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Looking for a reliable and efficient lawyer to revise will and trust doc’s. Prefer Berkeley Area.
thank you for any recommendations!
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We just finished our estate planning with Stephanie West. She was wonderful, thorough and highly personable! She’s based on Walnut Creek but will come to your home if you’re in a certain radius which was highly convenient for us since we have a rambunctious toddler and no child care. Highly recommended!!
My husband and I work in large law firms in SF, but live in North Oakland (Telegraph / Alcatraz). Didn't want to use the services of attorneys we worked with.
We hired Jeff Levi at Wendel Rosen. He is in Downtown Oakland. Satisfied with him (easy to talk with re our needs), clear explanation of current practices and options for our wills and living trusts (our older estate plan documents needed updating).
I used Michael Cramer in San Leandro...really great guy!510-351-2856
We used Betsy Thompson at Thompson Law Offices in Walnut Creek for an estate plan. They are a small family run firm downtown and very reasonably priced.
I am an attorney, and the following are my recommendations for people looking for trust and estates attorneys to create their estate planning documents or update them. If you are employed by company who offers legal insurance as part of your benefits package, I recommend contacting them first as they will provide local trust and estates attorneys in your area (and you may not have to pay out of pocket). You may want to also contact Alameda County Bar Association Lawyer Referral Service or your county bar association, in order to get a list of attorneys in your area. When you call these attorneys, I would ask what percentage of their practice are focused on trust and estates. I would also ask if they have experience in trust administration and probate as these attorneys will have better insight on how people may avoid any pitfalls in drafting of you documents. Best of luck!
I also highly recommend Stefanie West, who helped me with estate planning for my mom. She's really smart, and really pleasant to work with.
I highly recommend Kathleen Hunt at Unique Law. She recently helped my wife and me with our wills and setting up a trust and we were extremely happy. We both work full time and Kathleen came out to our house (in Albany) in the evening after our son went to sleep, which made scheduling a breeze. She was very organized and efficient, but was also happy to take the time to answer all our questions.
We highly recommend Kathleen Hunt. Her web site is www.uniquelaw.com. We are really busy and hadn't taken the time to update our old estate planning documents from 2005. We called Kathleen and she came to our home and helped us get everything done. At each step she clearly explained what the purpose of a document was and how it would work. She thoroughly answered all of our questions and we felt confident she would be a good attorney to work with our families should something happen to us. Along the way she gave us good advice about what to look for in a trustee, how to handle the kids' trusts, what to do in the time between an incapacitation and a judge's hearing, and so forth. We had some family friends and their children stop by as the final witnesses for the signatures (again, in our home!) and our friends were equally impressed with her friendly yet detailed professionalism.
Her fees are very reasonable and she's flexible about allowing you to save money by doing some of the work yourself. We opted to have her do everything because we know ourselves, but the option is there.