Law Office of Michael W. Cooper

Estates, Wills, Trusts, Probate, Medi-Cal Planning,Family Law, Elder Law, Business and Partnerships

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Firm Overview

I represent individuals, families, and small business owners throughout Northern California in all aspects of estate planning, business planning, life care planning, wealth preservation, asset protection, and family law. My primary purpose is to provide each of my clients with the information and resources they need to be successful with their estate plans and family transitions. I am a knowledgeable estate planning and family lawyer who understands the value of establishing long-term relationships of trust and confidence with my clients.

Family Law Category:

Divorce, and Dissolution of Non-Marital Relationships:
In cases of divorce, or dissolution of a domestic partnership or other non-marital relationship, we anticipate spouses or partners will commit to resolution of their differences by means of mediation or the collaborative law process. California law authorizes both mediation and collaborative practice in family law cases.

Except in enforcement-of-judgment cases, or unusual circumstances about which the prospective client is invited to inquire in a free consultation, I do not take divorce or partnership dissolution cases in which the parties are not prepared to make this commitment.

Consumer-friendly books and articles about mediation and collaborative law are available on the Nolo Press website at www.nolo.com

Family Formation:
Families may be formed by statutory means, as in the case of marriage or registered domestic partnership, or by informal means, such as written or unwritten agreements to live together and do such things as acquire property together and raise children together. In any type of family formation, the parties may adopt children or assume guardianship of children.
In the case of unmarried life-partners in either a statutory or informal long-term partnership, it is very important that both persons have powers of attorney for health care and financial management, and HIPAA waivers, to prevent a life-partner from being shut out by the others family in case the other becomes seriously ill or incapacitated. Needless to say, unmarried life-partners should also be careful to do their estate planning as close to the beginning of their relationship as possible, so their beneficial intentions are not thwarted by the laws of intestacy.

Elder Law:
I have many years of experience in elder law matters, and I am a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. My practice includes Medicaid and Medicare planning, Advanced Health Care Directives and Powers of Attorney, asset protection, conservatorships, life care planning, and tax planning.

Other Family Law Matters:
Other kinds of family law cases and concerns are also listed on the opening page, under the tab, "Types of Cases." I offer counsel and representation in all such matters.

Wills, Trusts & Estates Category:
I handle my clients' living trusts, wills, probate administration, trust administration, and advanced estate planning matters with diligence and care, based on 29 years of experience as an Attorney and Counselor at Law in California.

I also help small businesses with business and tax planning, and coordination of business strategies with long-term plans for business management succession, family legacies and charitable giving, as well as asset protection and wealth preservation.

Specific estate planning cases and concerns are listed on the opening page, under the tab, "Types of Cases." I offer counsel, document preparation and representation in all such matters.

I have 29 years of experience as an Attorney and Counselor at Law in California. I brought my expertise, experience and practice to the Town of Paradise, in Butte County, in the summer of 2008, after retirement from government pract

Main Office

Main
9001 Skyway
Paradise  CA  95969

Phone
  • (530) 877-1383
Fax
  • (530) 872-7175

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?

The initial consultation is free. It is generally from one-half to one hour in duration. The client provides a completed subject-matter questionnaire in advance of the consultation, so that the consultation can focus on determining the client's needs.

Services Offered For Fixed Fees?

We do have fixed-price services in most estate planning cases. Initial consultations are free. The client provides a completed subject-matter questionnaire in advance of the consultation, so that the consultation can focus on determining the client's estate planning needs. Once the client's needs are determined, a fixed fee is quoted, and it is up to the client whether to proceed.

Nolo Document Review Participants must provide the same completed subject-matter questionnaire that all clients are required to provide in advance of the consultation, along with copies of the documents that are to be reviewed. That way, the adequacy of the Nolo documents can be considered in light of the client's actual circumstances. This is important, because an estate plan cannot be evaluated apart from the personal and financial facts and circumstances that it must address.

Hourly Rates

For attorney services provided on an hourly rate basis, the rate is generally $250 to $350 per hour, depending on the circumstances of the particular case. Fees for other professionals, who may be involved in the matter, if any, are determined by them.

Office Information

Office Hours

Monday through Friday
9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
House calls, hospital and hospice calls, and care facility calls, by appointment.

Emergency After Hours

Yes

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

After several years of general practice, I found the best expression of my talents was in client's personal and family circumstances, so the natural choices for me were family law, probate, estate planning and elder law, to which my practice is generally limited today.

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

Clients should educate themselves on the issues related to their matter, and their particular circumstances. The attorney can help by offering advice and counsel, and by providing written materials for the client to read. The client can also find and read free brochures and articles on internet sites, such as the State Bar website and the Nolo Press website at www.nolo.com.

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

We are pleased to review documents prepared by clients. The documents must be provided in advance of the consultation, and the client must provide the same completed subject-matter questionnaire that all clients are required to provide in advance of the consultation.

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

California law provides for Limited Scope Representation, where the attorney represents the client on some parts of a case, but not all. Some cases are appropriate for Limited Scope Representation and some are not. We evaluate these requests on a case-by-case basis.

Michael Cooper

I was in private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1979 through 2002, after which I was the Senior Child Support Attorney for Lassen County from the end of 2002 through April of 2008. After retiring from that position, I brought my expertise, experience and practice to the Town of Paradise, in Butte County, California.

I have worked in many fields of law, and have also had the opportunity to serve as a pro tem judicial officer in the municipal and superior courts. Seeing the law from both sides of the bench has given me a depth of perspective that serves my client's cause in nearly every circumstance.

I am a service-oriented person, always inclined to do what I can to be helpful to others. My primary intellectual strengths are logic, research, writing, speaking and negotiation. I am sensitive to people's feelings, and I am able to be persuasive without being perceived as aggressive.

Personal interests:

Besides enjoying my work, I devote time to civic and charitable endeavors, which gives me much satisfaction. I am also a single parent, and I find parenting to be a great adventure, with unique rewards. My dad and I do woodworking and DIY projects together, too, and we have great fun with them.

License
  • Bar Number: 85004
    California , 1979
Education
  • University of California, Davis
    Juris Doctor , 1979
    Davis, CA
    Public Defender Internships, Solano County, Contra Costa County, Certified Law Student.
  • Stanford University
    B.A. , 1972
    Palo Alto, CA
    Political Science.

* Nolo has confirmed that every member attorney has a valid license and is in good standing with the state agency that licenses lawyers. Any past disbarments and suspensions (with possible exceptions for minor violations or nonpayment of dues, in our discretion) will be indicated accordingly in the badge. Member attorneys are required to notify Nolo immediately if they become the subject of any disciplinary action by any state licensing agency.

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