Mark Powell is an attorney and a certified specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law with the California Bar Board of Legal Specialization in Holland & Knight's Los Angeles and Orange County offices. Mr. Powell's practice includes estate planning and estate and gift taxation, with a strong emphasis on charitable planning and family philanthropy. In addition, he handles matters related to family governance and succession planning for clients wanting to provide benefits over multiple generations.
Sophisticated Estate Planning. Many ultra-high-net-worth individuals and families require a high level of insight into the evolving state of tax laws, market conditions and family business situations. With an appreciation for family dynamics, Mr. Powell works with ultra-high-net-worth families to design, create and execute complex structures to accomplish their wealth preservation, wealth transfer and philanthropic goals. Mr. Powell often applies mediation training, gained at Harvard Law School's Executive Education program, to help families settle on common goals and long-term objectives for their estate plans.
Family Governance. When working with ultra-high-net-worth individuals, Mr. Powell routinely asks his clients to spend time identifying their motivations and values and, armed with those details, facilitates discussions with clients' children and other beneficiaries about wealth and values with a goal to create plans that achieve his clients' objectives while remaining meaningful and relevant to future generations. These discussions are critical when individuals want to ensure that their wealth will help, not hurt, their children and grandchildren or more distant generations.
Charitable Planning and Family Philanthropy. Mr. Powell provides charitable planning advice for both donors and charities. He assists in the creation of private family foundations, but, realizing that operating a new foundation can be overwhelming, he also advises families as they learn to administer their foundations. He has substantial experience helping families who have big ideas for their philanthropy, and he enjoys the opportunity to problem-solve the wide-ranging issues involved in big-idea philanthropy.
Estate and Trust Administrations. Mr. Powell assists fiduciaries in the administration of complex estate and trust matters. With the goal of avoiding litigation, he helps fiduciaries establish policies and procedures for proper estate and trust administration. He also has experience in judicial and nonjudicial modifications and reformations of irrevocable trust provisions as a result of changes in circumstances or tax laws.
Problem Solver. Mr. Powell serves as general counsel to many of his ultra-high-net-worth families, and in those engagements, his primary role is problem solver. Over the years, he has learned that such families value having one person to call no matter what the issue is – from interviewing new financial advisors to facilitating the purchase of a plane or boat, from reviewing existing and proposed investment opportunities to managing big family projects such building a new hospital, and from finding well-qualified defense lawyers when family members find themselves in trouble to identifying long-term care facilities for aging family members – his clients regularly call him first when a new situation arises, knowing that he is honored to assist his clients in these ways.
In addition to his law practice, Mr. Powell has taught as an adjunct professor in the Chapman University School of Law LL.M. Program in Taxation. He has written several journal articles on trusts and estates law and practice, and is a frequent speaker on those topics at professional programs and conferences.
- Mercer University School of Law, J.D.
- The University of Georgia, A.B.J., Advertising
- American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), Fellow, 2014-Present
- Orange County Estate Planning Council
- Orange County Bar Association
- Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP)
- California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA)
- Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC)
- J.F. Shea Center for Therapeutic Riding, Board Member, 2019-Present
- Dreams for Schools, Board Member, 2018-Present
- Laguna Beach High School Scholarship, Board Member, 2013-Present
- The State Bar of California Certified Specialist, Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, 2009-Present
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated, 2007-Present