Let us help you honor the gift
left to you by a loved one.

Probate Attorney Palo Alto, CA

Probate is the legal process for when a person dies, and their estate needs to be settled. This can involve distributing assets, paying debts, and fulfilling the deceased’s wishes. Probate can be a complex and time-consuming process, and it’s essential to have a probate attorney to guide you through it.

With Von Rock Law, you can trust us to pair you with a probate lawyer that puts the client first and offers comprehensive legal advice. California probate can feel overwhelming, so partnering with our law office in Palo Alto, CA, is the best decision as you start planning.

Understanding Probate

Probate is the process of settling a deceased person’s estate. It typically involves identifying and valuing the estate’s assets, paying off debts and taxes, and distributing the remaining assets to the beneficiaries. Not all assets are subject to probate; for example, assets held in a trust, joint tenancy, or with a beneficiary designation may pass outside of probate.

The probate process can vary depending on the state and the complexity of the estate. It typically involves filing paperwork with the court, notifying creditors and beneficiaries, and submitting a final accounting of the estate.

The Role of a Probate Attorney in Palo Alto, CA

A probate attorney can play an essential role as they help you navigate complex legal requirements and ensure that the estate is settled per the law and the wishes of the deceased.

A probate attorney can provide legal representation during the entire process. This can involve preparing and filing the necessary paperwork, representing the estate in probate court, and negotiating with creditors and other parties.

A probate attorney in Palo Alto can also assist with estate planning. They can help you create a will, establish a trust, and ensure that your estate is structured to minimize taxes and maximize the benefit to your beneficiaries.

One of the key roles of a probate attorney is to protect the interests of the beneficiaries. This can involve ensuring they receive their rightful share of the estate, protecting their rights in court if necessary, and advocating for their interests.

Choosing the Right Probate Attorney

Choosing the right probate attorney in Palo Alto ensures a smooth and successful process. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a probate attorney:

Experience and expertise:

Look for a law office with experience handling probate cases, especially those similar to yours. Ensure they have expertise in probate law and a thorough understanding of the legal requirements.

Communication skills:

A good probate attorney should be able to communicate clearly and effectively with you, the client, and other parties involved in the process. Look for an attorney who is responsive and communicative throughout the process.

Fees and costs:

Probate can be expensive, and it’s important to choose an attorney who is transparent about their fees and costs. Look for a Palo Alto attorney who offers clear and reasonable pricing and will work with you to ensure you understand the costs involved.

Probate law can be complex and time-consuming, but it can be navigated successfully with the right probate attorney for your needs in Palo Alto or Santa Clara County. Von Rock Law probate attorneys provide legal representation, assistance with estate planning, and protection for beneficiaries’ interests. Our experienced, communicative probate attorneys at Von Rock Law offer competitive pricing for Palo Alto clients. With us by your side, you can ensure that your loved one’s estate is settled in accordance with their wishes and that their beneficiaries are protected.

Estate Planning FAQ

Do I need an estate plan?

In short, yes. Death is unavoidable. An estate plan protects not only your family and assets, but will also give you peace of mind that your assets will be properly managed when you are gone.

What is an estate plan?

An estate plan created by Von Rock Law is a solution to protecting and preserving your estate in the case that you die or become incapacitated. It contains the following legal documents:

Living Trust

A legal document that places some or all of your assets in the control of a trust during your lifetime


A legal declaration of a person’s wishes regarding the disposal of their property or estate after death

Durable Power of Attorney

A durable power of attorney refers to a power of attorney which typically remains in effect until the death of the principal or until the document is revoked. A durable power of attorney, the durability of which must be explicitly stated, remains valid even in the event the principal is unable to make personal decisions due to incapacity.

Advanced Health Care Directive

A legal document that explains how you want medical decisions about you to be made if you cannot make the decisions yourself. An advance directive lets your health care team and loved ones know what kind of health care you want, or who you want to make decisions for you when you can’t.

Why do I need an Estate Plan?

An estate plan not only ensures your family and assets are protected in the case you die or become incapacitated, but it also helps your estate avoid being subjected to probate, a long and costly process. 

How important is estate planning?

Estate planning allows you to control how your property and other assets will be distributed after your death, and can also help ensure that your wishes are carried out if you become incapacitated. Estate planning can help you avoid probate and other legal complications, while providing peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Why do I need an estate planning attorney?

An estate planning attorney can help you create a comprehensive plan for managing and distributing your assets after your death and understand the legal issues involved in estate planning while ensuring that your plan is properly executed.

What is estate planning law?

Estate planning law deals with the management and disposition of a person’s assets after death. This includes creating legal documents, such as a will and trust, to specify how your property will be distributed and who will manage your affairs.

Custom Estate Plans, Flat-fee pricing

Our Custom Estate Plan is a comprehensive trust-based estate plan which is appropriate for most estates including those with minor children or other minor beneficiaries, for those requiring protections for beneficiaries and for blended families. This estate plan works toward eliminating probate court proceedings, appointing successors to manage the Trust after your death, and directs the distribution of your assets.

Custom Estate Plan

for most estates
** 2 documents, 1 for each partner

One 30 minute consultation meeting by telephone, video conference or in person

Revocable Living Trust

Certification of Living Trust

Last Will & Testament **

Durable Power of Attorney **

Advanced Health Care Directive **

Authorization of Release of Medical Records (“HIPAA”) **

Assignment of Personal Property **

Personal Property Memorandum **

Trust Transfer Deed (one property)

Recording Deed with county recorder

One opportunity to request edits to above documents with respect to client-provided information

Recording fees included

Preliminary Change of Ownership Report

Final signing meeting

Complete instructions regarding plan

Notary fees included

Personalized estate planning binder with all original documents

Digital PDF copies of your entire plan

Additional Deeds with ancillary documents and recording fees begin at $1000 for California properties and for out of state US properties, subject to confirmation of non-California recording fees.

Estate Planning+

Subscription Add-On
$1500 Annually
Five FREE Maintenance Billable Hours

Up to five hours with our staff for emails, phone calls, zooms or in person meetings to address your questions regarding the maintenance of your estate plan, funding, coordination with agents, potential amendments, family meetings or other ongoing trust maintenance concerns.

Exclusive Invitations
Invitations to programs of interest regarding estate planning, wealth management, elder care, trust administration and a wealth of related trust and estate matters.
Discount on Future Billable Hours

A 5% discount on billable matters for which you may further retain us, such as drafting additional plan documents and amendments, or for another practice area.

Deluxe Custom Estate Plan

For Estates exceeding the estate tax threshold

Deluxe custom estate plans are appropriate for individuals with substantial assets and sophisticated planning needs, and who require estate tax planning features for estates exceeding the estate tax threshold of $12,060,000 for individuals or $24,120,000 in community property for married couples. These plans include all of the offerings of the Custom Estate plan, but will also address such circumstances such as complicated blended families, citizenship issues, multiple real estate holdings, multiple beneficiary designations, integrated special needs trusts, or otherwise more sophisticated distribution plans.

College Care Plan $1750

Ideal plan for college aged students or any adult aged 18 or over with minimal estate planning considerations.

We are offer a college care plan that will allow parents to still be able to act for their 18+ children for medical, financial and legal purposes, and to distribute the child’s assets should the child pre-decease the parent.  This plan includes a Durable Power of Attorney, Advance Health Care Directive, HIPAA and Simple Will which identifies not more than two beneficiaries with outright inheritance.  Further, this plan includes a generic FERPA Consent Form that will authorize parents to communicate with a college regarding the student’s classes, transcripts, grades and more. Many educational institutions will have their own forms for this Consent which may be required, but if not, our standard form should be accepted.


This plan includes a 30 minute consultation and the cost of online notary fees arranged by this office.  Digital and paper copies of the plan documents will be provided.

Estate Plan Review and Revision

A la carte revisions without our Estate Planning+ Subscription

Estate Plan revisions are provided on an hourly basis and estimates of the projected cost are provided to the client before work commences. Simple revisions to Estate Plans are often in the 2 – 3 hour range, with more complex revisions taking longer, bearing in mind that each circumstance is unique.  


PLEASE NOTE – We will not amend plans that we did not draft.  We will prepare re-statements of Trusts and new documents for planning documents we did not generate.

Tell us your story

Schedule your free consultation

Words from our clients

Many of us know that we should have a current and comprehensive plan when it comes to personal Estate Planning and Management, but often we have not had time to consult a lawyer, update our plan, or find ourselves in an emergency situation, where preparing an estate plan can no longer wait. Regardless of which category you may find yourself, Von Rock Law can help. Deidre and Nora offer top-notch legal expertise. Their legal acumen, ability to actively listen to your goals, evaluate your needs, and provide a clear and concise overview of your legal options is exceptional. This hands on, personalized approach allows them to prepare an estate plan that is customized to your needs. When you meet with Deidre and Nora, you have their undivided attention, they are prepared, they are upfront (and accurate) about the scope of work involved, and perhaps most importantly, they are interested and mindful of you, your life, and your time.

Sasha C.