Estate Planning Blog

Top 10 Best Estate Planning Attorneys in Contra Costa County – Updated for 2020

By Jeffreymendel Jeffrey Nash – Own work, CC BY 3.0,

We know finding the Best Estate Planning Attorney in Contra Costa County can be difficult, so we put together this detailed list of the best of the best so you can make your decision wisely. Each lawyer company offers various specialties to choose from to suit their client’s needs, from those who specialize in establishing wills and trusts to those that focus on Probate Law and everything in between. This list of amazing locations is ever-changing and expanding, so please check back often. If you find another law firm that should be listed here – or one that should be removed – please let us know!

1. Law Offices of Joel Harris

511 W 3rd St, Antioch, CA 94509

About: Joel discovered an old Victorian on the , after his own practice started in 1993. Antioch 3rd Street that housed the enforcement of an established statute. In the Antioch Area, he understood the need for a Estate planning lawyer who wanted to help people and their families to protect their legacy. Therefore, in 1993, just three years after the school of law, Joel opened Joel A. Harris’ law offices in which it was – and is – to do things the way his clients want to do them and to provide good service for a reasonable price in a friendly, non-confrontational atmosphere. Satellite offices in Walnut Creek and Clayton have also been opened.

Practice Areas: Estate Planning, Living Trust, Wills, Power of Attorney, Probate, Family Business Evaluation, Planning and Management.

What Makes Him Different: With 30 years of experience specializing in estate planning and estate administration, Joel is both a State Bar Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law and a perennial California Super Lawyer; recognized by an independent firm as one of the top 5 per cent in its field of competence and service.

2. Law Office of Robert L. Ferris

455 Hickey Blvd #501,Daly City, CA 94015, US

About: Robert L. Ferris has over twenty-one years of experience in civil litigation as an associate and sole practitioner. His areas of practice include Probate, Wills and Trusts. Robert has extensive experience in the Federal Court, the Bankruptcy Court, the Appellate Court and the State Courts of California.

Practice Areas:Trust Preparation, Trust Review, Trust Administration, Power of Attorney, Affidavit of Collection for Small Estate, Wills.

What Makes Him Different: Many of his probate and estate planning clients are referred to him by the San Francisco County Bar Association Lawyer’s Referral Service, the Alameda County Bar Association Lawyer’s Referral Service, and the San Mateo County Bar Association Lawyer’s Referral Service.

3. Law Offices of Lee L. Kaster, P.C.

1806 Bonanza St, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, US

About: Mr. Lee Kaster is a member of the Diablo Valley Estate Planning Council, the Trusts and Estates Section of the California State Bar and the Conservatorship, Guardianship, Probate and Trust Section of the Contra Costa County Bar Association and has served as a volunteer lawyer for Senior Legal Assistance in Oakland.

Practice Areas: Estate Planning, Probate, Trust Administration, Conservatorships, Estate Litigation and Civil Litigation.

What Makes Him Different:Mr. Kaster graduated from the UC Hastings College of Law in 2000, where he became a member of the Coif Order. He’s responsive and easy to work with.

4. Law Offices of Michael J. Young, Inc.

1931 San Miguel Dr #220, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, US

About: Michael J. Young is an elder law, estate planning and asset protection planning attorney in Walnut Creek, CA. Mr. Young advises his clients on their estate planning needs, with a focus on asset protection, Medi-Cal qualification, and the preservation of assets at different levels of care as they grow older.

Practice Areas: Estate and Asset Planning Protection, Trust Administration, Elder Law, VA Benefits Planning, Medi-Cal Planning, Alzheimer’s Planning.

What Makes Him Different: He is co-author of the book, “Don’t Go Broke In A Nursing Home” and is the author of the “Alzheimer’s Legal Survival Guide.” Mr. Young presents monthly workshops in Walnut Creek regarding estate planning, asset protection, and Medi-Cal planning.

5. Talbot Law Group, P.C.

2033 N. Main St. Suite 750, Walnut Creek, CA 94596

About: Matthew Talbot is a Elder Law and Trust Attorney in Walnut Creek, California. He focuses on trust law , conservatorships, financial elder abuse and related Probate matters including Estate Planning. Matthew started his career as a trustee and property law consultant and became a consultant in complex issues of conservation and trust.

Practice Areas: Estate Planning, Probate and Estate, Trust Litigation, Conservatorships, Estate and Probate Litigation, Elder Abuse, Trust Administration, Special Needs and Limited Conservatorships.

What Makes Him Different: Matthew has received a coveted Rising Star award from the Super Lawyer for 2016 and 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020 for exemplary service. Lead Attorney Ranking on Estate Planning, and San Francisco Magazine Avvo ‘s top “Superb” rating of Elders Practice.

6. Law Office of Jeffrey Hall, Inc

3478 Buskirk Ave #1000, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523, US

About: Attorney Jeffrey Hall, MBA, CPA, Esq. is an experienced senior law & estate planning attorney whose practice is located in northern California, more specifically in the East Bay of San Francisco. Mr. Hall is a member of The State Bar of California, U.S. District Court Eastern District, U.S. District Court Northern District, U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar.

Practice Areas: Estate Planning, Elder Law and Medi-Cal, Probates, VA Planning, Special Needs Trust, Business Law, Trust Administration.

What Makes Him Different: Jeffrey Hall provides sound legal advice and advice to older adults and their families. Jeff believes that the maze of aging care and cost challenges can be addressed through proper planning and addressing issues directly; he believes that family planning and advocacy can help to provide more lifestyle choices and care options.

7. Law Office of Jane K. Penhaligen

3478 Buskirk Ave Suite 1000, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523, US

About: The Law Office of Jane K. Penhaligen provides useful legal advice that ensures your family’s future financial security, and attentive personal service that makes you feel special. As attorney, Ms. Penhaligen provides a customized estate plan for your needs.

Practice Areas: Estate Planning and Management, Trust Administration, Wills,

What Makes Him Different: She has the experience and knowledge that would address everyone’s estate planning needs. Importantly,she has ears to listen carefully to what the client says about their family situation and asks critical questions that focus on understanding the importance of creating a legal structure that will meet the client’s estate planning objectives now and in the future.

8. Law Offices of Lauren Smykowski

1255 Treat Blvd #300, Walnut Creek, CA 94597, US

About: Graduated from the San Diego School of Law, Lauren focused her studies on estate planning and trust law. Since graduating (with honors) from law school in 2011, Lauren has worked closely with her father, who is also practicing estate planning in San Diego, to learn the ins and outs of running a solo estate planning practice.

Practice Areas: Living Trust Estate Plan including Trust Agreement , Assignment of Tangible Personal Property, Pour Over Wills, Durable Powers of Attorney for Finance, Guardianship of Minor Children, Community Property Agreement, Transfer of First Real Property into the Trust via Quitclaim Deed.

What Makes Her Different: By offering affordable and comprehensive life-long estate plans at a flat rate, it makes it easy for families to minimize stress and achieve the peace of mind that their loved ones are protected.

9. David A. Arietta Law Offices

700 Ygnacio Valley Rd #150, Walnut Creek, CA 94596, US

About: Attorney David A, Arietta is a native San Franciscan and a graduate of Saint Ignatius College Preparatory in San Francisco. He obtained his Bachelor of Science degree from the Haas School of Business, U.C. Berkeley, with a dual major in finance and accounting. He then earned his Juris Doctor degree at King Hall, U.C.

Practice Areas: Bankruptcy Law, Estate Law, Trust and Probate Law, Finance, Tax, Accounting and Litigation.

What Makes Him Different: David is a certified specialist in both bankruptcy and estate planning, trust and probate law, as designated by the California Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California. He is the only lawyer in the State of California to have achieved this designation in both areas of law.

10. David M. Sternberg, Attorney-at-Law

319 Lennon Ln Suite A, Walnut Creek, CA 94598, US

About: David M. Sternberg, Attorney-at-Law is a business law firm that means business, whether it’s resolving your neighborhood boundary dispute, drawing up contracts that start your new East Bay company, guiding you through bankruptcy proceedings or handling your probate proceedings.

Practice Areas: Real Estate Law, Business and Commercial Law, Bankruptcy, Wills, Trust, and Probate, Trials, Litigations, and Arbitration, Representative Cases.

What Makes Him Different: Mr. Sterberg and his staff are able to deliver the needed services because of their ability to strategically plan the client’s representation with a budget and clear goals in mind. David M. Sternberg is a highly skilled lawyer with special knowledge and insights into real estate, business, bankruptcy, probate and litigation practice areas.

Are You Looking For an Estate Planning Attorney You Can Trust?

Planning for your retirement can be a daunting task, and you may still have some remaining questions. The Law Offices of Joel A Harris are more than prepared to provide you with legal counsel pertaining to your planning, execution, or, and any other legal concerns or questions you may have. The Law Offices of Joel A Harris, located in Walnut Creek, and Antioch are available to help you to the best of their abilities. Joel Harris is an attorney with 30 years of experience and is extremely familiar with this process. If you are not sure how to begin, or you just want some help navigating the ins and outs of protecting your retirement and estate, feel free to visit us online, in person or call us by phone at (925) 757-4605.

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