People: Alan T. Yoshitake, Partner

Photo of Alan T. Yoshitake, Partner

Alan T. Yoshitake

Partner

Los Angeles - Downtown
Direct: (213) 270-9696
Fax: (310) 551-8484
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Mr. Yoshitake is the Department Chair of Seyfarth Shaw’s National Trust & Estates Practice.  In conjunction with acting as Department Chair, Mr. Yoshitake is a practicing partner in the downtown Los Angeles office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and is a member of the Trusts and Estates Practice Group.  Mr. Yoshitake's practice primarily focuses on sophisticated planning of trusts and estates, trust and probate administrations, charitable planning, family business, tax and succession planning and trusts and estates litigation.

During his years of practice, Mr. Yoshitake has provided advice regarding complex planning techniques including a variety of wealth transfer techniques, charitable planning and not-for-profit entity creation and compliance, management and shareholder relationships in closely held businesses, business ownership arrangements for succeeding generations of family owners, pre-marital and post-marital agreements, property division agreements, retirement income tax planning and complex fiduciary income and estate tax matters, as well as individual income tax planning (foreign and domestic), trust administration and probate administration. Mr. Yoshitake also practices in the area of federal, state and local taxation and represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Tax Court, the California Franchise Tax Board and California State Board of Equalization.

In addition to his diverse planning practice, Mr. Yoshitake extensively litigates and has served as an expert witness concerning trusts and estate issues.  He is regularly in Court removing and defending fiduciaries, resolving disputes between trustees and beneficiaries, negotiating and settling property disputes between family members, and protecting the elderly from being financially abused.

Mr. Yoshitake is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, United States District Court, United States Court of Appeal, United States Tax Court, Supreme and Appellate Courts of California and Hawaii.

Mr. Yoshitake has successfully handled several noteworthy cases, including:

  • Litigating and obtaining a verdict for the largest surcharge against a fiduciary in a county’s history
  • Planning for a U.S. Resident – Foreign Citizen with assets domestically and abroad in excess of a billion dollars
  • Recovered multi-millions of dollars in bequests for non-profit organizations throughout the United States
  • Obtaining an unprecedented multi-million dollar equitable adjustment for an income beneficiary who was shortchanged on his distributions over several prior years
  • Advising co-trustees in their administration of over thirty related family trusts with substantial assets, regarding multi-generational and multi-jurisdictional issues
  • Litigating and successfully obtaining a verdict in favor of an individual Trustee against each and every allegation of breach of trust for his administration of a multi-million dollar irrevocable trust
  • Planning and saving a family in excess of $100 million in estate taxes
  • Successfully defending and arguing the appeal of a verdict in favor of the individual Trustee against breach of trust allegations for his administration of the multi-million dollar trust (25 page unpublished opinion issued by the Court of Appeal for the State of California, Second Appellate District upholding the lower court’s ruling on every issue)
  • Counseling and selling one of America’s largest Japanese American owned companies
  • Disinheriting a litigious beneficiary from a multi-million dollar inheritance
  • Securing a multi-million dollar judgment in a dispute between spouses involving a foreign jurisdiction, a Cayman Island Trust and California Community Property laws
  • Obtaining various restraining orders for people who are being harassed or are being placed in danger
  • Advising the ministers of one of the world’s largest religions about non-profit governance, corporate structure, standing and control
  • Removing a fiduciary from power and recovering most of an elderly client’s assets from the abuser
  • Planning for gay and lesbian clients to save multi-millions of dollars in transfer taxes and using creative planning techniques to protect their privacy
  • Counseling families in designing voluntary and involuntary plans to care for a mentally ill loved one
  • Litigating and successfully defending a Trustee from all allegations of multiple breach of duty claims in the administration of trusts valued in excess of $200 million
  • Designing a sophisticated pre-marital agreement for a CEO with over $400 million in assets
  • Recovering a multi-million dollar award for a spouse whose husband was hiding assets domestically and in a foreign jurisdiction
  • Removing a professional fiduciary “sua sponte” or without an evidentiary hearing for her egregious bad acts and bad judgment
  • Obtaining a no change letter for a taxpayer whose family was facing financial ruin and was being assessed a deficiency of over $1.2 million
  • Advising business owners of domestic and international closely held companies on a variety of multi-generational succession planning structures and saving billions of dollars in family wealth
  • Litigating and obtaining a verdict for surcharge against an experienced professional fiduciary for breach of trust and bad acts.
  • Successfully obtaining abatement of penalties and interest, which the IRS had assessed due to corporate trustee’s late filing of Form 706-GS(T) and late payment of GST tax
  • Litigating and successfully defending nearly twenty years of trust accountings, and successfully defending against a disgruntled beneficiary’s appeal of lower court rulings (38-page unpublished opinion issued by Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals upholding the lower court’s rulings on every issue)
  • Advising, resolving property disputes and maintaining the privacy of celebrity clients including actors, musicians, directors and sports figures
  • Acting as Pro Bono counsel for several adopted children to unite them with their loving parents

Mr. Yoshitake is the Department Chair of Seyfarth Shaw’s National Trust & Estates Practice.  In conjunction with acting as Department Chair, Mr. Yoshitake is a practicing partner in the downtown Los Angeles office of Seyfarth Shaw LLP and is a member of the Trusts and Estates Practice Group.  Mr. Yoshitake's practice primarily focuses on sophisticated planning of trusts and estates, trust and probate administrations, charitable planning, family business, tax and succession planning and trusts and estates litigation.

During his years of practice, Mr. Yoshitake has provided advice regarding complex planning techniques including a variety of wealth transfer techniques, charitable planning and not-for-profit entity creation and compliance, management and shareholder relationships in closely held businesses, business ownership arrangements for succeeding generations of family owners, pre-marital and post-marital agreements, property division agreements, retirement income tax planning and complex fiduciary income and estate tax matters, as well as individual income tax planning (foreign and domestic), trust administration and probate administration. Mr. Yoshitake also practices in the area of federal, state and local taxation and represents clients before the Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Tax Court, the California Franchise Tax Board and California State Board of Equalization.

In addition to his diverse planning practice, Mr. Yoshitake extensively litigates and has served as an expert witness concerning trusts and estate issues.  He is regularly in Court removing and defending fiduciaries, resolving disputes between trustees and beneficiaries, negotiating and settling property disputes between family members, and protecting the elderly from being financially abused.

Mr. Yoshitake is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, United States District Court, United States Court of Appeal, United States Tax Court, Supreme and Appellate Courts of California and Hawaii.

Mr. Yoshitake has successfully handled several noteworthy cases, including:

  • Litigating and obtaining a verdict for the largest surcharge against a fiduciary in a county’s history
  • Planning for a U.S. Resident – Foreign Citizen with assets domestically and abroad in excess of a billion dollars
  • Recovered multi-millions of dollars in bequests for non-profit organizations throughout the United States
  • Obtaining an unprecedented multi-million dollar equitable adjustment for an income beneficiary who was shortchanged on his distributions over several prior years
  • Advising co-trustees in their administration of over thirty related family trusts with substantial assets, regarding multi-generational and multi-jurisdictional issues
  • Litigating and successfully obtaining a verdict in favor of an individual Trustee against each and every allegation of breach of trust for his administration of a multi-million dollar irrevocable trust
  • Planning and saving a family in excess of $100 million in estate taxes
  • Successfully defending and arguing the appeal of a verdict in favor of the individual Trustee against breach of trust allegations for his administration of the multi-million dollar trust (25 page unpublished opinion issued by the Court of Appeal for the State of California, Second Appellate District upholding the lower court’s ruling on every issue)
  • Counseling and selling one of America’s largest Japanese American owned companies
  • Disinheriting a litigious beneficiary from a multi-million dollar inheritance
  • Securing a multi-million dollar judgment in a dispute between spouses involving a foreign jurisdiction, a Cayman Island Trust and California Community Property laws
  • Obtaining various restraining orders for people who are being harassed or are being placed in danger
  • Advising the ministers of one of the world’s largest religions about non-profit governance, corporate structure, standing and control
  • Removing a fiduciary from power and recovering most of an elderly client’s assets from the abuser
  • Planning for gay and lesbian clients to save multi-millions of dollars in transfer taxes and using creative planning techniques to protect their privacy
  • Counseling families in designing voluntary and involuntary plans to care for a mentally ill loved one
  • Litigating and successfully defending a Trustee from all allegations of multiple breach of duty claims in the administration of trusts valued in excess of $200 million
  • Designing a sophisticated pre-marital agreement for a CEO with over $400 million in assets
  • Recovering a multi-million dollar award for a spouse whose husband was hiding assets domestically and in a foreign jurisdiction
  • Removing a professional fiduciary “sua sponte” or without an evidentiary hearing for her egregious bad acts and bad judgment
  • Obtaining a no change letter for a taxpayer whose family was facing financial ruin and was being assessed a deficiency of over $1.2 million
  • Advising business owners of domestic and international closely held companies on a variety of multi-generational succession planning structures and saving billions of dollars in family wealth
  • Litigating and obtaining a verdict for surcharge against an experienced professional fiduciary for breach of trust and bad acts.
  • Successfully obtaining abatement of penalties and interest, which the IRS had assessed due to corporate trustee’s late filing of Form 706-GS(T) and late payment of GST tax
  • Litigating and successfully defending nearly twenty years of trust accountings, and successfully defending against a disgruntled beneficiary’s appeal of lower court rulings (38-page unpublished opinion issued by Hawaii Intermediate Court of Appeals upholding the lower court’s rulings on every issue)
  • Advising, resolving property disputes and maintaining the privacy of celebrity clients including actors, musicians, directors and sports figures
  • Acting as Pro Bono counsel for several adopted children to unite them with their loving parents

Education

  • Master of Laws in Taxation, New York Law School (1986)
  • J.D., Southwestern University School of Law (1985)
  • B.S., University of Southern California (1982)

Admissions

  • Hawaii
  • California

Courts

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States District Court
  • United States Court of Appeals
  • United States Tax Court
  • Supreme Court of California
  • California Court of Appeals
  • Supreme Court of Hawaii
  • Hawaii Court of Appeals

Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
  • Los Angeles Bar Association
  • Hawaii Bar Association
  • Charminade University (Planning Committee Member for the Hawaii Tax Institute)
  • University of Southern California (Planning Committee Member for the USC Tax Institute)

Presentations

  • “Where Do We Go From Here?  Modernizing Your Practice to Enhance the Future,” San Fernando Valley Estate Planning Council (Mar. 2015)
  • “Recent Developments Affecting Estate Planning (With A Special Twist),” Through the Looking Glass XI Symposium (Nov. 2014)
  • “The Sale of the Los Angeles Clipper; A Sterling Dilemma of Competency, Trust Powers and Contract Rights with the NBA,” Los Angeles Estate Planning Council (Oct. 2014) and 51st Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Nov. 2014)
  • “The State of Estate Planning,” Through the Looking Glass X Symposium (Nov. 2013), Beverly Hills Estate Planning Council (Mar. 2014) and San Gabriel Valley Estate Planning Council (Sept. 2014)
  • “Estate Planning for Doctors,” California Hospital Medical Center (Mar. 2014)
  • “Estate Planning, Trust Administration and Due Process Rights for Clients or Family Members with Mental Illness,” 50th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Nov. 2013)
  • “Planning in a Low(ish) Interestrate Environment,” San Gabriel Valley Estate Planning Council (Sept. 2013)
  • “Think Before You Act:  The CPA As A Fiduciary,” CalCPA Foundation (LA and SF) (June 2013)
  • “Sorting through the Ashes:  Estate Planning after the Fiscal Cliff Crisis,” San Gabriel Valley Estate Planning Council (Mar. 2013) and California Hospital Medical Center Foundation (Apr. 2013)
  • “Recent Developments in Estate Planning for 2013 and Beyond,” National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Los Angeles Chapter Agent Symposium (Jan. 2013)
  • “Is the Sky Falling?,” Beverly Hills Estate Planning Council (Dec. 2012)
  • “Recent Wealth Transfer Developments,” Warner Center Estate and Tax Planning Council (Nov. 2012)
  • “Financial Elder Abuse:  Protecting the Aging Client from the Likely and Sometimes Unlikely Predators,” 49th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Nov. 2012)
  • “Dealing With Elderly Clients And Their Families:  Civil, Criminal, State and Federal Perspectives on Elder Abuse,” San Gabriel Valley Estate Planning Council (Mar. 2012)
  • “The Future of Estate Planning,” Beverly Hills Estate Planning council (Mar. 2012)
  • “Dealing With Nearly Incapacitated Elderly Clients and Their Families,” 48th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Dec. 2011)
  • “Recent Developments Affecting Estate Planning beyond 2011,” St. John’s Healthcare Foundation - Symposium (Nov. 2011)
  • “The Past Present and Future of Estate Planning With a Look at Planned Giving,” American Heart Association Barlow Respiratory Hospital Foundation Goodwill Industries of Southern California Union Rescue Mission (Oct. 2011)
  • “The Past, Present and Future of Estate Planning,” San Gabriel Valley Estate Planning Counsel (Sept. 2011)
  • “Fiduciary Boundaries - Managing the Mistakes and Lessons to be Learned,” 47th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Nov. 2010)
  • “Recent Developments Affecting Estate Planning Beyond 2010,” St. John’s Healthcare Foundation - Symposium (2010)
  • “Recent Developments Affecting Estate Planning Beyond 2009 – Fiduciary Boundaries,” St. John’s Healthcare Foundation – Symposium (2009)
  • “Beneficiary Rights – Dealing With The Realities,” 46th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Oct. 2009)
  • “Through the Looking Glass:  The Politics of Estate Tax Reform,” San Gabriel Valley Estate Planning Counsel (2009)
  • “Estate Tax Reform,” Beverly Hills Bar Association (2009)
  • “Current Developments in Estate Planning With A View To Washington,” National Association of Estate Planners & Councils – 45th Annual Conference (Nov. 2008)
  • “When Trust Administration Becomes Trust Litigation,” 45th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Oct. 2008)
  • “Legislative Update on Estate Planning Issues:  A Look Into the Future of Estate Tax Reforms and the New Frontier of Trusts and Estates Litigation,” St. John’s Healthcare Foundation - Symposium (2008)
  • “Advanced Estate Planning Techniques for Large Multi-Generation Estates,” UCLA Wealth Planning Conference (2007)
  • “Important Lessons For Fiduciaries and Their Advisors,” 44th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Oct. 2007)
  • “A Look Into the Future of Estate Tax Reform,” Sacramento Estate Planning Council (Sept. 2007)
  • “Washington Update:  Current Trends In Estate and Gift Taxation With Practical Applications,” St. John’s Healthcare Foundation - Symposium (2007)
  • “Recent Developments in Probate and Trust Litigation,” Southern Arizona Estate Planning Council – Estate Planner’s Day (2007)
  • “Making Discretionary Distributions and Other Distributions From Trusts,” 43rd Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Oct. 2006)
  • “Using Mediation To Resolve Your Trusts and Estates Disputes,” 43rd Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Oct. 2006)
  • “Primer on Estate Planning For A $10 Million Estate,” American Bar Association – National Annual Conference (Aug. 2006)
  • “Current Development in Estate Planning,” Hawaii Estate Planning Council (2006)
  • “Trustees and Beneficiaries – Can’t We Just Get Along”, 42nd Annaul Hawaii Tax Institute (Oct. 2005)
  • “Is Your Client Going Nuts?  Don’t Let Them Be Financially Abused and How It Can Affect the Estate Plan,” 42nd Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Oct. 2005)
  • “Trustees and Beneficiaries – Avoid Your Worst Nightmare,” HSCPA Annual Personal Financial Planning Conference (2005)
  • “Advising Trustees to Act Prudently,” 41st Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Oct. 2004)
  • “Trusts and Estates Litigation – The Defense and The Offense,” 41st Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Oct. 2004)
  • “How to Select A Trustee:  Tax and Non-Tax Considerations,” 41st Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Oct. 2004)
  • “Personal, Estate and Tax Planning for the Non-Traditional Couple,” 40th Annual Hawaii Tax Institute (Oct. 2003)

Publications

Legal Certifications

  • Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law By the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization (2005 - Present)

Accolades

  • California Super Lawyer, Estate Planning & Probate (2005-2013)
  • Best Lawyers in America -Trusts and Estates (2015)

Teaching 

  • Instructor on “Basic and Advanced Estate Planning” wealth management courses at UCLA, UC-Berkeley, and UC-San Diego

Management Positions

  • National Chairperson for Trusts and Estates Practice Group
  • Department Heads Committee Member
  • West Coast Chairperson for Trusts and Estates Practice Group
  • Intake Committee Member
  • Strategic Plan Committee Member