Cederborg & Bret LLP

Cederborg & Bret LLP

Over 60 Years Combined Legal Experience

Firm Overview

With over 60 years of combined legal experience, Cederborg & Bret LLP is a boutique law firm located in Walnut Creek, California providing exceptional legal representation in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust administration and taxation matters.

The firm has extensive experience in a wide range of estate planning, trust and probate administration services, including comprehensive, tax-sensitive estate planning; business succession planning; charitable planning; trust, estate and probate administration; tax planning and preparation of estate and gift tax returns; and independent trustee services.

Cederborg & Bret LLP provides the expertise of a large firm, while providing the outstanding service and responsiveness to client needs that can only be found in a small firm setting. We offer direct access to experienced and highly knowledgeable attorneys. Thomas Bret is an attorney, Certified Public Accountant, and Certified Financial Planner, providing him with an in-depth understanding of the tax and financial issues inherent in estate planning matters. Mark Cederborg has attained the highest possible rating of "AV" from Martindale-Hubbell, the national directory of attorneys, indicating preeminent legal ability and the highest level of professional ethics, and was named as a 2006 Super Lawyer in Northern California.

We have a client-centered approach toward estate planning that focuses on accomplishing our clients' goals and objectives. We pride ourselves on providing the highest quality legal services while making our clients completely comfortable with the entire estate planning process. We offer complimentary consultations, and our attorneys are available to meet with you at your convenience.

Main Office

Main Office
1299 Newell Hill Place, Suite 203
Walnut Creek CA 94596



Estate Planning

Cederborg & Bret LLP offers comprehensive, tax-sensitive estate planning services for clients located in the Bay Area.

We utilize advanced estate and tax planning strategies to accomplish the goals and objectives of our clients while minimizing their tax implications. We recognize that every client's situation is unique and we prepare every client's estate planning documents accordingly. Our areas of representation include:

Wills, Living Trusts and Related Documents:

We prepare individually tailored estate planning documents, including wills, revocable living trusts, general durable financial powers of attorney and advance health care directives. We advise our clients on the importance of properly titling assets and funding their trusts, and also offer trust administration services following the death of a trustor.

Advanced Estate Planning:

We have extensive experience in the area of crafting tax-saving gift, estate and income tax strategies, including Generation Skipping Transfer (GST) Trusts, Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs), Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs). We also offer comprehensive trust administration services during your lifetime, including preparing and filing any required gift tax returns.

Business Succession Planning:

Our attorneys are frequently brought into the planning process when a family business is being sold or when a family member is retiring from the business and wants to explore business succession planning options. We formulate tax savings strategies for the sale of a business, including Buy/Sell or Stock Purchase Agreements and utilizing advanced planning techniques such as gifts of fractionalized interests, including formation of Family Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies, and sales to Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts (IDGTs).

Charitable Planning:

If you have charitable inclinations, or if you are contemplating the sale of an asset with a relatively low cost basis, and would like to minimize the capital gains tax consequences of the sale, our attorneys can prepare a Charitable Remainder Trust (CRT), Charitable Lead Trust (CLT) or a Private Foundation. We also counsel clients regarding charitable gifts to Public Charities and Community Foundations.

Thomas V. Bret

Cederborg & Bret LLP

In 2006, after 18 years in the field of accountancy followed by 17 years in the practice of law, Thomas V. Bret co-founded Cederborg & Bret LLP to provide families with wealth preservation through gift, tax, estate planning, advising heirs and successor trustees, and working through probate and post-mortem trust administration. Mr. Bret is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) who concentrated his accountancy practice on income and estate taxation. Mr. Bret brings that background to his legal practice, where he focuses his practice on assisting individuals, business owners, and businesses in the areas of income taxation and tax planning, gift and estate taxation and planning, planned giving, and family wealth succession planning.

Mr. Bret is an officer of Children's Hospital & Research Center Foundation in Oakland, where he is a regular faculty member for the Foundation's planned giving educational programs. In addition, he currently chairs the Contra Costa Discussion Group for the East Bay Chapter of the California Society of CPA's, where he also serves as Chapter Director.


-J.D., Golden Gate University (1977)
-B.S., University of San Francisco (1971)


-California State Courts (1977)
-U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (1977)
-U.S. Tax Court (1978)

Professional Associations/Memberships:

-State Bar of California (member, sections on Estate Planning and Taxation)
-Contra Costa County Bar Association
-California Society of Certified Public Accountants (Director, East Bay Chapter)


Golden Gate University
Juris Doctorate, 1977

Mark L. Cederborg

Cederborg & Bret LLP

Mark L. Cederborg is an Oakland native who practices in the areas of estate planning, probate, trust law, conservatorships and guardianships, probate litigation, and trust litigation. Mr. Cederborg earned his Juris Doctorate from the McGeorge School of Law, and his Bachelors of Arts from Seattle Pacific College. In addition to the State Bar of California, he is a member of the Alameda County, Contra Costa County, and Washington State Bar Associations. Mr. Cederborg was selected to Northern California Super Lawyers in 2006.


-J.D., McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific (1979)
-B.A., Seattle Pacific College (1973)


-California Courts (1979)
-Washington Courts (1980)

Memberships/Professional Associations:

-State Bar of California
-State Bar of Washington
-Contra Costa County Bar Association
-Alameda County Bar Association


McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
Juris Doctorate, 1979

Jenny Sweetland

Cederborg & Bret LLP

Jenny A. Sweetland focuses her practice on estate planning, and the administration of trusts and estates. She works closely with families and individuals to evaluate their estate planning needs, and develop practical and efficient wealth transfer plans. Ms. Sweetland is experienced in probate law and trust administration, and her goal is to minimize the time, expense and stress on families in transition. She provides personalized and responsive legal service to clients, and develops close relationships with families and successive generations to accomplish seamless estate planning goals.
Ms. Sweetland was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and has been a resident of Contra Costa County since 1984. After an internship with the Contra Costa County Superior Court Ms. Sweetland worked as a sole practitioner and a staff attorney for Schiff Hardin, LLP before joining Cederborg Bret LLP as a partner.
J.D., John F. Kennedy University College of Law (1993)

California State Court (1994)
U. S. District Court, Northern District of California (1994)

Professional Associations & Memberships:
State Bar of California (Trusts & Estates section)
Estate Planning Council of Diablo Valley
East Bay Trusts & Estates Lawyers

California Bureau of Real Estate (CA Real Estate Broker)
California Secretary of State (CA Notary Public)