Can I transfer my professional practice to my trust?
Under the California Corporations Code Section 13407, only a qualified professional may be a shareholder in a professional corporation such as a law, medical or accounting practice. Generally speaking, shares in a professional corporation may be transferred to a revocable trust under the following conditions (See Cal Dep't of Consumer Affairs Legal Opinion 79-5):
- The Trustee and current beneficiaries of the trust are licensed professionals in the relevant field.
- A non-licensed spouse of a licensed spouse-Trustee does not have an interest in the trust greater than his or her community property interest in the shares of the professional corporation;
- The trust must provide that: (a) the licensed spouse-trustee has exclusive control and powers relating to the shares of the professional corporation, and (b) on the nonlicensed spouse's death, the spouses' children (or other beneficiaries) have a beneficial interest, if at all, only in the proceeds that may be received from the shares and not equitable title to those shares.