John W. Ambrecht, JD, MBA, LLM

For over 30 years, senior partner John W. Ambrecht has integrated sophisticated and complex estate and tax planning for family business succession planning, including developing appropriate transitional structures. His incorporation of conflict resolution among generations allows for constructing a lasting framework for family business management and ownership succession. Over the years, his work has provided sustained longevity for family assets. His practice includes solving complex planning issues that arise from a client’s ties to multiple jurisdictions, both nationally and internationally, in trusts and estate planning, asset protection, and tax controversies.

John is one of the principals and founders of Families & Wealth, LLC, formed to help families and their advisors to create succession, estate, and family governance plans where family issues or dysfunctions are present. See the Families & Wealth, LLC, website for more information.

Representative matters: Advising on the best methods to hold U.S. and non-U.S. property for tax, estate planning, privacy, and asset protection purposes; advising non-U.S. clients on U.S. residency issues, including, where appropriate, avoiding U.S. residency status; advising U.S. clients on holding property in other states and other countries including assistance with the IRS’s offshore voluntary disclosure program and the IRS reduced-penalty “streamline” program; for non-U.S. clients, immigration tax and estate planning , including advice regarding visas and green cards; for U.S. clients planning to leave the U.S., tax and estate planning, including advice regarding relinquishment of a green card or U.S. citizenship; establishing foreign and domestic trusts, companies, and multi-tiered structures for the benefit of U.S. and non-U.S. beneficiaries; and solving income, gift, and estate tax issues and conforming reporting requirements in connection with all of the above.

See website Resources page to review publications, presentations, and books.

John Ambrecht Profile

John W. Ambrecht, JD, MBA, LLM

Senior Partner*

* If you are not already an established client, do not send us any confidential information in your email or in any attachment, and know that any email communications with us is not confidential and does not establish an attorney client relationship. Click here for further disclosures.


  • LLM in Taxation, New York University (1974)
  • MBA, University of California Los Angeles (1968)
  • JD, Loyola University (1973)
  • BA, University of California Los Angeles (1966)

Bar admissions (courts/states)

  • U. S. Court of Federal Claims (1986)
  • U. S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (1978)
  • U. S. Tax Court (1976)
  • California Bar (1974)

Distinctions and awards

  • Super Lawyer Award, 2013
  • Southern California Super Lawyers, named one of Top Attorneys in Southern California (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
  • Worth Magazine, one of Top 100 Attorneys, as published in its December/January 2009 issue
  • Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition, Family Business Advocate, 2008
  • Certificate of Recognition, California Legislature Assembly, Family Business Award, 2008
  • Pacific Coast Business Times Award for Family Business Advocate: A professional who fosters the growth of family business, 2008
  • Carpinteria Education Foundation, Inc., Award for Outstanding Legal Partner


  • Westmont College Foundation, Montecito, CA, Board Member (2000-present)
  • Bishop Diego Garcia High School, Santa Barbara, CA, Board of Trustees (2003-2006)
  • Santa Barbara City College Foundation, Santa Barbara, CA, Board Member (1995-2001)
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), 2007 to present
  • Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), 2011 to present