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Robert Paul Bergman

Estate planning Attorney at San Jose, CA

5.0   21 reviews

also known as Bob Bergman

Virtual consultation available
Virtual consultation available
  • Licensed for 43 years
    State CA
    Acquired 1980
    Status
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Robert

Learn Robert’s areas of practice.

2
Practice areas
  1. Estate planning
    50%
    I work with families to plan their estates to maximize tax savings, provide for the orderly transfer of their assets to their heirs, and provide asset protection for their heirs' inheritance.

    43 years, 700 cases

  2. Trusts
    50%
    I prepare revocable living trusts, life insurance trusts, charitable trusts, supplemental and special needs trusts, and special trusts for retirement plan assets.

    43 years, 700 cases

PLANNING FOR YOUR MOST IMPORTANT ASSET....YOUR FAMILY!

Author of the "California Consumer Guide to Wills, Living Trusts and Estate Planning," estate planning attorney Bob Bergman has been helping families in the Silicon Valley (and beyond) with their estate planning needs since 1980. Bob is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law (State Bar Board of Legal Specialization), and especially focuses on helping families that have young children.   He also assist families with special planning for retirement plan assets and special needs family members.  Check out his website for more information.

You can also visit Bob's Youtube channel "Law Offices of Robert P. Bergman " for more informative videos on various estate planning topics.  The link is in the profile.

For those in the San Francisco Bay Area, Bob offers offer public and private workshops on estate planning. 

Bob is also the radio talk show host of "Plan Your Estate Radio" on 1220 AM, KDOW, which broadcasts from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm on Monday afternoons in the San Francisco Bay Area for five years, ending in March of 2023.

Awards

Client's Choice 2021,2012
Client's Choice
2021 2012
Top Contributor 2013,2012
Top Contributor
2013 2012

Photos and videos

THE LIVING TRUST WEBINAR:  INHERITANCE PLANNING FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY (2023)

Location

Law Offices of Robert P. Bergman
3535 Ross Avenue
Suite 200
San Jose, CA, 95124

Reviews

5.0 / 5.0
  21 customer reviews
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Client's Choice 2021
Client's Choice
Client's Choice is an Avvo award granted to attorneys with a significant number of client reviews over 4 stars in a given year.
Posted by Janice | August 23, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Cheerful, timely help!
Bob Bergman has been our Estate Planning lawyer for many years, and also has advised us numerous times when we needed some other legal help. He has always been easy to work with, cheerful, and most importantly, his advice has always been "right on the mark". We value him both as a counselor and as a friend. Janice
Posted by wolf | January 20, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Practical, knowledgeable, and responsive
Bergman did a bottoms up estate plan for us in Y2008 after I heard his presentation on the subject. Although we had an estate plan written in 1995, it did not begin to cover the potentially complex issues that could arise on inheritance, end of life decisions, and survivor control of assets. Bergman's estate plan was thorough and addressed issues that one never thinks of but happen all the time in real life situations. Six years later, we had moved to a retirement community and needed to update the plan. He asked all the questions covering our changed circumstances and developed the updated plan quickly. I highly recommend him to everyone who should have an estate plan, AND to young parents who want to have their children protected in the unlikely event they both die. People in this category never think of estate plans but really need them.
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Posted by Nick | May 16, 2022
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Heggstad Petition
I hired Mr. Bergman to file a Heggstad Petition after my dad passed away unexpectedly without transferring his assets into his trust. Mr. Bergman was extremely helpful, professional, and most importantly successful in getting the assets transferred as my dad had intended. Mr. Bergman communicated with me throughout the process, keeping me updated whenever something came up and he dealt with all of the unusual issues the probate examiner presented. I couldn't have asked for more.
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Posted by Avtar | October 11, 2021
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Revocable Trust/a Wonderful soul
I talked to Robert for more than half hour without paying him a penny to get answer to revoke the trust. He walked me through stage by stage and I was satisfied to hire him to revoke the trust.
Posted by Rutger | May 6, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Estate Plan from Bob
I came to Law Offices of Robert P Bergman because my wife and I needed an estate plan. Literally had zero, not even some notes scrawled on a post-it. I decided Law Offices of Robert P Bergman was the right firm for me because we heard Bob speak on estate planning at a seminar after a friend recommended him. My favorite thing about working with Law Offices of Robert P Bergman was that Bob was personable, clearly knowledgeable about both the law and its real world applications, extremely competent, and had created an efficient process to identify and create the right estate planning components. The outcome after all of the work put in by the firm was we opted for a living trust, with provisions for life insurance, child care in case of our own demise, an estate distribution that avoiding probate, tax benefits, and other important components. But the key feature was the feeling of security, the elimination of uncertainty and anxiety over the future. Nobody wants to think about their expiration, and we had avoided that, and the needed planning, for many years. Once done, we got a lot of serenity. As a result, aside from the practical benefits, it gave us security - no more amorphous worry about "what will happen to my spouse, or children, or business?" - were i to be devoured by a great white shark while surfing, for instance. A greater confidence in handling financial matters such as savings, retirement, and value investing. Finally, when so much of the concern about the future dissolved, a newfound freedom to live in the moment, which helped my business and relationships. Those were unexpected, but welcome consequences.
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Posted by anonymous | May 2, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Family will and trust
The reason I retained Law Offices of Robert P Bergman was we needed a will and trust as new parents of three young children. I decided Law Offices of Robert P Bergman was the right firm for me because he was a referral from the parents of multiples club and other families had highly recommended him. I enjoyed working with Law Offices of Robert P Bergman because he was thoughtful and understood our needs having young children of his own. The outcome of this case was that we completed a will and trust we were happy with and felt secure. Now that we've received this outcome, we know we have security in making sure our children are taken care of.
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Posted by Ray | April 12, 2021
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Our two consultations with Bob.
Bob is extremely thorough in his explanations of details that could easily be misunderstood. We recorded our sessions, and still needed more expertise in defining myriad nuances.
Posted by anonymous | April 12, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Dedicated to help his clients
I contacted Law Offices of Robert P Bergman, after my husband had passed away suddenly without any will or estate plan. I selected Law Offices of Robert P Bergman to represent me because I was referred to the law offices of Robert p Bergman by my husband's employer. I met him and immediately felt comfortable with him. My favorite thing about working with Law Offices of Robert P Bergman was the instant communication and firm's eagerness to help their clients. The outcome, after all of the work put in by the firm was it was all settled in time. I will always be grateful to Bob for his professional commitment during my tough times.
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Posted by Linda | October 30, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Heggstad Petition
Mr. Bergman is a miracle worker! His expertise in this area of the law is fantastic. We needed a Heggstad Petition to sell my deceased sisters home. With Mr. Bergman's knowledge and hard work he got the petition prepared and signed in a very short time and we were able to sell the house! Mr. Bergman is not only a wonderful attorney he is personable and caring of what his client is dealing with. I was blessed to be given Mr. Berman's name to handle my case.
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Posted by Marci | July 29, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Outstanding Job!!
Bob was incredibly helpful during a stressful time. He took the time to explain what he could do for me and then DID IT!!! I had tears of joy when he got court approval. I recommend Bob very highly!
Posted by Shari | April 7, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Efficient & Supportive Help
Mr.Bergman far exceeded my expectations! I had some problems with my sister’s trust and assets that were left out . He was recommended to me by another Bay Area lawyer . I needed his expertise in the filing of a Heggstad petition to avoid probate. I do not live in California and Mr. Bergman made the entire process so easy and efficient for me . Once I contacted him it took less than one week for him to resolve my predicament. I couldn’t be more grateful for the support and the kind words . His knowledge, thoroughness and professionalism were so very reassuring at a time like this . I highly recommend his services and advice on these kind of matters .
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Posted by jeff | February 8, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Delivered as promised
I had a very well-off client with a complicated estate pass away unexpectedly. He had a personal trust for his non-business assets that had not been funded and his family members needed to access those assets a s a p. The estate lawyer who had set up his business organization advised that probate was the only option. He estimated the cost to the heirs to be in the hundreds of thousands, and the time to gain access to funds to be several months at minimum. He did not believe Heggstad would be an option. I heard about Bob from a friend, called him, and he told me he could get the Heggstad petition filed and an order issued within a couple of weeks for a fraction of the fees that a probate would entail. The adage "if something sounds too good to be true..." gave me pause. But Bob answered every question and concern I had and delivered as promised, saving my clients a ton of fees and helping them to navigate a very difficult time in their lives. I heartily recommend Bob to anyone in similar circumstances and thank him for his help.
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Posted by Linda | December 14, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Robert Bergman saved us!
I cannot say enough good things about Robert Bergman. Recently, my family found itself in a real bind, following the unexpected death of my brother. For many years, my brother had used the services of a Bay Area estate attorney, periodically making changes to his trust. Upon his death and with the imminent sale of his property, we were faced with the unpleasant news that his trust was not, in fact, going to protect his assets. After all of the years of visiting and paying his attorney, it was all for naught! Upon the recommendation of the Probate Court overseeing my brother’s jurisdiction, and a series of subsequent attorneys, we were advised to contact Attorney Robert Bergman, who, though he was not located anywhere near my brother’s property, was not only well-versed in our predicament and the reasons for it (which could easily have been avoided), but was able to quickly turn the situation around to our benefit, thus avoiding probate and allowing for the successful sale of the property. Had he not been so capable and expedient (time was of the essence!), I am convinced that the sale would have fallen through. Robert Bergman is not only extremely knowledgeable and thorough, but is especially kind and thoughtful. In my dreams and given our predicament, I did not expect to be placed in such capable hands! He is truly the man you want to assist with your estate planning and financial needs – THANK YOU, Bob!
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Posted by Linda | January 21, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Family Trust
With the help of Bob we drew up our family trust. He was very knowledgeable and responsive to our needs. He walked us thru the many pages of our trust since it was so overwhelming. After all was said and done we were very pleased with the outcome of our trust and was very glad Bob helped us thru it all. I also had Bob draw up my Mom's trust. Would recommend Bob highly.
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Posted by Amit | May 8, 2014
Did Great Work in Helping us Avoid Probate By Filing a Heggstad Petition
Robert did an excellent job for my family. We had a probate issue in which assets were left outside a trust. We needed to file the Heggstad petition to see if the court would deem that the assets should have been in the trust, so we could avoid probate. He checked with the court to confirm that the based on the circumstances it would likely be granted. None of the attorneys I spoke with mentioned doing this or gave me any idea of what our chances for success would be if we chose to move forward with the petition. Robert's fees were very reasonable and he got the work done in a very timely manner. I would highly recommend Robert based on my experience in working with him on on this estate issue.
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Posted by Nicholas | December 28, 2011
Knowledge with Skill
I am a real-estate broker that was involved in a short sale transaction. Just before final documents were to be signed to close Escrow, the seller passed away. The property was in a trust and did not name a successor trustee. With the short sale approval deadline date coming very quickly, we thought that after a year of working on this transaction it would all fall to pieces. Robert literally saved the day. He was able to have a beneficiary on the trust appointed to successor trustee extremely quickly due to his expertise (Right in the middle of the Christmas season). Every attorney we had spoken with up until Robert had said that the process would take a few weeks or that it could not be done but after speaking to Robert for a few minutes we knew he was our man. Not only was Robert punctual and professional but very kind and treated our situation as a priority. I highly recommend Mr. Bergman.
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Posted by Peter Myers | April 3, 2011
Competent, Thoughtful
Bob Bergman is thoughtful and competent, capable of dealing with complex issues such as retirement trusts and qualified beneficiary designations, all while having a non-nonsense, matter-of-fact interaction with clients and colleagues. We have attended many functions together and he is astute and up-to-date on the cutting-edge techniques currently employed by estate attorneys at the highest level.
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Posted by Lew | January 29, 2010
Living Trusts/Wills
I have worked with Robert since about 2000. He drew up our first living trust and gave us excellent advice on how my wife and I should proceed. I have recently worked with him again because of the trust we have in him to modify the existing trust. He is very knowledgeable of California law and the best way to proceed. The work is done as promised by the due dates. I would recommend him to any friend or family member.
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Posted by Michael | January 20, 2010
Bob Bergman - Estate Planning Attorney
Bob does a very nice job in walking the layman through the complexities of estate tax law as it currently exists as well as providing insights on how it might change based on any pending legislation or the prevailing political climate. He uses a rigorous process for gathering detailed information on a client's financial and familial situation along with their long term needs and desires. Using this process he is able to quickly compile a comprehensive estate plan to address those needs while minimizing the tax exposure to the estate and to heirs. He also provides detailed written instructions and all the necessary forms to enable the client to expeditiously implement the resulting Trust. Bob is very personable and easy to work with. I have referred several clients to him and they were all pleased with the results.
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Posted by Anita | January 20, 2010
A Lawyer That Really Cares
In 2007 my world was turned upside down. My best friend, my mentor, my dear mother passed away. I needed legal assistance to guide me through the probate process. I called Bob's office on a Sunday and left a message on his answering machine. Because it was a Sunday I didn't expect to receive a call back until Monday at the earlist. I was pleasantly surprised and extremely grateful when I received a call within a few hours on the same day. I was so emontional and sad and needed legal advice. The minute I started explaining my situation, Bob immediately put me at ease and took a considerable amount of time explaining the probate process to me. I retained his services and he made a painful situation bearable. His level of professionalism, his people skills and compassion far exceeded my expectations. I will always remember how he took the time on a Sunday afternoon to return a phone call. He sensed the sadness in my voice. He kept me informed and answered all of my questions from start to finish. I would recommend this wonderfoul lawyer without hesitation. Not only does he offer outstanding legal services, he also offers free seminars which are very informative and open to the general public. I would recommend anyone with estate planning needs or anyone who wants to empower themselves with valuable information to attend one of his seminars. Over the years I have heard a lot of bad comments and jokes about lawyers and used car salesmen, but Bob is definitely one of the good guys.
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Cost

Rates
  • Hourly Rates $ 400-500 per hour
Payment methods
Cash, Check, Credit Card

Resume

AVVO RATING 9.2 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • Attorney
  • Law Offices of Robert P. Bergman
  • 2006 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Gilfix & LaPoll Associates
  • 2006 - 2006
  • Attorney
  • Law Offices of Roy W. Litherland
  • 2005 - 2006
  • Attorney
  • Law Offices of Robert P. Bergman
  • 2003 - 2004
  • Vice President and Business Development Officer
  • Comerica Bank Institutional Trust Department
  • 2000 - 2003
  • Senior Trust and Investments Officer
  • Fremont Bank
  • 2000 - 2000
  • Attorney
  • Law Offices of Robert P. Bergman
  • 1984 - 2000
  • Attorney
  • Eagle & Courtney
  • 1983 - 1984
  • Attorney
  • Law Firm of Harold A. Galloway
  • 1981 - 1983
View all work experience

Education

  • Santa Clara University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1980
  • San Jose State University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1977
  • De Anza Junior College
  • A.A.
  • 1975

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Probate Court Petitions to Confirm Assets into Trust Ownership (Probate Code 850) and for Modification of Irrevocable Trusts
  • Success in getting loose assets, including real property and large brokerage accounts, into trust ownership. Success in modifying existing irrevocable trusts to enhance their features.

Associations

  • WealthCounsel (www.wealthcounsel.com)
  • Member
  • 2006 - Present
  • Estate Planning, Trusts and Probate Section, State Bar of California
  • Member
  • 2006 - Present
  • State Bar of California
  • Member
  • 1980 - Present
  • ElderCounsel (www.eldercounsel.com)
  • Member
  • 2012 - 2012
  • Advisors Forum (www.advisorsforum.com)
  • Member
  • 2012 - 2012
  • Financial Knowledge Institute (www.financialknowledgeinstitute.org)
  • Speaker
  • 2009 - 2009
  • Academy of Special Needs Planners (http://specialneedsplanners.com)
  • Member
  • 2008 - 2009
  • Family Wealth Planning Institute
  • Personal Family Lawyer
  • 2007 - 2008
  • Foundation for Personal Financial Education (www.fpfenonprofit.org)
  • Speaker
  • 2007 - 2009
  • Advisors Forum (www.advisorsforum.com)
  • Member
  • 2006 - 2007
  • NAELA (National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys)
  • Member
  • 2005 - 2006
  • CANHR (California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform)
  • Member
  • 2005 - 2006
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2019
  • Certified Specialist, Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law
  • State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization
  • 2011

Publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Wills and Trusts, but Were Afraid to Ask
  • Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts
  • 2009
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Wills and Trusts, but Were Afraid to Ask
  • Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts
  • 2008
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Wills and Trusts, but Were Afraid to Ask
  • Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts
  • 2008
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Wills and Trusts, but Were Afraid to Ask
  • Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts
  • 2008
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Wills and Trusts, but Were Afraid to Ask
  • Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts
  • 2008
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Wills and Trusts, but Were Afraid to Ask
  • Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts
  • 2008
  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Wills and Trusts, but Were Afraid to Ask
  • Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts
  • 2008
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (10)
Given (6)
Endorse Robert
Unknown Attorney | Feb 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I enthusiastically endorse this lawyer. Bob is a longtime friend and mentor, a highly trained, highly experienced fellow member of the WealthCounsel community of attorneys that focus on comprehensive estate planning. While most of us focus on planning, and Bob certainly does, he also has expertise in probate matters and has been a leader in the area of Heggstad motions, which are often very important and necessary, sort of an emergency reload for trusts. I highly recommend Bob Bergman for any estate planning or estate administration matter."
Administrative law Attorney | Mar 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Bergman provides great advice to those in need. He takes time out of his day to answer questions on AVVO and point people in the right direction."
Estate planning Attorney | May 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I highly recommend Bob Bergman. I have sat in on one of his seminars, and know that he presents difficult material in a way that is easy to understand. He is an excellent attorney, very approachable, and always works for his clients' best interests."
Estate planning Attorney | Jan 19
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I had long wanted to work with Bob Bergman due to his sage comments on the Wealth Counsel listserve and his reputation as a great educator. We have now begun to work together. I am even more impressed by his expertise and his dedication to helping clients achieve THEIR goals than I could ever have expected. So, I wholeheartedly endorse Bob."
Estate planning Attorney | Jan 19
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Bob Bergman's enthusiasm and care are evident in everything that he does. I've been honored to work with him in educating the public and serving our local communities. Bob's radio service to the community is relevant, helpful, and does a great job accurately reflecting him as an approachable, practical and solutions oriented attorney. For value in tax planning and actually developing real solutions to wills, trusts and a host of other tax and family solutions, Bob is a fantastic resource. I recommend him highly."
Estate planning Attorney | Jan 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Bob Bergman and I have had numerous interactions over the years; he consistently “sharpens the saw” to stay current on the cutting-edge techniques employed by the best and brightest minds in our field of law. He is caring and skilled, able to handle the simple through the most complex issues with ease. I highly recommend him."
Estate planning Attorney | Jun 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Bob is an estate ans trust planner of the highest caliber and has a topnotch national reputation to boot."
Trusts Attorney | May 23
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I just reviewed a lengthy answer of Mr. Bergman and was really impressed. It was extensive in its detailed explanation of the background necessary to give an answer and then cusomized that answer to the specific needs of the Avvo asker. He then commented on some potential strategy. He is a credit to Avvo and must be on any client's short list of lawyers to interview."
Trusts Attorney | Aug 24
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. I have had the privilege of reviewing many of Attorney Bergman's responses, since we practice in some of the same areas of law. His answers demonstrate a firm grasp of the law and provide good practical advice, as well. When I find that I learn something new from a lawyer's answers, I feel the need to endorse him. Attorney Bergman has earned that endorsement on numerous occasions. James Frederick"
Estate planning Attorney | Apr 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
View more endorsements
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Avvo Contributions

Top Contributor 2013
Top Contributor

Robert earned significant contribution points in 2013.

281 Legal Answers 0 Legal Guides
San Jose Estate planning Lawyer Robert Paul Bergman
Robert Paul Bergman
Estate planning Attorney
San Jose, CA
Licensed for 43 years
Virtual consultation available