Lori Winder Livingston has focused her practice for over thirty years on estate planning, trust and probate matters, with a special emphasis on advanced planning techniques, estate administration, estate dispute resolution and related tax matters. Lori received her LLM (Masters in Tax) in trust and estate taxation from the prestigious Phillip Heckerling program at the University of Miami School of Law.

Lori works closely with families to educate and assist them with the transfer and disposition of their assets in the most tax effective manner possible, keeping in mind family goals, and to create plans that will help protect the assets received by the beneficiaries from future tax and claims.

In addition to traditional estate planning, Lori also specializes in more complex estate planning techniques, including testamentary and lifetime dynasty trusts, intentionally defective grantor irrevocable trusts, SLATS, insurance trusts, qualified domestic trusts for noncitizen spouses, complete and incomplete gift grantor and non-grantor trusts, and other tax effective trust and estate planning structures. Lori also prepares prenuptial, postnuptial and cohabitation agreements.

Lori is the go-to counsel for:

  • Trust administration, resolution of trust and estate disputes and litigation, and judicial interpretation, modification and termination of irrevocable trusts.
  • Preparation of and advice concerning gift and estate tax returns and audits, including advice in connection with complex generation-skipping transfer tax issues and allocations.
  • Analyzing and resolving property tax reassessment issues for California real properties arising in estate planning and trust and probate administration.
  • Representation of some of the largest trust companies and bank trust departments in Orange County and Los Angeles County in matters of trust and estate administration, and estate and gift tax related issues.

Lori has also received the highly regarded TEP designation as an elected member of the Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP). STEP is an international body of prominent professional advisors who specialize in inheritance, succession planning, and trust and estate taxation and administration.

Lori is a member of numerous professional organizations and is the former president of the Tax Section of the Orange County Bar Association. She has served as a member of the Endowment Councils for the Orange County Performing Arts Center as well as the endowment committees of the American Cancer Society and Orange Coast College.


Lori’s notable experience includes:

  • Preparing and presenting to the Superior Court over forty petitions for construction of, modification to or termination of irrevocable trusts, all of which were successfully resolved on the client’s behalf. In petitions to the Superior Court, she also successfully proved as valid an unsigned copy of a lost trust agreement resulting in the trust beneficiaries receiving millions in assets, and successfully removed from office a rogue trustee of a multimillion-dollar trust.
  • Serving as California co-counsel in a high-profile dispute with the Washington Department of Revenue and the remainder beneficiaries of a QTIP Trust concerning the constitutionality and statutory authority of the State of Washington to impose Washington state estate tax on her client in excess of $10 million for assets held in the QTIP Trust but sitused in California. The matter was heard in both the Washington and California courts, and Lori participated in the negotiation of a successful settlement agreement wherein her client was found liable for no portion of estate tax owed, with a remarkable successful recovery to her client of 100% of $581,000 in attorney fees paid by the client in the dispute.
  • Serving for over eight years as California co-counsel for the trustees and beneficiaries of a $100 million-plus contested trust estate dubbed as the “Star Wars of trust litigation,” resulting in a successful verdict for her clients based on the incapacity of the decedent. In connection therewith, Lori represented the trustees with the State Board of Equalization with respect to property tax reassessment issues for 34 transfers of some $40 million of California real properties, resolution of income tax issues associated with transfers to the decedent’s foundation and tax issues arising in trust and estate settlement, successful settlement and closing of the estate’s $30 million ancillary probate estate and litigation pending in that proceeding, successful settlement with decedent’s children concerning disputed trust gifts and the final global settlement of multiple civil disputes, assisted with IRC Section 6166 estate tax deferral arrangement with the IRS, and assisted with the preparation of the estate’s tax return comprised of the majority voting shares of a publicly traded corporation and significant farmholdings in California.
  • Working in conjunction with Delaware co-counsel to prepare Delaware non-grantor irrevocable trust for founder shares in a company qualifying as QSBS to create layering of QSBS exclusion amounts; work with out-of-state counsel in multiple jurisdictions to prepare irrevocable grantor and non-grantor trusts and other estate planning vehicles for estate and tax planning purposes.
  • Assisting a major accounting firm with audit of Form 706, Estate Tax Return for a multimillion-dollar estate to successfully resolve issues concerning valuation of included assets and generation skipping transfer tax allocations being disputed by the IRS.


Awards and Recognition

Awards and Recognition

TEP Designee, Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners (STEP)

AV Preeminent Lawyer by Martindale Hubbell

Leadership and Community

Former president, Orange County Bar Association, Tax Section

Member, Orange County Bar Association, Trust and Estate Sections

Former member, Endowment committees for Performing Arts Center, American Cancer Society and Orange Coast College

Member, Orange County Estate Planning Council


Pepperdine University School of Law, J.D., special emphasis in Taxation

University of Miami School of Law, Heckerling Graduate Program, Masters of Law in Trust and Estate Taxation

University of California, Irvine, B.S., Biology and Chemistry


  • California
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