Darin T. Jensen
Corporate & Business Law, Estate Planning, Trusts & Probate, Tax Law
Darin Jensen’s practice concentrates on private family companies and their owners. His unique background in law and accounting makes him particularly well-suited to handle complex tax and business matters. Darin advises business owners on general business planning and family wealth succession strategies. As a business attorney, he assists individuals, businesses, tax-exempt organizations, and private family foundations in a variety of matters such as business formation and on-going operation, drafting and advising business succession plans, federal and state tax consulting, and exit strategies. As an estate planning attorney, he has created many estate plans that successfully navigate the complexities of state and federal law.
- Bachelor of Arts (double major: Economics, Sociology), Minor in Business Administration, 1994, Seattle Pacific University
- J.D., 2001; Seattle University School of Law
- LL.M. Taxation, 2004, University of Washington School of Law
- Succession Planning for Private Family – As an attorney for many private businesses, Darin develops and implements many succession plans and other plans of reorganization to facilitate and methodically transfer ownership and control to successive generations. Since 2009, Darin has coordinated over $450 million in wealth transfers to the next generation of company leaders by utilizing family limited liability companies, sales to trusts, intra-familial loan arrangements, redemption agreements, and private foundations.
- Formation, Operation and Liquidation of Businesses – Darin assists with forming and reorganizing businesses. Darin has a deep understanding of the accounting and taxation for partnerships (and LLCs), corporate (and S-corporations), and charitable organizations. This knowledge helps influence the negotiation and structuring of limited liability companies, joint ventures and other agreements. In one particular transaction, Darin reviewed a client’s exercise of options in a partnership merger and provided an analysis that converted $5.3M from potential ordinary income to long-term capital gain income and saved the client over $1M in tax.
- Estate Planning – Darin prepares many advanced estate plans including wills and trusts (irrevocable and revocable), charitable and family gifts, private foundations, and family limited liability companies. He structures and implements Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts, Charitable Lead Trusts, Charitable Remainder Trusts, Generation Skipping Trusts, and other sophisticated trusts. International Planning – Darin assists non-U.S. individuals structure tax-efficient, lifetime and testamentary gifts to their U.S. family members.
- Probate Administration and Post-Mortem Tax Planning – Darin handles the legal administration of many large and small estates. In particular, he gives special consideration to post-mortem tax planning. In a one case, Darin reviewed a decedent’s retirement plan documents and composed a strategy that enabled the surviving spouse to increase the amount of assets available to fund a special tax exempt trust so that transfers to future generations would be precluded from federal and state estate tax while preserving the surviving spouse’s portion of the estate. Darin also advises with tax return preparation and filings because there are many elections with legal significance that are required to be filed with the tax return.
Publications & Presentations
- “Continuation of Grantor Trust Status for an IDGT After the Death of One Grantor,” Estate Planning Journal, June 2023
- “Examining Whether a Grantor Can Serve as an Investment Director and Not Risk Estate Tax Inclusion,” Washington State Bar Association Real Property, Probate and Trust Newsletter, Fall 2018
- “Yoga for the 2704 Regulations: An Update to Help You Relax,” Washington Planned Giving Council Luncheon, Seattle, WA, February 2017
- Co-Author, Puget Sound Business Journal, “Five Succession Tips for Private Family Businesses,” March 2015
- “Residency, Domicile, and Choice of Law,” 59th Annual Northwest Estate Planning Conference, Seattle, WA, October 2014
- “Use of LLCs in Asset Protection and Estate Planning,” National Business Institute, Seattle, WA, May 2014
- “Gifting and GST Tax Planning,” National Business Institute, June 2012
- “The Coalescence of Five Favorable Estate Planning Factors Making This the Perfect Time for Advanced Estate Planning,” Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, May 2012
- “Tax Issues, Succession Planning, and Estate Planning Related to Family Businesses,” Seattle University – Undergraduate Program, 2011
- “2010 Tax Act; Estate Planning; and Succession Planning,” Seattle University – MBA Program, 2011
- Author, WSBA Real Property, Probate & Trust Newsletter, “Reasons to Use an Exemption Trust Despite the Portability Exemption,” Spring 2011
- Contributing Author, CCH, ” Practical Guide to Form 990 ” (2009)
- Author, Legal Guide on Avvo.com, “Tax Accounting Method for LLCs” (2010)
Professional & Civic
Recognized by The Best Lawyers in America® in the practice area of ‘Trusts and Estates’ (2018 ed. – 2024 ed.)
Washington Super Lawyers magazine “Super Lawyer,” 2014 – 2023
Washington Super Lawyers magazine “Rising Star,” 2012
Chair, Pro Bono Committee of the Taxation Section of the Washington State Bar Association, 2022-present
Member, University of Washington Estate and Gift Advisory Council
Past Finance Chair for a large non-profit torganization
Elementary Soccer Coach and Parent Volunteer Bellevue School District