Based on 13 reviews
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Jeff rewrote and restructured my wife and my living trust, which hadn't been touched in 15 years. He was very knowledgeable about how the laws had changed and was very clear in his ability to explain it all to us. He was warm and compassionate in talking about unpleasant eventualities (death, disability) and handled the entire process with charm and professionalism.
I've known Jeff through a number of professional organizations and also through work we have conducted via mutual clients. Jeff is of the utmost integrity and possesses a wealth of knowledge in the area of estate planning. I highly endorse Jeff and his practice and recommend him to those individuals in his area seeking quality legal services.
I had my will and living trust done by Jeffrey Sydney and his firm, and am very pleased with my experience. Jeff really took the time and care to get to know me and understand "what makes me tick" in the initial meeting so that he and his team could make informed decisions while putting my documents together. The result was an efficient second meeting to finalize and sign the documents.
Between my first and second meetings, I corresponded via email with Jeff's associate, Christine, who was very responsive.
Last but not least, the Tina, who handles client services, conducts herself very professionally and I was impressed by her thoroughness when I first called the firm, as well as with her telephone demeanor (I have hired and managed a lot of front office staff in my career).
In October 2007 we attended his free dinner sales presentation at the Odyssey Restaurant in Granada Hills California and we hired him right away to do our living trust. Once his was hired, the documents generated by his office had numerous mistakes including many typing errors. It became our job to tell his staff what to do. Because of this, Mr. Sydney got angry at us. Finally they had to redo the whole thing. Later we noticed in the 3+ years we were clients that he had 3 paralegals come and go under his watch (and his assistants too but I can't recall if they changed beyond just once). And his practice is/was just 3 people: himself, a paralegal and an assistant. All leaving abruptly. All requiring us to re-explain and re-do paperwork. I won't speculate why, but I think it impacts the quality of work and service. Since we were required to prepaid the service, so we had to let his staff work on our trust. Mr. Sydney seemed to know what he was doing but not his staff. By the way, we kept all the inaccurate documents with the mistakes for reference if needed.
I had a horrible experience with this attorney. In short, Mr. Sydney administered my parents trust incorrectly causing me/my family unnecessary expense, negative tax implications, and severely limited our ability to liquidate/use assets in our survivors trust. In plain English, he messed up our trust. BADLY. I question Mr. Sydney's ability to customize a trust for specific needs. I suspect he applies the same cookie cutter approach to every trust he creates & administers - whether or not it suits the family's trust and financial situation. Our wealth manager had even questioned why Mr. Sydney was setting things up the way he was. We should have listened to our wealth manager; instead we assumed Mr. Sydney knew what he was doing. Turns out, he does not.
If you want piece of mind, Jeffrey Sydney is your guy! My wife and I are using Mr. Sydney to do our wills as well as estate planning. This is our second time around with his firm and we have total trust in his ability to expain to us in layman terms exactly what we are planning and signing. He has shown us his expertise in his field and we know our hard earned money is protected for our children and grandchildren with up-to-date tax planning. We recommend Mr. Sydney for anyone like us who want to sleep well knowing our future is planned out and our family members are well protected when we pass on.
Here is my opinion on the practice of this lawyer. I think Jeff Sydney’s top priority is to benefit himself, protecting his clients is secondary to him. Here is my experience: Our assets were under $3.5 million and he should have set up a By-Pass Trust for us to automatically transfer all assets to the surviving spouse with no tax consequences after one spouse passes away. Instead, he set up the AB Trust for us. Of course the fee is higher to set up the AB trust and more fees to come after one spouse passes away. This was exactly what he did for us. After my wife passed away, he split up the AB trust for us with an additional fee. Now I am having a big headache from the way he set up the AB trust. In addition, I have to keep on filing the Estate Tax return for the B Trust and may have to pay higher rate of Estate tax as long as I live. He should have set up the By-Pass Trust for us but he did not because he made more money from me by setting up AB Trust. Where is his professional ethic? I have paid a high price to learn this. He had never returned my phone call nor had he responded to my email inquiries. Also I had to pay him 100% before he distributed our assets between A and B trusts after my wife passed away. Because he is very knowledgeable in trust law in a bed way, I believe that he really took the advantage of us during the days I was mourning the loss of my wife.
Jeff helped me to create a trust for my estate. I feel well protected and confident with the choices I made. Jeff and his staff were very thorough and professional. Thank you for making this experience positive and stress free.
Jeff is an outstanding estate planning attorney that has assisted several of my clients with their estate planning needs, and has recently done the same for me and my wife. He is incredibly thorough and is a true expert in his field. He is highly skilled in explaining complex legal issues in a way that his clients can easily understand so they can make good decisions when structuring their trusts and estate plans. I have the utmost respect for Jeff both personally and professionally.
My husband and I have separate trusts as we each have children from previous marriages. Jeff has updated them satisfactorily as our needs/tax laws have changed & affect us. We also appreciate his annual seminars updating clients on what may affect us. We have referred friends/associates to him and they also have been satisfied to work with him and his staff.