Samuel B. Ledwitz is an Estate Planning Attorney, Trust and Probate Law Specialist, certified by the California Board of Legal Specialisation of the State Bar.
Aside from his work, Samuel speaks about his family: “I have a beautiful wife and two children. I cherish the time I spend with them, my parents, and other relatives. My wife Kamila is a Marriage and Family Therapist who has spent her career helping others manage the most difficult of circumstances – something I greatly admire her for. She is a wonderful mother to our two children.”
And it is this admiration for his own family that enables Samuel to understand the importance of trusts; ensuring your assets are preserved for beneficiaries, eases families of burdens and ensures your loved ones are in hand and are protected after your death. Samuel has an undeniable passion for helping families and making sure his clients wishes are fulfilled.
In this insightful interview, we learn how Samuel has seen his industry change over the years, as well as the inspiration behind him starting up his own firm.
What inspired you to undertake estate planning, trust and probate law as a specialism?
I saw an opportunity to help individuals and their families. Estate planning, due to the complexities it entails, can be very daunting. I saw a need and took an interest in individuals helping people manage their assets and meeting their health care wishes. I thought I could really help families by pursuing this area of the law, and I think I have.
You are a three-time winner of the prestigious Five Star Wealth Manager Award; what qualities do you think accounts towards this achievement?
To receive the Five Star Wealth Manager award, a professional must satisfy 10 objective eligibility and evaluation criteria. Factors considered include assets under management and client retention rate. Candidates also undergo a thorough regulatory and complaint review.
To receive this honour, you need to have a high level of customer service, which I believe my firm has. By operating at that high level of customer service, it goes a long way in not just helping the client, but also in the client referring business back to us.
When teaching courses on estate planning and business law, what are important lessons students must be taught?
Students need to learn the basics of how the court system works and how we can improve the results of the public and our clients when they take our advice. Through this, students can learn how to save clients time and money and how to keep their affairs private in everything they want to achieve.
What has been your flagship piece of work and how did you apply thought leadership to this scenario?
Since an early age I always wanted to run my own business. I got the opportunity in 2007 to do so and haven’t looked back. Founding my own firm gave me a chance not just to do things my way, but also allowed me to do things the best way: always do what is in the best interest of the client, treat him or her with a great deal of respect and you will ultimately be rewarded in the end. This way of thinking has allowed us to continue the financial legacies of hundreds of families over the years.
How has your role in the legal sector changed over the years? How did you allow yourself to progress and transition?
We’ve added additional areas of estate planning, such as those specialising in litigation and probate. We’ve added services clients can utilise when they have disagreements. In general, we expanded to include additional areas our clients need. When we have managed a person’s estate plan, we are able to provide these additional services at an important level of quality due to our familiarity with the estate plan. This gives the client a considerable advantage in litigation proceedings and related areas.
Moreover, can you think of any regulation changes which hugely impacted the way in which you practiced law?
A good example is the Estate Tax Laws changing in January 2013. These changes allowed us to protect more of our client’s legacies from the federal government. It isn’t so much as individual changes to laws and regulations; rather it is having a working knowledge of changes that happen regularly.
What else are you hoping to achieve in the upcoming years?
I want to continue growing personally and professionally. I enjoy the ongoing learning and development of strategies to further the ability of my firm to help clients. I enjoy working with other professionals within and outside of our firm and the camaraderie that comes with it as we pursue mutual goals. I want to continue growing the firm for the benefit my clients and family.
Samuel B. Ledwitz
President and Managing Partner
+1 (310) 316-2400
Samuel B. Ledwitz is an Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Specialist, certified by the California Board of Legal Specialisation of the State Bar.
Samuel attended Pepperdine University School of Law, where he earned his law degree (J.D.) with an emphasis in the areas of estate and income tax. Next, Samuel attended The University of Miami School of Law, where he earned his Post-Doctorate Degree (LL.M.) in Estate Planning.
Sam is a three-time winner of the prestigious Five Star Wealth Manager Award and is recognized as a Superb Rated Attorney by the AVVO attorney rating service. Sam has appeared in several national and local periodicals receiving praise for his work, including Newsweek Magazine, Los Angeles Magazine, and the Torrance Daily Breeze. Sam is an active member of the Los Angeles, Long Beach and South Bay Trust and Estate Planning Councils.
Sam has been practicing Law in the state of California since 1998, opening his own firm in 2007. He is currently the President and Managing Partner. He has also been a Professor at Cerritos College within the school’s Law department.
Our Law Firm helps people in the areas of Estate Planning, Estate Administration, Probate and Estate Litigation. These are the only areas of law in which we practice. This focus allows us to effectively address all types of matters, from straightforward Estate Planning issues to sophisticated wealth transfer techniques, tax planning strategies, Estate Litigation and any other issue surrounding our clients. Samuel Ledwitz and Gary Talavera (of Counsel) with our Firm have been certified by the State Bar of California’s Board of Legal Specialization in the area of Estate Planning. Samuel Ledwitz holds an advanced post-doctorate LL.M. degree in Estate Planning, and Gary Talavera has also earned an LL.M. degree in Taxation. Our attorneys’ credentials demonstrate our firm’s understanding of the complex estate planning issues. Further, Bezaire, Ledwitz & Borncamp builds upon decades of legal practice and tradition.