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Firm Overview

I have engaged in solo practice from 1989 until the present. The original focus on living trust practice has gradually expanded to include irrevocable trusts, tax planning arrangements, probate litigation, etc.

Example cases

Example 1: Terminally ill client owned undivided one-half joint tenancy interest in family home with estranged spouse. Client wished to go to Mexico with mistress to try for a miracle cure. Client understood likelihood of medical success was very low. Client could not pull wealth from home equity quickly enough. Mistress had means to finance, but required high level of certainty concerning repayment. To acquire clear title in hands of Client, broke joint tenancy and created undivided one-half tenant-in-common interests in Client and spouse. Transferred this interest into trust. Trust left amount due to mistress, and balance to children of client and spouse. To preclude post-mortem legal challenge, considered usual forfeiture clause (if anyone challenges they get $1), but concluded that enforceability of such clauses too uncertain. Given that conclusion, created power for myself as attorney to rearrange trust provisions after the death of the client to make a gift to charity if I so chose. To preclude surviving spouse from "dragging her feet" about payment, provided for right of charity to receive one-half rental value of family home for a period of time beginning with death of Client and ending when obligation to mistress was paid. Executed document with videotape recording, client interview with physician, initials on every page, law professor and physician as witnesses, etc. Client died, spouse hired unqualified attorney, and I exercised my power in a very minor way to demonstrate what I had the power to do. Spouse then hired top-notch attorney, and top-notch attorney surrendered. Matter concluded with client's purposes entirely fulfilled, and no litigation.

Example 2: Client filed $1.4 million claim against estate, but mistakenly filed under wrong case number. Executor denied this claim under correct file number, but then, after the time for filing claims had expired, sought to avoid claim in court because it was never properly filed. Practice books to the contrary notwithstanding, I determined by direct examination of the statutes that Executor's failure to provide notice to client as a known creditor meant that client was entitled to file at any time prior to final distribution. Court agreed, and client was able to file late, saving $1.4M claim.

Main Office

303 Potrero Street
Suite 52
Santa Cruz  CA  95060

  • (831) 600-7017
  • (831) 600-8449

Jeffrey Killeen

Prior to practicing law, I worked for Arthur Andersen & Co. I passed the CPA exam in 1984 but I did not get proper audit experience and therefore cannot use the letters.

A very strong accounting and finance background informs my practice. Legal counsel is informed by an excellent grasp of history and politics, and a good working understanding of principles of economics.

I have a positive emotional connection with clients, creativity in fashioning solutions to difficult problems and a strong accounting and finance background to inform legal counsel concerning best decision to make.

Warm, personal, funny, informative and trustworthy.

Personal interests:

Hiking, travel, and political speculation.

  • Bar Number: 84614
    California , 1978
  • University of Michigan Law School
    J.D. , 1977
    Ann Arbor, MI
  • University of California at Berkeley, Extension
    Passed CPA Exam , 1983
    Berkeley, CA
    Passed CPA Exam
  • University of Michigan
    B.A. , 1975
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Political Science, Economics, History

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