Law Offices of Michael D. Larsen

Firm Overview

I became an attorney in 1985. I worked in several large law firms as a young attorney; I established my own practice in January 1996. I work in three main areas of law: estate planning and probate, real estate and business law.
Main Office
Main
131-A Stony Circle
Suite 536
Santa Rosa  CA  95401
Phone
  • (707) 578-2310
Fax
  • (707) 540-6256
Websites

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?
I charge $300 for an initial consultation. I deduct this fee from the cost for the estate plan if the client hires me.
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
I generally charge a flat rate for preparing estate plans. Depending on the complexity of the estate, I charge between $1,000 and $3,000. Matters requiring advanced tax planning or "cross border" issues can cost more than $3,000.
Hourly Rates
$350

Office Information

Office Hours
Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Office Manager
Sandy Hendricks
Emergency After Hours
No
Languages Spoken
French, German, and basic Spanish

Other Offices

San Francisco Office
One Embarcadero, Fifth Floor
San Francisco,  CA  94111
Estate Planning
Working with clients to protect their families
Preparing an estate plan isn't just about drafting documents. It's rather like painting a house--there is a lot of "prep" work that, if done correctly, makes the final product look a lot better. For example, you need to think carefully about whom to name as the trustee of your trust. Many people want to name an adult child as their trustee, but that is not always the best choice. You need to think about how your loved ones may behave when they are grieving and faced with settling up your estate.
Probate
Representing clients in Probate Court
When I talk about "probate," I really mean dealing with estates or with trusts that are governed by the Probate Code. If someone dies without a trust, his estate will probably have to go through a court-supervised process known as probate. But you may also deal with the Probate Court if there is a dispute about a trust you are handling.

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

I enjoy working with people who are planning their estates. This can be a positive experience, as the clients are thinking about ways to help their families.

I also like handling estates and trusts. I guide my clients through the process and help them resolve any possible disputes about their handling of the estate.

What is your firm's point of view regarding clients educating themselves on legal issues?

I find it much easier to work with clients who have spent some time learning the legal issues affecting their cases. I encourage this.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

I am happy to review documents prepared by clients. In fairness, I always warn clients that it is sometimes less expensive to have me prepare the documents than to have me review what they have done and try to correct any errors.

Is your firm willing to coach clients who want to represent themselves?

In general, I think this is fine. I try to determine in the initial interview whether the client really can handle the matter on his or her own.

Michael D. Larsen

Practicing law has taught me that legal analysis is often only half of the problem clients have. The other half is dealing with people. This is especially true in the area of wills and trusts, where family members have to deal with death, grief, money and family dynamics.I have excellent legal skills and a wealth of experience gleaned from practicing law for over 20 years. In terms of style, I like to educate my clients and their families and try to develop a spirit of collaboration. I have found that conflict in the area of wills, trusts and estates can tear families apart, and I want my clients to avoid that fate.
License
  • Bar Number: 120815
    California , 1985
Education
  • University of Chicago
    Juris Doctor , 1985
    Chicago, IL
  • Harvard College
    Bachelor's Degree , 1982
    Cambridge, MA

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