J. Christopher Toews’ practice is focused on business and estate planning for business owners, professionals and retirees. Practice areas include formation of business entities and nonprofit organizations, ongoing business and tax advice to business owners, estate and succession planning, estate administration and related tax services and advice. He is a member of the tax, business and probate and trust law sections of the State Bar and holds specialization certificates in taxation and in estate planning, trust and probate law.
Chris began his legal career in 1968 with the New York City firm of Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine, where he was a tax associate dealing with corporate reorganizations, partnerships, tax shelters, private foundations and other nonprofit organizations, state and local tax matters, audits and litigation.
In 1973 Chris joined Citibank, N.A. (New York) as Vice President – Assistant Tax Counsel. He later became controller of Citibank’s International Banking Group and held various other financial and administrative posts with the Bank. In 1979 he was named Corporate Secretary of Saudi American Bank, Citibank’s affiliate bank headquartered in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In that capacity he served as the Saudi American’s general counsel and was responsible for all non-banking staff functions including financial control, regulatory and stockholder relations and strategic planning.
Chris returned to his native California in 1983 and has been in private practice in San Luis Obispo since 1984. He was President of Ad Care, Inc. later Lifespan Services Network, Inc.), which sponsored adult day care services and other programs for senior citizens in San Luis Obispo County. Chris is also past Chairman of the State Bar of California Business Law Section’s Nonprofit Organizations Committee, and currently represents numerous public and private charitable organizations. He is a member of the California Bar, the New York Bar (inactive) and of the Bar of the United States Tax Court.
In 1997 Chris authored an article published by the American Bar Association and by law firm management consultants Altman, Weil Pensa, Inc. on value billing for legal services and the related issues of specialization and automation in law practice. He authored another article, “Client-Driven Estate Planning,” which appeared in the Summer, 2003 edition of Trusts and Estates Quarterly, a publication of the Trusts and Estates section of the State Bar of California. He is a frequent lecturer on business and estate planning topics and has recently given several presentations on estate planning and tax issues for same-sex couples.
Chris received his law degree in 1967 from the University of Southern California, where he was a member of the legal honor society, Order of the Coif, and a member of the law review.
Chris is a licensed pilot who holds a commercial pilot certificate with an instrument rating and owns a Cirrus SR-22 aircraft. He also enjoys riding his motorcycle and playing classical and jazz piano.
Chris has been a Rotarian since 1985 and is a member of the Rotary Club of Atascadero. His other interests include woodworking projects and snow skiing. Chris has been a member of a local ski club, SLO Skiers, for many years and formerly served as Treasurer and Director of the Club.