Lawyer for a Will and Guardianship paperwork

Hello, I looked back in the archives and some of the posts on this topic are old, so I'm looking for new recommendations for a lawyer to help us (my husband and myself) create a Will and also Guardianship papers of what we'd like to do with our 2 small children in the event we die or are no longer able to care for them. If we can throw in some Advance Healthcare Directive paperwork in there too, all the better. I know there are ways to do this online (Legal Zoom or Fabric?) but it sounds like it's really best to have a lawyer do it, if you can afford it. We can afford about $1000 to do this. Is that unrealistic? It should be pretty simple, as we don't own a home or have many assets. Can anyone give a specific recommendation of a lawyer or law firm who can help with this on a small budget?

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We met with Kathleen Hunt ( and found her thorough, patient, and extremely helpful -- she charges $2000 for a couple but offers free updates for 2 years, which sold us.

I've worked with Ryan Apperson and found him very efficient and professional; here's his contact information:

Ryan H. Apperson, Esq.1855 San Miguel Drive, Suite 17Walnut Creek, CA 94596Phone: (925) 317-8100Fax: (925) 317-8182ryan [at] (ryan[at]ryanappersonlaw[dot]com)

Kathryn Korn prepared a trust & Advanced Health Care Directive for my parents, and helped with various other family law issues over the years.  She's personable and easy to work with, at a good location in Orinda, and reasonably priced.  If you contact her and specify what you have in mind, she can probably give you a good price estimate. 

You can contact me if you want more information.

Kathryn Korn, Esq.
Tel: 925-253-1808
kathryn [at] (kathryn[at]kornlawgroup[dot]com)

Kathleen Hunt was wonderful and affordable! I think $1500, I'm not sure if you can find $1000. She came recommended by multiple friends and we felt she did a thorough job. She's been super responsive to follow up questions as well.

Try Michael Toni at mtoni_law [at]   He's independent and lives in either Moraga or Orinda.  He created our trust/wills/healthcare directive about a decade ago, and has been making changes for us along the way as needed.  Six of my friends and colleagues also hired him, and everyone was really happy.  He's responsive and thorough.  We paid slightly more than $1000, but that was to do a full trust, etc.  He will at least reply with a quote if you tell him what you're searching for.  He was about 25% the cost of a regular law firm, and I've had a friend who's an expert in estate planning review the documents and stated it's comprehensive.  I agree, with two small children it's best to have an expert ensure you have everything in place.  Good luck. 

Stefanie West. She prepared a trust for my family when my kids were young and has updated it as necessary. Her price is very reasonable and she’s very knowledgeable. Her office is in Walnut Creek but she is available to meet with you at your home.She will draw up the necessary documents and keep in touch with you to keep them up to date.  (510) 684-8365

Cassandra Massey did our will, guardianship papers, and healthcare directives about 5 years ago. She and her office were fabulous. We did this just a few months after our daughter was born, and my husband & I were a disorganized mess, but they were very helpful, knowledgeable and understanding throughout the process. I don't remember how much it was - may have been a little more than $1000, but it was a flat rate and I remember thinking it was reasonable. We're long overdue for an update of all our paperwork, and I wish I still lived in state: I'd work with Cassandra again in a heartbeat.