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Our Trusts, Estates and Taxation group represents individuals, entities, and fiduciaries in all aspects of estate planning, trust and estate administration, and related litigation.

We design estate plans for clients with an eye toward achieving tax efficiency, maximizing wealth transfers, and ensuring that the final distribution of the clients’ assets is in accordance with their wishes.  Richard Franceschini, who heads the group, is also a Certified Specialist in Taxation Law with the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization.  In addition, Timothy D.F. Barteau is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate law with the State Bar of California, Board of Legal Specialization.

Beyond planning, we also provide administration and litigation services for clients.  Importantly, we pair our expertise in trust and probate law with considerable experience litigating matters in the Probate Division of California Superior Court, which has its own unique procedures.  We have successfully litigated the full range of trust and probate disputes, including will and trust contests; accounting disputes; breaches of fiduciary duties; removal of trustees/executors; surcharge actions; fee disputes; petitions for instructions, to determine assets, to modify trusts, and for construction/interpretation of trusts; intentional interference with expected inheritance; financial elder abuse; and appeals.  

We are proud of our ability to negotiate early, favorable resolutions, which have included multi-million dollar settlements.  In cases where settlement is not in our clients’ best interests, we have a strong record of representing our clients through trial and appeal.

Litigating trust and estate disputes can be costly, and we make it a priority to evaluate and pursue recovery of attorneys’ fees and costs, whenever possible.  In some circumstances, we represent clients on a contingency-fee basis.

Areas of Expertise

  • Estate Planning
  • Taxation
  • Trust Administration + Probate
  • Trust and Estate Litigation
  • Financial Elder Abuse Litigation


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