I established my firm in June of 2002. I was sworn in on June 3, 2002, and filed my first probate on June 25, 2002. Before I became an attorney, I was a paralegal and worked for the Superior Court Probate Division as a Probate Examiner. I would see estate after estate be drained of its assets to pay probate attorneys, court costs, and fees. The reason for my becoming an attorney was to educate families how important it is to have a Living Trust or Revocable Trust to prevent their estate from going into probate.
The focus of my law firm is to help families plan where their estates should go while they are healthy and active. Documents like Durable Powers of Attorney, for both health and financial reasons, are essential for all families in today's world. Any parent with a child should have a guardian designated in case they are no longer there for their children. We also have a vast population and many families are faced with establishing Conservatorships to meet their parent's medical and financial needs. It is always better to have the elder select who they want to handle their affairs before they no longer can make that determination.
Re Estate of Donald Richard Austin, 2010 (188 Cal.App.4th 512)
I was the attorney for the former wife's daughter, Debra Simpson. After many hearings, a trial, and finally an appeal, this estate was settled in favor of my client. It took over four years and many thousands in attorney's fees to accomplish this.
6107 North Tamera Avenue
Fresno CA 93711
I offer a free initial half hour consultation
For any new Nolo client, I will reduce the fee for a complete family trust portfolio by $200; $100 for complete individual trust portfolio; $100 for Guardianships and the same for Conservatorships.
Monday through Thursday
8:00 a.m. to 5:00 pm.
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
I focus my practice on preparing living trusts, establishing guardianships and conservatorships. I always try to inform my clients about the differences between a Will and a Revocable Trust so that they will be comfortable with making the decision. I have seen probates go on for 25+ years, and that is such a waste. I enjoy helping my clients feel that their matters are in order, even if something devastating should occur.
I believe that all clients should educate themselves as much as possible before seeking an attorney. Many times, self-help can only take the client so far and then there is a need to get an attorney involved. California has its own probate code and many times things that may be true in other states, do not apply in California. Seeking California specific self-help is vitally important. Documents and procedures become more and more complex with each yearly change in the California Probate Code.
I would be willing to review documents prepared by clients at half my normal rate.
I have helped people who want to represent themselves and will continue to do so. I say this with the caveat that if the matter becomes too complex for a client, I will suggest that they hire an attorney, me or someone else to handle the matter. The courts are very patient with Pro Per clients, but there does come a time when the complexity of the courts and the matters become too much for a lay person to handle.
Fresno County Superior Court - 1992-1995: Curtis Rindlisbacher and Lanier Thomas, Attorneys-at-Law; 1995-1996: Bob Gilmore, Attorney-at-Law, 1996-1998; Fresno County Superior Court - 1998-2002: Solo Practitioner 2002 to present.
I worked several years in the Probate Division in Fresno Superior Court. I have taught clinics for Guardianships, I have provided free estate planning seminars for companies and senior groups. I drive to many of my client's homes because it is difficult for them to come to my office. I am a parent and a grandparent and I know how important it is to plan ahead. I lost my first son at the age of ten and I was not prepared at all for such a tragedy. I have instilled in my two children the importance of taking care of things before you are forced to.
My daughter worked with me for four years. I paid for her paralegal studies and she received her Paralegal Certification during her first year of employment with me. Then her best friend started working part-time. When my daughter moved to Wisconsin, Julie, became full time and again I paid for her paralegal studies and she completed her Paralegal Certification within the first year of employment. I now have a third part-time employee that is currently going through her paralegal training at my expense. I believe that a well trained staff will make or break a law office.
In 2009 I lose my mother after a stroke. I prepared a Durable Power of Attorney for Finance and an Advance Health Care Directive so that she could rest assured all was taken care of. I have prepared hundreds of family trusts, wills, durable powers of attorneys for finance and health and yes, even a twelve page will for a client who itemized everything in her apartment.
I am a very good listener. I understand family dynamics and how they can impact estate planning. I am on the call list of the Fresno County Superior Court to represent Conservatees when an attorney is required. I do this at a discount rate and make every effort to stand up for the conservatee's rights. I always meet with clients personally and utilize my staff to keep costs down. My style is casual, but professional. I do not feel the client should feel intimidated by my presence, but know that I am there to help them.Personal interests:
I enjoy bowling, gardening, and swimming.
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