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Current Focus


New Law for Independent Contracors

Did you know that on April 30, 2018 the CA Supreme Court made a landmark ruling regarding the characterization of independent contractors?  If you hire independent contractors, you may now be violating state employment laws.  However, even with the new court decision, with some simple planning you can avoid violation.

New Tax Laws For 2018

The new tax bill has many changes that will help save on taxes, especially if you own a business, or work as an independent contractor.  

Did you know you still may be able to deduct your state and local taxes, even under the new bill?  Did you know that there are ways to reduce, postpone, or even eliminate capital gains taxes?  

To enjoy these tax breaks you must have proper planning in advance.  Call us immediately to set up a consultation to avoid missing out.

Vacation Estate Planning

Going on a vacation this summer?  Did you make sure all of your affairs are in order if something tragic were to happen?  Did  you know that in California having a will alone is not enough; you also need to have a trust?  If you don't have these, click below to set up a get started immediately.


Did you have a loved one that recently passed away with or without wills? Are you having trouble accessing some of their assets?  Did you know that there are ways to get access without having to go through probate?  Don't go out and hire another costly probate lawyer who will open a full probate, Contact us first to see if we can save you time and money.

Legal Services


Estate Planning

The importance of Estate Planning lies in protecting your loved ones. One of the essential pieces of Estate Planning is the transferring of assets to heirs in the most cost-effective way, with the least possible tax burden. Once your Estate Plan is in place, it will serve to manage your assets in the event of your incapacitation or death. Without a plan in place, settling your affairs after you are gone could have a time consuming and very costly impact those you leave behind, even if you think you don’t have valuable assets to pass on. Some of the advantages of an estate plan are that it you are able to choose who will inherit your assets when you die, it can greatly reduce taxes on what you leave behind, you are able to name your children’s guardian in the event of your untimely death, and it minimizes the chances of family conflict and unfortunate legal battles. Contact us for a free consultation if you would like to know more. 


A Trust is created during your lifetime in order to transfer title of your property from your name into the Trust. Your assets are placed into the Trust for your benefit during your lifetime and then transferred to selected beneficiaries upon your death. A Trust helps individuals maintain more control over their assets and have their desires fulfilled after they die. There are many types of trusts, and determining which type is right for you can only be done by an attorney. Be wary of anyone who is not an attorney that tells you what type of trust is right for you - they do not have the full training and can be punished criminally because of the damage they could cause you with the wrong advice.  Most importantly, a trust saves the expense and delay of Probate, which can last years and cost tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Contact us for a free consultation if you would like to know more. 


In the situation where you have a Trust, then Will is simply a “safety net”. For a Trust to fully control your assets, those assets must be formally transferred into the Trust. If those assets are not properly transferred into the Trust, then despite your best intentions, those assets will only pass on by ruling of a Probate Court judge. In case this happens to you, a Will works in conjunction with a Trust and instructs the Probate Judge to transfer your remaining assets to your Trust.  Contact us for a free consultation if you would like to know more. 


A Financial Power of Attorney gives you the chance to appoint an individual to manage your financial affairs if you are unable to do so. The Power of Attorney document specifies what responsibilities your designated agent can carry out on your behalf in legal and financial situations when you are unable to do so. This may include paying your bills and taxes, as well as accessing and managing your assets. Traditionally these are good for the situations where you are physically disabled, in a coma, or in some type of accident that leaves you impaired. Now more than ever these have become extremely valuable for those individuals who end up with Alzheimer’s or Dementia. People with these diseases can live for many years and without a valid Power of Attorney, the family would have to spend thousands of dollars and several months’ worth of time to get the court to issue a Conservatorship. There are several types of Powers of Attorney, and determining which one is right for you should only be made by a qualified attorney.  Contact us for a free consultation if you would like to know more.


The Advance Healthcare Directive is another power of attorney, but this one is specific to designating an individual to manage your medical decisions in the event that you are unable to do so for yourself. When preparing the Advance Healthcare Directive, you are able to choose how general or specific the responsibilities that you grant your agent, and you are able to choose alternate agents to act in case the primary agent is unavailable. Additionally, you can make some foreseeable decisions like, whether or not to be on life support, if you are okay with taking pain medications, how you want your remains to be dealt with, and if you want to donate organs. Contact us for a free consultation if you would like to know more. 

Nomination of Guardians

The Nomination of Guardian allows you to indicate who would care for your children in the event that you pass away or are unable to care for your children. Without a guardian pre-appointed, you will not have a say in who will care for your child and often times the paternal and maternal families fight over who gets custody. In the meantime, for months or even years, your children will be in foster care until the court battles are decided and a judge rules on a guardian. Contact us for a free consultation if you would like to know more. 

Trust Admin

When a person dies leaving a valid trust in place, there are certain things that need to be sent and filed. The Trustee is also responsible for managing and accounting for all the assets. The process of doing this is called Trust Administration. It is necessary to do this process properly and lawfully in order to carry out the wishes established in the trust. The designated trustee typically will be able to compensate themselves for their time, and is almost always authorized to hire professionals to assist in the process using trust funds. The Trustee is not personally liable for any debts and can almost always use trust assets to accomplish goals. Our office can assist you in meeting all of the obligations and duties to ensure the assets are properly transferred to the chosen beneficiaries.  Contact us for a free consultation if you would like to know more. 


Whenever someone dies in California and they DO NOT have all the assets properly transferred into a trust, then the dividing up of the deceased individuals’ assets can only be done through a legal proceeding called Probate. During the Probate, the representative of the estate will have to make several appearances and try to convince the judge what is best for the beneficiaries. Unfortunately, with our court’s budgets so low, the courts are backed up and this process normally takes several months to multiple years to complete. This means that no one gets any money, and even if you have a buyer for a particular asset, you cannot sell that asset for months. Even worse is that Probate commonly costs the heirs of the deceased individual tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Having a Trust is essential for your heirs to avoid this time consuming and costly legal proceeding; however, if you are left in a position where you are inheriting money from someone without a trust, we can make this process much easier on you. By hiring us, the process will be sped up, we will save you many days’ worth of research, will save you many sleepless nights worrying that you are doing everything correctly, and California law even allows us to appear at every hearing on your behalf, so that you do not have to miss work to appear on your own. Contact us for a free consultation if you would like to know more.

High Net Worth Tax Planning

Because the individuals who make the most money pay the most money in taxes, those individuals also stand to save the most money. Our attorney can help analyze your assets and apply smart tax planning strategies to minimize your losses. There are planning opportunities available for most middle-class individuals who live in Southern California. For the upper class, we have many planning opportunities – similar to likes of what Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and Bill Gates would use. We also help many celebrities and professional athletes as well. Contact us for a consultation if you would like to know more. 

Tax Preparation

There are several choices as to who can prepare your taxes. In order to hire a professional, you simply have to search for one who is enrolled and qualified by the IRS to do so. This can range from your common tax prep services to CPAs to attorneys. Tax prep services are great because they are cheap and quick; however, they are only allowed to take information from you and input it into a system, and are not allowed to give you advice on how to save in the future. CPAs are great because they can give you advice on what methods are available to save you taxes in the future; however, they tend to be more expensive and cannot legally tell you how those available methods would help you. Attorneys are the only profession in the state of California that are legally allowed to give legal advice. As a law office which handles both Tax Law and Business Law, we are especially knowledgeable about the details of the law, and the only ones that can give you comprehensive legal advice on how taxes affect your assets, and what is best for you to save.  The downside to hiring an attorney is the cost; however, we offer free quotes, so it doesn’t hurt to contact us. If you spend a little more to save much more it is worth it. Contact us for a free consultation if you would like to know more. 

Business Start Up

When starting a new business there are many things to consider. Are you meeting the many legal requirements, are you protecting your assets properly, are you setting it up in the easiest way to manage, are you able to offer different classes of stock, are you paying the least amount in taxes, and are you using the correct state. Sure, you could go to an online document prep site and fill in some blanks and out comes your corporation, but how do you know if it is right for you? How do you trademark your name, get a patent, run payroll, reviewing lease documents, and create documents that protect your business from liability? How do you know how to run the business once you have your corporation? How do you know the answers to all the questions above? It is surprisingly cheap to hire an attorney to set up a business for you. By doing it correctly from the start, it is often the cheapest method available. We are able to recommend and implement the plan that works just right for you, as well as advise you on how to run the business after you start it. Contact us for a free consultation if you would like to know more. 

Asset Protection

Asset Protection is identifying and implementing strategies to protect your assets.  The most common reasons for protecting your assets are: in case of a divorce, if you own rental property, if you own your own business, in case of a lawsuit, and for those receiving government benefits (Medi-Cal, disability, food stamps, low income housing, etc.). There are many laws that regulate what strategies work to shield what assets from what situations. If those laws are not strictly followed, a good attorney can get through your plan and take all your assets you worked so hard for. Only a highly experienced attorney will be able to help protect your valuable assets while also working within the bounds of debtor-creditor law. Contact us for a free consultation if you would like to know more. 

Legal Services

Legacy Planning

Legacy planning is about giving your life a sense of purpose.  It is a way for you to be remembered by few or by many. This typically includes philanthropic goals in addition to family beneficiaries. As a part of your plan, we can help you identify and implement goals for using your assets towards benefitting family and charity after you die. Additionally, you can often get tax benefits during life for contributing to charity when you die. Contact us for a free consultation if you would like to know more. Contact us for a free consultation if you would like to know more. 

Retirement Planning

In saving for retirement, it’s important to look at the different options available and how they might benefit you both now and in the future. Most people are not aware that there are two types of retirement income – tax free and tax deferred. Most individuals have the latter, and are not aware that the amount of money they will be paying in tax upon retirement will prevent them from having the lifestyle they anticipated. You may also not know that there are many different ways to create a tax-free retirement. We work together with your financial advisors and tax preparers to ensure that you have the best plan for now and for retirement. Contact us for a free consultation if you would like to know more.

Get Your Taxes Done for Free


Did you know that there is a tax program that will assist with filing your taxes for free?  It is true.  The Orange County United Way has teamed up with the IRS' VITA program to make it possible. There are locations all throughout Orange County including in Irvine, Santa Ana, and Newport Beach.


For United Way’s free tax filing services, please keep these points in mind:

  • You must have earned less than $60,000
  • If earning less than $54,000 you may also be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credits (EITC) and could receive over $6,000 cash back


Simply schedule an appointment with an IRS-certified volunteer tax preparer at your local VITA site who can work directly with you to file your Federal and California state income tax returns. Services are available in multiple languages, including but not limited to English, Spanish, Korean, and Vietnamese.

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The Law Office of Bauer & Shekerlian

1131 East Main Street, Suite 107, Tustin, California 92780, United States

(949) 233-2894


Monday - Sunday: Available all hours by Appointment Only