After taking the first of several estate planning classes at Santa Clara University Law School from the esteemed estate planning Professor Jerry Kasner, Victoria knew she found her path and her passion. She began her career in the estate planning group of a pre-eminent San Francisco law firm and never looked back as she journeyed from large, national firms to the boutique firms of Lakin Spears and now Kohler Legacy Law Group, all while practicing exclusively in the area of estate planning.
“Estate planning” is a broad, catch all phrase that refers to pre-death planning. Victoria’s practice encompasses all aspects of estate planning, for those of modest wealth to those with a high net worth. Victoria notes that with today’s high tax exemptions, not all clients need advanced planning for estate, gift or generation skipping transfer tax, but for those clients who do, it is a cornerstone of her practice. She states,
I enjoy the technical tax analysis, and if an Excel spreadsheet, Powerpoint diagram or gift or estate tax return is needed, all the better!
Victoria’s enthusiasm for her work and her clients is evident when meeting with her. Her clients often comment on Victoria’s ability to explain and illustrate complex and technical concepts in plain English, sprinkled with anecdotes from her own family life and experiences to help make a point. She has a way of turning what is often perceived as a dreaded, morbid process into something less daunting and maybe even a bit pleasant. Says Victoria, “Even though we discuss difficult subjects like incapacity, death and taxes, creating an estate plan is a gift to those you leave behind. It is possible to enjoy the process, knowing that you are committing time and energy for the benefit of your loved ones or favorite charities.”
Victoria strives to discover and understand each client’s estate planning goals and objectives – their intended legacy – and will create a personalized plan to achieve those goals. According to Victoria, “these crucial conversations are the foundation for a successful estate plan.” When a client’s goals and objectives shift over time – as they always do when families mature and circumstances evolve – Victoria will guide her clients through an estate plan update with the same level of care.
The post-death administration of an estate plan is where the estate plan’s “rubber meets the road,” but it is also when survivors struggle to navigate a new life without a loved one. There is much to do and process in a post-death administration, and Victoria and her team shepherd clients through the process with compassion, intelligence and as much hand-holding as clients need.
Victoria is as local as it gets. She grew up in Los Altos and attended college (U.C. Santa Cruz) and law school (Santa Clara University Law School, Cum Laude) locally as well. She raised her daughters in nearby San Carlos, where she still lives with her husband. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys strolls with her dog, supporting and mentoring foster youth, and honing her skills as a budding artist.