Posted by Robert
My wife and hired Ms. Gardner to restate our existing trust and wills. The existing documents were up to date, but 10 years old. Only change in the restatement was addition of one additional beneficiary. We indicated to Ms. Gardner that, being retired, we wanted to keep the cost down and she suggested that we retain her on an hourly basic, indicating that her basic fee for drawing up a trust and wills from scratch was approx. $3,000. After the initial 1/2 hour meeting, we had only one additional meeting with Ms. Gardner, plus several short phone conversations with her non-lawyer assistants. To shorten this story, in the end we were billed a total of $2, 921.90 for this most simple "restatement" of the original documents. When I complained to Ms. Gardner she reduced the final billing by $350 (her hourly fee) I blame myself for failing to do my usual "due diligence" by shopping around and asking for a fixed price up front. Several friends (attorneys) agreed that this bill was indeed unconscionable, but that I should just file my complaint and forget it as going to arbitration before the State Bar of CA. would probably take about a year and I would most likely just be wasting my time. This review is not about legal competence, but excessive billing.
So, to all others seeking estate planning, I truly recommend that you give Ms. Gardner a miss and do your homework, which I failed to do.
Posted by George
My family has worked with Rebecca on a couple occasions to handle our estate planning needs. She is extremely professional, courteous, compassionate, and very detail oriented. We have a family member with special needs and Rebecca was very thorough and patient helping us prepare our special needs trust. I recommend Rebecca fully without any reservation.
Posted by Annette
I have the deepest respect for Ms Gardner. She is highly intelligent, comprehensive and has the confidence and assertiveness desired in an attorney. Although she has a specialty, she has assisted me with many other matters and resolved all issues in a methodical and creative manner.