Just Hang On! – When Things get Tough

Posted by on Jul 27, 2021 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on Just Hang On! – When Things get Tough

Just Hang On!

Just Hang On! was originally published in the California Society of Tax Consultants e-newsletter “The Reporter” February 2021

GQ’s cat Skippy hanging on.

Rick & Robin

Rick married Robin and after a while they welcomed their first son into the world. He was perfect. While it’s true that most parents believe their kids are perfect, at least at first, this kid really was exceptional. He was good looking, tall for his age, learned to speak earlier than normal, and in preschool he excelled above his classmates. He was a pleasure to parent. Several years later, Robin gave birth to their second son who seemed to be just like his brother, until they noticed very early on that he wasn’t. He was a handful as a baby and as a toddler developed some behaviors that required a parent’s full time attention. He was diagnosed with autism. The pre-school couldn’t handle him and the school system could not meet his needs. He was constantly kicked out of organized activities due to uncontrollable behavior and the inability of his teachers and coaches to manage him. The couple struggled through some very difficult times that challenged everything they tried. Their third son was born with Aspergers and their fourth son with Down’s syndrome. They had their hands full.

Keep It Together Man!

Rick wrote a book called “Keep it Together Man” – For Dads With A Special Kid”. I have known Rick and seen him at functions around town for years but have not had much close interaction with him. I always saw him as an easy going and happy guy who had a great attitude about everything. His wife Robin has always been a kind and loving person who I would see occasionally at service projects where we served together. For the past year I got to work with two of their sons in a youth group. They are a lot of fun to be with. To learn more about him and his family, I decided to read his book “Keep it Together Man” and was totally blown away by his life story with his four sons and daughter. It is truly inspirational to know what they have gone through raising three special needs boys while remaining sane and happy. Nothing they did as a family was ordinary, it was extraordinary. Toward the end of his book Rick declares “I am the luckiest man alive”. His life exemplifies love, strength of character, and grit. He truly believes he is the luckiest man alive and the way he and Robin live proves it.

Happy Despite Hardship

Why do some people seem happy despite hardship, illness, and loss while others who seem to have it all are miserable? How do some people keep pushing forward against what seem like impossible odds while others give up at the first sign of stress or strain? There are many books, articles, and podcasts available to tell us how to be happy and successful, but not all of them work for everyone. Each of us needs to find what works for us and our special cases. The longer I stomp around on this planet, the more I feel the aches, pains, and limitations that seem to come with grey hair. Every time something else starts to hurt, I need to make a choice. Am I going to complain about it and stop trying, or am I going to look at what I can do and keep pushing forward, perhaps using a different method? Through his book and his friendship, Rick taught me that it does not do any good to stop trying, because that does not make the problem go away. The only way to solve the problem is to work through it. Unfortunately, no one is going to sweep in and rescue me from my situation. That only happened in movies. Pushing forward requires effort and belief that you can solve it. The longer I live, the more I realize just how resourceful people can be when they put their mind to it.

During this year of tremendous change, it has thrilled me to see how creative people are in solving problems. The ways that people have changed their businesses and their personal and family practices to get through tough times is truly inspirational.

As an attorney I get to talk with people every day about their personal and business situations. I have found that no matter where we are in life – financially or otherwise – most of us live at or very near to the end of our ropes. It seems to me that no one has it easy and no one has it on cruise control.

End of Your Rope

A wise man once said that living at the end of our rope is not far from reality – the key is to tie a knot and hang on. To that I would add; while you are hanging on, take a look around at all the incredible, beautiful, and creative things that surround you and draw inspiration from them. As long as you have a knot tied at the end of your rope and are hanging on with one claw, you will be fine. But, you must hang on.

As members of CSTC we are enjoying the fruits of “hanging on” together and changing how things are done in new and better ways. We have provided awesome continuing education to thousands of people online and our membership is growing every month. Last month we added 49 new members to our ranks! That’s fantastic! Welcome news members! Thanks for joining us on our journey to “improve the tax industry one professional at a time”.

Please take a few minutes every day to look around at all the incredible, beautiful, and creative things that surround you and get inspired.

Have a fantastic February!

Your friend and President, Gary Quackenbush.

Tax Problem Solving – Options

Posted by on Mar 1, 2021 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on Tax Problem Solving – Options

Attorneys Gary Quackenbush and Rich Mathurin explain – 

What is a Tax Problem?

Can the IRS take my money? 

Liens & Levies – Bank, retirement, Refund attachment, Wage garnishment, Home foreclosure

Resolution Options:

1 – Do Nothing  – S/L 10 or 20 years

2 – Find the money and pay it

3 – Installment agreement

4 – Offer in Compromise

5 – Tax Bankruptcy – Chapters 7, 11, and 13 

How To Fund a Living Trust and What to do After Someone Dies

Posted by on Jan 18, 2021 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on How To Fund a Living Trust and What to do After Someone Dies

PART 1 – How do I put these things in my Living Trust?

GQ explains. House, Car, Timeshare, Personal Property, Business, Partnership, Corporate Stock, LLC, Sole Prop, Trademark – Copyright – Patent, Promissory Note.

PART 2 – Gary Quackenbush and Lorena Leroy explain what to do after someone dies and you need to distribute property from a Living Trust.  

PART 3 – Q&A – 

1  – I do not have any children. If I die without a Will, who gets my things? Who are my heirs?

2 – My husband has 3 children from a prior marriage that he never talks to and together we have a daughter. He has no Will or anything. He has a house and a retirement account. When he dies, I get the house right?

3 –  My son has a step-son whom he has been raising as his own.  If my son dies before he inherits money from me, will his inheritance go to his step-son? (ie. does a step-child automatically inherit from his step-parent?)


Posted by on Jan 8, 2021 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on GOOD QUESTION, THANKS FOR ASKING . . . Read by Lorena LeRoy

Q1: My parents died a year ago and I am the trustee of their trust. I have been able to make most of the distributions but my dad had a stock account in his name. The stock account is worth $440,000 and the investment company won’t let me touch it. They say I need to get a court order to get the money. What court order are they talking about? My parents have a trust, why do I need a court order? (Listen to the Podcast below for the answer)

Q2: I just bought life insurance and the company wants me to name a beneficiary. Is it best to name my wife or the Trust as beneficiary? (Listen to the Podcast below for the answer)

Q3: My contracting business is incorporated and I want my sons to have it in case anything happens to me. Can I put my corporation in my Will and give it to them? What do you suggest? (Listen to the Podcast below for the answer)

What to do if the Successor Trustee is doing a bad job.

Posted by on Nov 19, 2020 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on What to do if the Successor Trustee is doing a bad job.

Q1: My parents died several years ago and my brother is the trustee of their trust. I don’t think he is following the trust but he will not talk to me. How can I motivate them to do his job? How can I find out what is going on with the trust and mom and dads property? 

Q2: I am 33 years old and happily married with 2 small kids. We do not own a house. I have life insurance and a 401k at work with $80,000 in it. Do I need an estate plan? 

Q3: I have a small maintenance business that bring in about $150,000 per year. I want my kids to have it if something happens to me. What can I do to make sure my kids can either have the business or sell it before my competitors grab up all my clients?

Q4: My mom does not have a health directive? If my brother and I disagree as to life support, who will make the decision if mom cannot? 


Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by on Nov 7, 2020 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is pretty much my favorite holiday. I love Christmas with all its magic, the beautiful decorations, the wonderful spirit, and the thrill presents, but at Thanksgiving the expectations to make the holiday great are so much lower. Even with a big feast, Thanksgiving is a simpler holiday. Thanksgiving is simply a time to be with family and friends, to remember lost loved ones, and to enjoy time together.

To say I am grateful for the Covid-19 pandemic would be an overstatement, and probably shock a few people, but I am grateful for the things learned so far during the pandemic. In speaking to friends, family, and clients about the situation, I have concluded that one of the greatest things about the pandemic is that it has helped us appreciate things that we have taken for granted. Keeping ‘socially distant’ has severely limited our time with others and has therefore made time together more precious. Having to wear a mask has made it so that seeing someone’s face without a mask is a refreshing experience. We have learned that even though things have been taken away, if we focus on what we have, we can feel a greater measure of gratitude and joy about life. I am personally grateful for good health, good doctors and hospitals, healthy kids and grandkids, a wonderful family, supportive friends, money to take care of my family’s needs, a great business, and all my senses. 


Learn how to be a Successor Trustee from Gary

Posted by on Nov 7, 2020 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on Learn how to be a Successor Trustee from Gary

Learn how to be a Succesor Trustee from Attorney Gary Quackenbush of GQ Law. 

If you have been named as the Successor Trustee of someones Trust, you are probably wondering what you are in for. Gary explains in 13 minutes the basic requirements and duties of a Successor Trustee. He gives you a list of the things you need to do and some ideas on how to get the job done right. 

Bookkeeper, Enrolled Agent, CPA, or Attorney?

Posted by on Oct 21, 2019 in Entrepreneur, San Diego Lawyer, Setting up a Small Business, Small Business, Success, Taxes, Tips for Entrepreneurs | Comments Off on Bookkeeper, Enrolled Agent, CPA, or Attorney?

Bookkeeper, Enrolled Agent, CPA, or Attorney?

By Christina Hebert, Atty., CPA. of GQ Law

You’re thinking about starting a business, or you’re already in business, and now you have to decide – who do I look for to help me with my financials and taxes?  The answer is – it depends.  The answer on who you should hire is entirely dependent on the situation that you’re in.

If you’re just starting a business – going to a CPA or an attorney or preferably both is your best option.  A CPA, typically, has a well-rounded background.  They have gone to school studying business and have worked as an auditor – gaining experience with different types of companies.  Typically the CPA has been exposed to various business environments and can provide valuable information on best practices.  An attorney on the other hand – has experience through law school, internships, and practice with the fallout when best practices are not followed.  Attorneys also have an understanding of interpreting and explaining legal requirements for running a business.


How Will You Measure Your Life?

Posted by on Sep 17, 2019 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on How Will You Measure Your Life?

How Will You Measure Your Life?

In 2010, management scholar and innovation expert, Clayton Christensen, posed this question to the graduating class of Harvard Business School, then asked it in a Harvard Business Review article, and then wrote a book on the question. I pose this question to all of you, myself included – how will you measure your life?

Tyler and Gary atop “the Diving Board” on Half Dome in Yosemite after climbing “Snake Dike” route to the top.

Measuring your life’s success is part of the process of looking around to see how you are doing. How is it that you measure your life? After all is said and done what is truly most important to you? What are your deepest goals and desires? When you look back, what will be your measure of personal success? What will you be most proud of? No doubt, many of us would put family, relationships with spouses and children, faith, values, positive impact in the community, etc., as their measures of success. Now the question is, how well do you allocate your personal resources to reflect those measures of success? Do you feel like you are spending the appropriate amount of time in the areas that are most important to you? Are you spending enough time building the relationships that you feel are so important?


Derek S. Questions Gary Quackenbush about Estate Planning and Trusts.

Posted by on Aug 28, 2019 in San Diego Lawyer | Comments Off on Derek S. Questions Gary Quackenbush about Estate Planning and Trusts.

Listen to get Derek’s perspective on Estate Planning and Trusts.