusing on transfer tax matters, including federal, gift, estate and generation-skipping transfer taxes.
  • Frequently serves as counsel for corporate and individual trustees of revocable and irrevocable trusts, including directed trusts, to help trustees understand their responsibilities and comply with their duties.
  • Serves as counsel for businesses to evaluate tax strategies and ensure the necessary business succession planning has been completed in ways to ensure the smooth transition of leadership, management and ownership.
  • Represents surviving spouses and children who are beneficiaries to understand and enforce their inheritance rights under the trust terms and by law in the most harmonious manner possible.
  • Create foundations to reduce the value of a taxable estate and help clients to create a legacy based upon their individual philanthropic history and interests.
  • Help general partners of partnerships and managers of limited liability understand the governance rules and key provision of the governing documents.
  • Assisted client, through evaluating the terms of an agreement, to prevent the forced sale of a partnership with a value in excess of $50 million dollars by a partner who threatened court action.
  • Coordinate with counsel aboard and out-of-state to coordinate domestic and international estate and tax planning and help clients understand the impact of laws of various jurisdictions.
  • Assist clients to file Federal estate tax returns with discounts by qualified appraisers and Internal Revenue Code Section 6166 elections where there were interests in closely held businesses to maximize the preservation the trust assets.
  • Prepare estate tax returns to port over the deceased grantor’s unused portability to help the survivor lower potential future estate taxes, thereby maximizing the wealth to be transferred to the future generation.
  • Successfully established a Qualified Domestic Trust (QDOT) for a non-US citizen surviving spouse to ensure qualification for the marital deduction, thereby deferring the payment of millions of dollars of estate taxes that would have otherwise been required to be paid to the Internal Revenue Service.

Recognitions and Memberships

Recognitions

  • WealthCounsel, Leadership Award (2019)
  • New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants, Max Block Award (2004)

Memberships

  • California Trust and Estate Executive Committee (TEXCOM) (selected 2021)
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) Worldwide: Professional Standards Committee Member (appointed 2021)
  • STEP Orange County Member (2017 to Present)
    • Chair (2017 to 2019)
    • Secretary (2015 to 2017)
  • STEP USA Board of Directors Member (2017 to 2019)
  • STEP Special Interest Group Mental Capacity Committee Member (2017 to 2019)
  • Orange County Bar Association
    • Professionalism and Ethics Committee (2017 to 2021)
      • Secretary (2017 to 2020)
    • Trusts and Estates Section (2015 to 2021)
  • WealthCounsel LLC: California Forum Leader (2010 to 2012 and 2017 to 2021)

Community

  • The State Bar of California: Grader for the Legal Specialization Examination (2019)
  • TEXCOM Ethics Subcommittee: Volunteer (2018 to Present)
  • Orange County Bar Association Mandatory Fee Arbitration Program: Volunteer Arbitrator (2017 to Present)

Admissions

  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • California

Education

  • LL.M., Chapman University School of Law, 2009
  • LL.M., University of San Diego School of Law, 2000
  • J.D., The University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law, 1994
  • M.B.A., The University of Arizona, 1991
  • B.A., University of California, Santa Barbara, 1989