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About me

Most people think estate planning is simply passing wealth to your heirs tax-free.  But this makes estate planning sound as if it is for the super-wealthy when in fact it applies to everyone. Although planning for death and taxes are important, it is just one aspect estate planning.

When individuals create an estate plan their primary goals should be (1) protecting their assets; (2) ensuring their affairs (personal and financial) are efficiently managed upon their incapacity and death; (3) conflicts between beneficiaries are minimized; and (4) taxes are minimized. 

As an estate planning attorney, I counsel clients on these issues. I advise them on the necessity and the method of creating a plan that will manage their financial and personal affairs in the most legally efficient way possible and I help them create a legacy for their beneficiaries.


Sometimes, however (no matter how thorough the estate plan), legal disputes arise over the disposition and administratoin of an individual's estate.  And when that happens, I represent beneficiaries and fiduciaries through all phases of litigation, including discovery through trial.  Such disputes include issues as to the validity and interpretation of a trust or will, and breach of fiduciary duty claims against an executor or trustee.




Practice areas


  1. Tax: 25%
    11 years
  2. Probate: 25%
    11 years
  3. Litigation: 25%
  4. Estate Planning: 25%
    11 years

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Contact info

Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley

1221 Broadway 21st Floor
Oakland, CA, 94612-1823


We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Association namePosition nameDuration
San Francisco Estate Planning CouncilMember2011 - Present
East Bay Trusts and Estates LawyersVice-Chair Trust and Estate Administration Group2010 - Present
California State Bar Trusts and Estates SectionMember2005 - Present
State Bar of CaliforniaMemberN/A
Publication nameTitleDate
Fitzgerald Abbott & BeardsleyIRS Recognizes Community Property Rights for Domestic Partners2010
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of Washington School of LawTaxationLL.M - Master of Laws2004
Santa Clara University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor2003
Arizona State UniversityN/ABS - Bachelor of Science1999
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Mastering Estate Planning IssuesEstate Planning with Limited Liability Companies and Partnerships2011
Estate Planning with TrustsTrusts 1012011
31st Annual Educational SeminarTaxation of California Domestic Partnerships2009
Client SeminarCreating Wealth for Your Heirs Without Additional Tax2008
Client SeminarBasic and Advanced Estate Planning Techniques2008
Benicia Chamber of CommerceWhat Happens When a Customer Dies - Recovering Debts Owed to You Upon a Customer’s Death2007