We’ll help you find your way.
I grew up on the tough streets of East Palo Alto, California—in the backyard of Stanford University. The odds were against me to graduate high school, let alone get into such a prestigious school like Stanford. I fought against the odds, graduating from high school at the tender age of 16. I attempted to go to a Community College on two occasions, but I was too immature for college, so I went to work for AT&T (formerly, Pacific Telephone, Pacific Bell). I excelled in my job, but there was something inside of me that knew I could accomplish so much more. As such, I started taking classes at the local Community College. I excelled! I was on the Dean’s list 12 times and my college counselor implored me to transfer to a four-year university, like San Jose State or San Francisco State. However, Stanford University was my only desire. So, on my Mother’s 63rd birthday, I completed my application to Stanford, in red ink, while at my job. I rushed to the mailbox on my way home to mail it, as I did not want to become discouraged and end up not mailing it. Stanford was the only school I applied to and I was so elated to find out that I had been accepted into the Stanford University Class of 1994. I worked hard to graduate in two years, while I continued to work 40+ hours at Pacific Bell.
I was determined to graduate because I wanted to go to law school to become an attorney to help those who have little or no access to good legal representation—to even the playing field. So in the months leading to my graduation, I decided that Santa Clara Law School was the best school to help me accomplish my goal. After law school, I worked in the worker’s compensation field for over a decade. Although I was very successful, becoming Branch Managing Attorney of one of the premiere worker’s compensation defense firms in California, I lacked professional fulfillment.
Fast forward to the present day, as I am living out my dream of helping families plan for the future and protect the well-being of their loved ones.
My commitment is to make sure families don’t break-down after the disability or death of a loved one. Too many times, I see the destruction and break-down of a family unit after the death of a loved one—when the family is left to pick up the pieces of the deceased person’s bad decisions or the deceased person’s failure to properly plan for the inevitable. On the other hand, I have lived through a loss of a loved one who prepared an effective estate plan. I experienced wonderful family harmony and unity throughout the incapacitation and death process, as well as the ease of process of the distribution of assets. The basic difference between having a bad experience that may lead to family disharmony and the family who goes through the process together, is a failure to plan. Most times, the families who fail to plan are people who don’t know that they should plan or the consequences of their choice to do nothing. I have made it one of my life’s mission to educate families on the estate planning tools available to them in the event of disability or death, so that they can make informed decisions for their families, as I am so tired of witnessing the unnecessary break-down of families over things that can be so preventable.
My personal mission is to make estate planning as accessible, efficient and streamlined as possible so that individuals, families, and business owners are motivated to express their estate planning goals, and families and business partners do not have to deal with the disastrous fallout from a lack of planning.
My goal as an estate planning attorney is to help people plan for the unexpected life events, as well as the inevitable so that their loved ones can move towards their new normal in a peaceful and the most efficient way possible.
I give each of my clients my personal attention, with easily understandable explanations of every document prepared, to ensure that their personal and family goals, desires, and values are clearly articulated so that their goals and needs are achievable. As a team, my clients and I develop a personalized plan which fits their individual lifestyle and I use visual aids so that my client knows that their plan will work the way they intend it to work. My clients are engaged at every level in the process, so that their estate plan represents their ultimate goals.
In addition to creating estate plans, I work in the probate arena and assist families in implementing plans when loved ones pass away, and in setting up guardianships for minors, individuals with special needs, and individuals who can no longer manage their own affairs. I treat my clients like family, protecting their interests as if they were my own, and making sound recommendations to help them accomplish their planning goals.
In order to stay in-tune with the latest trends and developments in Estate Planning, I became an active member of the California State Bar Trusts and Estates section, the Sacramento County Bar Association Probate and Estates sections, as well as WealthCounsel, a national community of top estate planning professionals committed to the highest standard of practice excellence. All of these combined memberships keep me on the leading edge of the newest estate planning ideas and approaches.
I believe that effective estate planning is critical to the financial, physical, and emotional well-being of my clients, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be involved in the process.
Estate Planning 101
California State Bar
Wills, Trusts, & Estates Section
Sacramento County Bar Association
Wills and Estates Section
Elk Grove Chamber of Commerce
Valley Hi Country Club
Volunteer Legal Services Program, Sacramento