Gifford, Dearing & Abernathy, LLP

Gifford, Dearing & Abernathy, LLP

Experienced Los Angeles Attorneys Resolve Your Cases Efficiently

Firm Overview

Estate planning, probate and trust administration, and litigation law firm with a track record of successful results
For more than 60 years, Gifford, Dearing & Abernathy, LLP has been dedicated to providing skillful, knowledgeable and professional legal representation. The firm's attorneys are focused on meeting client's goals in the most cost-efficient, effective manner. Through a sincere and compassionate approach to addressing each individual's needs and concerns, they achieve excellence on behalf of their clientele. Gifford, Dearing & Abernathy, LLP concentrates its work in:
-Estate planning, including durable powers of attorney, wills, trusts, healthcare directives, guardianship nominations and charitable planning
-Trust and estate administration

In addition, the firm assists entrepreneurs, entertainers, trusts, foundations and family-owned businesses in Southern California with their general legal needs, including real estate sales, collections and basic litigation in state courts.

An accomplished and experienced team of Southern California lawyers
Assembling a winning team is critical in just about every arena from sports to business. But it's particularly important in law. Choosing a law firm can be a challenge. Large firms often assign junior lawyers to important matters, and small firms, which give clients personal attention, do not always have the skills that clients need. Gifford, Dearing & Abernathy, LLP offers the best of both small and large firms the considerable expertise and specialized skills of the firm's team of lawyers and its ample resources, together with a focus on providing individual attention to each client. The result is sophisticated, big-firm legal work along with the responsive, cost-effective and client-focused approach that only a boutique firm can deliver.

The firm has worked hard to earn a reputation for aggressive, insightful and effective representation. But they also recognize the importance of their clients' trust and confidence in their advice, and that their success is based in the solid relationships they build with their clients.

Contact a Los Angeles County law firm with a solid reputation for success
Call Gifford, Dearing & Abernathy, LLP today at 213-626-4481 or contact the firm online to schedule a free consultation. The firm is easily accessible and is located across the street from the 7th Street Metro Station on the Red Line, a few stops away from the LA Superior Court Central.

Main Office

Main Office
515 South Figueroa Street, Suite 2060
Los Angeles CA 90017-4110



Estate Planning

Preserving your family's wealth for future generations

Whether you're planning the parameters of your future medical care or establishing support for loved ones upon your death, trusts and estates attorneys at Gifford, Dearing & Abernathy, LLP can help with all aspects of trusts and estates issues, including:
-Estate planning
-Estate tax issues
-Choosing the appropriate executor
-Living wills
-Living trusts
-Wills drafting

Securing your legacy
You work hard for your family, so knowing that you have planned for their long-term well being and financial security can bring you comfort. The firm thoroughly analyzes your estate and strategizes the best means of transferring your assets, minimizing taxes, establishing guardianship for your children, caring for your pets, supporting personal philanthropic causes and protecting your loved ones.

Draft your living will and last will and testament
A will is essential at every stage of your life. Your living will sets the parameters for medical intervention should you become incapacitated. This assures that when you are most vulnerable, your wishes will be honored.

Your last will provides the opportunity to distribute your property, establish care for your children and otherwise express your wishes upon your death. A will is necessary if you intend to leave property to a person or entity other than a blood relative, such as a domestic partner, a friend or a charity. If you die without a will, the court determines how your property is distributed, who cares for your children and even what happens to your pet making decisions that might not reflect your desires.

The firm's attorneys can draft valid wills that ensure your intentions are honored.

Changing your will
As your life changes, so might your estate plan. You may need to update your will throughout your life. The firm drafts valid codicils that address changes in your financial situation, marital status, number of children, philanthropic interests and general lifestyle decisions.

Appointment of guardianship
If you have minor children, your will allows you to make decisions about their future care. This is especially crucial if you are a single parent or if both parents die in a common incident. If you do not name a guardian, the court will appoint a guardian for your children and can make decisions adverse to your ultimate parenting goals. You can also make arrangements for your pets' care in your will, including naming a guardian to take responsibility for your pets.

Michele Abernathy

Gifford, Dearing & Abernathy, LLP

MICHELE L. ABERNATHY is a partner at GIFFORD, DEARING & ABERNATHY, LLP, with a practice focused on probate and trust administration and litigation. Her probate practice has a heavy emphasis on conservatorships, where she advises professional fiduciaries, family members, and other individuals in all aspects of these court proceedings, including the initial establishment of a conservatorship, personal care and estate administration, accountings, litigation, recovery of assets, substituted judgment, title issues, and complex business matters. She also prepares estate plans including wills, revocable trusts, guardianship nominations, durable powers for health care and finances, life insurance trusts, and related documents.

Michele earned her J.D. from the Pepperdine University School of Law and her B.S. degree in Finance, Real Estate and Law (cum laude) from Cal Poly Pomona. While in law school, Michele worked as a judicial extern for the Honorable Volney V. Brown, Jr., Chief United States Magistrate Judge, in Los Angeles, California.

Michele has served as a trustee and board member of numerous nonprofit entities, including Clairbourn School (Trustee 2001-2010), Pasadena Bar Association (Trustee 2009-2010), and Fiduciary Roundtable of the San Gabriel Valley (Past President and Board Member).

Michele is a Los Angeles-area native and a fifth-generation Californian. She now lives in San Gabriel with her husband and daughter.

Her associations and memberships include:
-Fiduciary Roundtable of the San Gabriel Valley
-Pasadena Bar Association
-Los Angeles County Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Section
-State Bar of California, Business Law and Trusts and Estates Sections


Pepperdine University School of Law
Juris Doctorate,

Henry H. Dearing

Gifford, Dearing & Abernathy, LLP

HENRY H. DEARING concentrates on estate planning and probate work, including will and trust contests, and on helping small businesses with their general legal work, including collections and state court litigation. He is also a private fiduciary for trusts and estates of all sizes and a real estate broker.

Henry graduated from Harvard University cum laude in 1970 and from Boston University School of Law in 1974.

Henry has lived in Brentwood since 1976.

Anne Gifford Ewing

Gifford, Dearing & Abernathy, LLP

ANNE GIFFORD EWING is an associate attorney at GIFFORD, DEARING & ABERNATHY, LLP, with a practice focused on trust and estate planning and probate and trust administration. Anne creates both simple estate plans, including wills, revocable trusts, guardianship nominations, durable powers for health care and finances, and trust-planning for the disabled, as well as more complex estate plans for high net worth individuals and families. Anne also advises clients serving as executors or trustees and represents estate and trust beneficiaries. Her clients include individuals, families, professional fiduciaries, not-for-profit institutions and private family foundations. Anne earned her J.D. from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She was a top-ranked member of UC Hastings' Negotiation Team and placed nationally and internationally in advocacy competitions. While in law school, Anne worked as a law clerk for The Capital Group Companies in The American Funds' legal and compliance department in Los Angeles, and served the San Francisco County Superior Court as a Volunteer Mediator and as a Judicial Extern to the Probate Department. Prior to joining GIFFORD, DEARING & ABERNATHY, LLP, Anne clerked in the International Court of Arbitration at the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) headquarters in Paris, France, where her work focused on transnational commercial arbitration cases.

Prior to attending law school, Anne worked in the global investment management industry for The Capital Group Companies. She completed the firm's prestigious two-year management training program, The Associates' Program (TAP), performing rotations that included investment research, marketing and human resources at a variety of U.S. and European office locations. She went on to handle communications for Capital Guardian Trust Company's private wealth department.

Anne earned an M.A. in English and American Literatures and a B.A. in English and French Literatures, both from Stanford University.

Anne is a Los Angeles-area native and a fifth-generation Californian. She is a graduate of Clairbourn School, in San Gabriel, and Polytechnic School, in Pasadena. She lives in the Pasadena area with her family.

Her associations and memberships include:

Stanford Professional Women of Los Angeles

Los Angeles Estate Planning Council (Current Board Member)

Fiduciary Roundtable of the San Gabriel Valley (Past Board Member)

Pasadena Bar Association

Los Angeles County Bar Association

State Bar of California

Richard Riordan Volunteer Leadership & Development Program (Graduate)

Elizabeth H. Dale

Gifford, Dearing & Abernathy, LLP

ELIZABETH H. DALE is an associate attorney at GIFFORD, DEARING & ABERNATHY, LLP, with a practice focused on probate, conservatorships, and trust and estate administration. Elizabeth advises both professional fiduciaries and individuals in their capacities as administrators, executors, trustees and conservators. Additionally, she represents estate and trust beneficiaries. Elizabeth has experience counseling her clients in complex probate, conservatorship and trust matters and pursuing and defending related litigation.

Before joining GIFFORD, DEARING & ABERNATHY, LLP, Elizabeth was an associate attorney at a boutique Century City law firm focusing on real estate transactions, tax and corporate law, and estate planning.

Elizabeth earned her J.D. from the Pepperdine University School of Law. While at Pepperdine, Elizabeth was chosen as a fellow of the Geoffrey H. Palmer Center for Entrepreneurship and the Law, devoting time to studying securities law, banking law, real estate finance and secured transactions, in addition to the traditional law school curriculum. Prior to law school, Elizabeth volunteered at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse in downtown Los Angeles for the Los Angeles County Bar Association's Domestic Violence Project.

Elizabeth earned her B.A. in Economics with double minors in Classics and Law and Public Policy from the University of Southern California. While pursuing her B.A., Elizabeth spent a semester abroad studying in Athens, Greece.

A native of San Diego, Elizabeth graduated from The Bishop's School in La Jolla before moving to Los Angeles. She now lives in Irvine, California with her husband and their French Bulldog.

Her associations and memberships include:
-Los Angeles County Bar Association
-State Bar of California

Kristen E. Robison

Gifford, Dearing & Abernathy, LLP

KRISTEN E. ROBISON is an associate attorney at GIFFORD, DEARING & ABERNATHY, LLP, with a practice focused on trust and estate planning. Since being admitted to the bar, Kristen's practice has focused on estate planning and its attendant areas including real estate transactions and business formation.

Before returning to her native state of California and joining GIFFORD, DEARING & ABERNATHY, LLP, Kristen was a member of the boutique law firm Lambariello, Pilato & Robison, LLC (now Lambariello & Pilato, LLC), located in Warren Township, NJ, and an associate attorney at Swanicke & Lambariello, LLC.

Kristen earned her J.D. from the Seton Hall University School of the Law. While in law school, Kristen worked as a judicial extern for the Honorable Dickinson R. Debevoise, US District Court for the District of New Jersey. She took part in the Civil Litigation Clinic where she assisted in the representation of clients who were victims of mortgage fraud. She also participated in the Jessup International Moot Court Competition and the Intellectual Property in Ireland study abroad program.

Prior to law school, Kristen worked for Pioneer Electronics. She moved to New York with her husband while he was in graduate school and worked for Cornell University and then the Field Studies Center of New York.

Kristen earned her B.A. in the History of Public Policy from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She was born and raised in Long Beach, CA, and now lives in the Pasadena area with her husband, son, and dachshund.

Kristen is admitted to practice law in California and New York.

William L. Winslow

Gifford, Dearing & Abernathy, LLP

William L. Winslow, Of Counsel to the firm, is a veteran special needs trust lawyer and has a subspecialty practice in planning large settlements of personal injury and workers' compensation cases. He is also a nationally-known expert on Medicare allocation law and practice (sometimes called "Medicare SetAsides") and structured settlements. Mr. Winslow also prepares opinion letters on selected government benefits and income tax issues. He is a certified specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law and has been a regular panelist on the California CEB program "Special Needs Trusts" since 1998. Trust administration is a substantial part of the practice; sometimes this work involves litigation in defense of a conscientious trustee or to remove an erring trustee. Conservatorships and conventional estate planning round out Mr. Winslow's field of work.

Bill Winslow received his Juris Doctor from the University of California Los Angeles Law School (1974) and an A.B. in History at UCLA (1971). He also earned an LL.M. (Taxation) cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law (1988). Mr. Winslow is a member of the Executive Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Trusts & Estates Section and belongs to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the National Structured Settlements Trade Association.