J. Virginia Peiser

Of Counsel

“I assist business owners and investors in reducing taxes and expenses, so that they can pass more of their wealth on to their beneficiaries.”

  • Practices
  • Memberships
      • Contra Costa County Bar Association, Member, 1987 to present
      • Contra Costa County Bar Association Taxation Section, Member of Board of Directors, 1988 to present; President/Chair, 2005, 1999, 1994-95, 1991-92
      • Contra Costa Jewish Community Center, Member of Board of Directors, 2004 to present, 1995-2001; President 2006-08
      • Estate Planning Council of Diablo Valley, Member, 2003 to present
      • Kiwanis Club of Oakland, Member, 2000 to present, Member of Board of Directors, 2002-2004
  • Recognition
      • Certified Specialist in Taxation Law, 1987, and Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, 2004, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
      • Kiwanian of the Year, Kiwanis Club of Oakland, 2000-01
      • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent Rating
      • San Francisco’s Top Rated Lawyers™, 2015
      • Outstanding Board Leadership, Contra Costa Jewish Community Center, 1998, 2005
      • Northern California Super Lawyers, 2017-2018

J. Virginia Peiser

Of Counsel

2033 North Main Street, Suite 800, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
T: 925.930.6600 F: 925.930.6620


Since 1975, Virginia Peiser has represented investors and owners of closely held businesses in tax, business and estate planning matters. She is practice group leader of the Archer Norris taxation and estate planning practice.

Focused on Tax and Estate Tax Planning for Californians

Virginia represents clients in tax controversies, including audits, and in planning specialized tax strategies. She prepares wills and revocable and irrevocable trusts, and she provides representation in probate matters, post-death trust administration and real estate transactions. For many clients with particular business or estate planning needs, Virginia forms business entities and serves as business counsel.

Excellence in Practice and Professional Leadership

Virginia is a Certified Specialist both in Taxation Law and in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. She has an A-V rating, the highest, from the publishers of the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and has been identified as one of San Francisco's Top Rated Lawyers™ for 2015.

Virginia has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Contra Costa County Bar Association Taxation Section since 1988, and she has served four separate terms as Chair of the Taxation Section.

A frequent lecturer in the areas of tax and estate planning, Virginia has also published numerous articles on emerging issues and developments in these areas. Her articles include, “Tax Aspects of Heath Care Reform,” “Taxes and the California Domestic Partner Act,” “The Innocent Spouse Defense,” and ethical best practices in probate and estate planning.

Building a Practice and Reputation in Tax and Estates in the Bay Area

Virginia received her J.D. with honors from Hastings College of the Law, and her LL.M. in Taxation from Golden Gate University School of Law. Upon graduation from law school, she was an associate in two San Francisco law firms, first in personal injury litigation and then in business litigation.

She left these positions in 1978 to open her own law firm in San Francisco in order to represent business owners and investors in their tax, business and real estate matters. In 1987, Virginia moved her practice to Contra Costa County, initially as an associate in local law firms, and then as principal in her own firm with tax and estate planning as the primary components of her practice. In March, 2005, she merged her solo practice with the Walnut Creek law firm of Archer Norris where she focuses on tax and estate planning matters for business owners and real property investors.

Committed to the Community

Virginia has served for years as a director, officer and member of community, service and professional groups in San Francisco and in the East Bay area. She lives in Orinda with her husband Michael. Their two young adult children live and work in the East Bay.

Virginia Peiser's representative matters include:

  • Estate Planning - prepares estate planning documents for clients owning all types of investments.  Virginia provides her clients with a basic estate plan including a living trust, and she also represents clients with more extensive estates who need irrevocable trusts, such as life insurance or charitable remainder trusts, or gifting strategies.
    • Estates ranging from $5 million to $20 million are optimal for strategic planning with excellent results.
  • Tax Planning - assists clients in planning business and real property transactions to maximize tax savings.  Virginia assists in structuring business and personal transactions to clearly achieve specific tax results.
    • When clients decided to buy out a minority shareholder, Virginia researched the tax ramifications of a corporate redemption and provided the documentation for the transaction
  • Audit Defense - represents taxpayers in audits before the United States Tax Court, the IRS, the FTB, the BOE and other tax agencies.  Through research, document analysis and negotiations, Virginia has saved her clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes.
    • A recent IRS tax audit was completely concluded at the initial conference within parameters satisfactory to the client, as a result of  Virginia’s research, analysis of issues and document presentation.
    • An older couple was distressed when they received a notice from the IRS for the eighth audit of their income tax returns in 12 years. Virginia Peiser persuaded the IRS to drop the audit altogether, based upon hardship to the clients.  There was no need for any IRS appeal process or judicial intervention in the closing of the audit.
  • Post-Death Matters - provides post-death trust administration ranging from changing title ownership of real properties and notices to beneficiaries, through the preparation of Forms 706, United States Estate Tax Returns, and Trust Allocation Agreements.  In addition, Virginia has represented numerous executors and administrators in probate proceedings throughout California, so assets can be confidently passed on to beneficiaries.
    • Virginia has successfully resolved several trust administration cases without litigation where other attorneys have been unable to satisfactorily distribute trust property to the beneficiaries.
    • His mother’s trust distribution was stalled, and one brother called upon Virginia Peiser to help.  His brother continued to live in the family home nearly nine years after their mother’s death without buying out the client-brother’s interest and without paying rent. After unsuccessful discussions with the resident brother, Virginia filed a petition for removal of the resident brother as co-trustee and for an order to sell the family home.  Virginia resolved the matter in court-ordered mediation in which her client received virtually all of what he was seeking.
    • When two brothers’ disputes stalled the administration of a trust, one of the brothers sought Virginia Peiser’s counsel.  She filed a petition to remove the other brother as trustee and requested an order for him to perform no duties as trustee.  Simply upon the filing of the petition, the brother-trustee agreed to perform all of the requested actions.  Virginia’s client was successful in obtaining every one of his requests without further litigation.
    • In a feud between two sisters where they were both co-trustees of their deceased parents’ estate, Virginia Peiser represented one client-sister. She worked with the opposing sister’s counsel, three different attorneys in succession, to implement a mediated settlement, arrange for the deeding of properties to the sisters, plan for the tax consequences and secure court approval for the modification of a charitable trust.  Finally, Virginia guided her client and the trust in the complete distribution of trust assets.
  • Business and Real Estate Matters

    • A community-based non-profit organization ceased operations because of reduced revenues and donations during the economic downturn.  Virginia Peiser led the legal team that helped the organization survive. They arranged the sale of part of organization’s property on very favorable terms, which included the purchaser paying substantial advance deposits more than two years before closing on the sale.

Articles

Client Alerts

Events

Press Releases

Presentations

  • "Preserve the Value of Your Business:  Estate Planning Tips for Business Owners,” Council of Business Advisors, November 10, 2016.
  • “IRS Collections: Options for Unpaid Tax Liabilities,” Council of Business Advisors, July 9, 2015.
  • “The Tax Man Cometh: Tax Audits and Bankruptcy,” Contra Costa County Bar Association, MCLE Spectacular, November 21, 2014.
  • “An Estate Planning Guide for the Perplexed,” Council of Business Advisors, May 8, 2014.
  • “Spellbound:  the GRTs and CRTs of Estate Tax Reduction,” California Society of CPAs – East Bay Chapter, September 18, 2012.

Other programs have included real estate tax, generation-skipping transfer tax, and general tax and estate planning topics.

Overview

Since 1975, Virginia Peiser has represented investors and owners of closely held businesses in tax, business and estate planning matters. She is practice group leader of the Archer Norris taxation and estate planning practice.

Focused on Tax and Estate Tax Planning for Californians

Virginia represents clients in tax controversies, including audits, and in planning specialized tax strategies. She prepares wills and revocable and irrevocable trusts, and she provides representation in probate matters, post-death trust administration and real estate transactions. For many clients with particular business or estate planning needs, Virginia forms business entities and serves as business counsel.

Excellence in Practice and Professional Leadership

Virginia is a Certified Specialist both in Taxation Law and in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. She has an A-V rating, the highest, from the publishers of the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory and has been identified as one of San Francisco's Top Rated Lawyers™ for 2015.

Virginia has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Contra Costa County Bar Association Taxation Section since 1988, and she has served four separate terms as Chair of the Taxation Section.

A frequent lecturer in the areas of tax and estate planning, Virginia has also published numerous articles on emerging issues and developments in these areas. Her articles include, “Tax Aspects of Heath Care Reform,” “Taxes and the California Domestic Partner Act,” “The Innocent Spouse Defense,” and ethical best practices in probate and estate planning.

Building a Practice and Reputation in Tax and Estates in the Bay Area

Virginia received her J.D. with honors from Hastings College of the Law, and her LL.M. in Taxation from Golden Gate University School of Law. Upon graduation from law school, she was an associate in two San Francisco law firms, first in personal injury litigation and then in business litigation.

She left these positions in 1978 to open her own law firm in San Francisco in order to represent business owners and investors in their tax, business and real estate matters. In 1987, Virginia moved her practice to Contra Costa County, initially as an associate in local law firms, and then as principal in her own firm with tax and estate planning as the primary components of her practice. In March, 2005, she merged her solo practice with the Walnut Creek law firm of Archer Norris where she focuses on tax and estate planning matters for business owners and real property investors.

Committed to the Community

Virginia has served for years as a director, officer and member of community, service and professional groups in San Francisco and in the East Bay area. She lives in Orinda with her husband Michael. Their two young adult children live and work in the East Bay.

Experience

Virginia Peiser's representative matters include:

  • Estate Planning - prepares estate planning documents for clients owning all types of investments.  Virginia provides her clients with a basic estate plan including a living trust, and she also represents clients with more extensive estates who need irrevocable trusts, such as life insurance or charitable remainder trusts, or gifting strategies.
    • Estates ranging from $5 million to $20 million are optimal for strategic planning with excellent results.
  • Tax Planning - assists clients in planning business and real property transactions to maximize tax savings.  Virginia assists in structuring business and personal transactions to clearly achieve specific tax results.
    • When clients decided to buy out a minority shareholder, Virginia researched the tax ramifications of a corporate redemption and provided the documentation for the transaction
  • Audit Defense - represents taxpayers in audits before the United States Tax Court, the IRS, the FTB, the BOE and other tax agencies.  Through research, document analysis and negotiations, Virginia has saved her clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxes.
    • A recent IRS tax audit was completely concluded at the initial conference within parameters satisfactory to the client, as a result of  Virginia’s research, analysis of issues and document presentation.
    • An older couple was distressed when they received a notice from the IRS for the eighth audit of their income tax returns in 12 years. Virginia Peiser persuaded the IRS to drop the audit altogether, based upon hardship to the clients.  There was no need for any IRS appeal process or judicial intervention in the closing of the audit.
  • Post-Death Matters - provides post-death trust administration ranging from changing title ownership of real properties and notices to beneficiaries, through the preparation of Forms 706, United States Estate Tax Returns, and Trust Allocation Agreements.  In addition, Virginia has represented numerous executors and administrators in probate proceedings throughout California, so assets can be confidently passed on to beneficiaries.
    • Virginia has successfully resolved several trust administration cases without litigation where other attorneys have been unable to satisfactorily distribute trust property to the beneficiaries.
    • His mother’s trust distribution was stalled, and one brother called upon Virginia Peiser to help.  His brother continued to live in the family home nearly nine years after their mother’s death without buying out the client-brother’s interest and without paying rent. After unsuccessful discussions with the resident brother, Virginia filed a petition for removal of the resident brother as co-trustee and for an order to sell the family home.  Virginia resolved the matter in court-ordered mediation in which her client received virtually all of what he was seeking.
    • When two brothers’ disputes stalled the administration of a trust, one of the brothers sought Virginia Peiser’s counsel.  She filed a petition to remove the other brother as trustee and requested an order for him to perform no duties as trustee.  Simply upon the filing of the petition, the brother-trustee agreed to perform all of the requested actions.  Virginia’s client was successful in obtaining every one of his requests without further litigation.
    • In a feud between two sisters where they were both co-trustees of their deceased parents’ estate, Virginia Peiser represented one client-sister. She worked with the opposing sister’s counsel, three different attorneys in succession, to implement a mediated settlement, arrange for the deeding of properties to the sisters, plan for the tax consequences and secure court approval for the modification of a charitable trust.  Finally, Virginia guided her client and the trust in the complete distribution of trust assets.
  • Business and Real Estate Matters

    • A community-based non-profit organization ceased operations because of reduced revenues and donations during the economic downturn.  Virginia Peiser led the legal team that helped the organization survive. They arranged the sale of part of organization’s property on very favorable terms, which included the purchaser paying substantial advance deposits more than two years before closing on the sale.

News & Publications

Articles

Client Alerts

Events

Press Releases

Presentations

  • "Preserve the Value of Your Business:  Estate Planning Tips for Business Owners,” Council of Business Advisors, November 10, 2016.
  • “IRS Collections: Options for Unpaid Tax Liabilities,” Council of Business Advisors, July 9, 2015.
  • “The Tax Man Cometh: Tax Audits and Bankruptcy,” Contra Costa County Bar Association, MCLE Spectacular, November 21, 2014.
  • “An Estate Planning Guide for the Perplexed,” Council of Business Advisors, May 8, 2014.
  • “Spellbound:  the GRTs and CRTs of Estate Tax Reduction,” California Society of CPAs – East Bay Chapter, September 18, 2012.

Other programs have included real estate tax, generation-skipping transfer tax, and general tax and estate planning topics.


Education

  • Golden Gate University, LL.M. (Taxation), 1984
  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 1975
    • Judicial externship to Judge James Browning, Circuit Judge, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 1975
    • Hastings Law Review, Associate Editor, 1974-75
    • Order of the Coif, 1975; Thurston Society, 1975
  • University of Chicago, A.B., 1971
  • University of Michigan, 1967-69

Admission

  • State Bar of California
  • Supreme Court of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. Tax Court

Memberships

  • Contra Costa County Bar Association, Member, 1987 to present
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association Taxation Section, Member of Board of Directors, 1988 to present; President/Chair, 2005, 1999, 1994-95, 1991-92
  • Contra Costa Jewish Community Center, Member of Board of Directors, 2004 to present, 1995-2001; President 2006-08
  • Estate Planning Council of Diablo Valley, Member, 2003 to present
  • Kiwanis Club of Oakland, Member, 2000 to present, Member of Board of Directors, 2002-2004

Recognition

  • Certified Specialist in Taxation Law, 1987, and Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, 2004, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Kiwanian of the Year, Kiwanis Club of Oakland, 2000-01
  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent Rating
  • San Francisco’s Top Rated Lawyers™, 2015
  • Outstanding Board Leadership, Contra Costa Jewish Community Center, 1998, 2005
  • Northern California Super Lawyers, 2017-2018