Tara N. Morris

Partner

Overview

As a certified specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization, Tara focuses her practice on estate planning for individuals and families and the administration of trusts and estates. Her clients include high-net worth individuals in business and industry, as well as banks, trust companies, and individuals acting in fiduciary capacities. Tara devotes a significant portion of her practice to trust and estate-related disputes and litigation, including post-death disputes between fiduciaries, beneficiaries and/or family members, and issues concerning fiduciary management and liability. 

Representative
Matters

Petitioned a court on behalf of a corporate fiduciary client to obtain judicial reformation of a trust and secured a favorable Private Letter Ruling resulting in a savings of millions of dollars in generation-skipping transfer taxes to the trust.

Worked with clients to petition courts to correct scrivener errors and/or clarify ambiguities in irrevocable trusts.

Successfully settled and secured favorable court rulings in various cases involving fiduciary-beneficiary disputes and trust and will contests (including negotiating a global settlement among seven litigating beneficiaries).

Assisted clients in selling assets to grantor trusts that ended up providing millions of dollars in immediate transfer tax savings (and will continue to provide estate tax and generation-skipping transfer tax benefits in the future, assuming such taxes are not repealed).

Structured business succession plans for clients with complex business holding/entity structures.

Advised owners of real property regarding means to transfer significant interests in properties without incurring a property tax reassessment (resulting in significant annual property tax savings to the clients and transferees).

Secured exempt status for charitable research organization whose grant of exemption was challenged by IRS.

Structured charitable pledges.

Assisted clients with premarital and postnuptial planning.

Publications &
Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagements

 

Tara has lectured on a variety of estate planning topics. 

Awards &
Affiliations

Awards & Recognition

  • Southern California Super Lawyers, 2012-2015
  • Super Lawyers Women's Edition, 2015
  • Southern California Super Lawyers Rising Stars, 2006- 2008; 2011
  • American Jurisprudence Award, Community Property

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association

Certifications

  • State Bar of California Certification as a Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law

Bar and Court Admissions

  • State Bar of California

Education

  • J.D., University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, 1997, with distinction, Roger J. Traynor Honor Society
  • B.A., California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, 1994