Estate Planning and Probate/Expert Profile

Janet Brewer Law Offices

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returns 12/31/2017

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I am a licensed attorney in California. I am available to answer questions about probating estates, preparing wills and trusts, administering estates and trusts, forming family limited partnerships and limited liability companies, and establishing a wide variety of estate and gift tax-sensitive trusts (charitable trusts, children's trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts, etc.).

I can also answer questions regarding the preparation of estate tax returns (Form 706) in taxable estates. Please note that I do not prepare trust income tax returns and cannot provide you with any information about that type of return.

Please note: I am only able to practice law in the State of California. I cannot answer specific questions about other states' laws; I can only provide some "general" information that may or may not apply to your situation.

Experience in the area

I have practiced California estate, gift-planning, and probate law exclusively since 1991. I am certified as a specialist in estate planning and probate law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization (there are less than 125 such specialists practicing in Santa Clara County and fewer than 7,000 practicing in California - out of over 170,000 lawyers statewide). I have served as an Instructor in the CFP (certificate in financial planning) program at University of California Santa Cruz, teaching the estate planning segment.


Silicon Valley Bar Association
Wealth Counsel
Wealth Advisors' Forum
Executive Committee Member, Solo and Small Firm Section of the California State Bar (appointed to a 3 year term by the California State Bar Board of Governors)


I received my law degree (J.D.) from University of Denver Law School in 1975. I was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1975 and to the California Bar in 1977 (NOTE: although I am a member of the Colorado Bar, I am on INACTIVE status there). I earned an M.B.A. in 1982, and I earned a Masters Degree in Taxation Law (LLM) at Golden Gate University Law School in 2010 (with honors).

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Awards and Honors

2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, & 2012 - chosen as a "SuperLawyer" - one of the top 5% of Northern California lawyers practicing in the estate planning and probate area ( Avvo Rating of 10.0/10.0

Average Ratings

Recent Reviews from Users

Read More Comments

    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
Lura01/11/15101010Thank you for answering my questions
Patricia12/13/11101010Ms. Brewer, Thanks for all your help .....
Todd12/04/11101010Janet, thanks for the info about the .....
Richard11/21/11101010Thanks, that helps. ds,,,

Recent Answers from Janet Brewer Law Offices

2013-06-23 Sale of property / eviction of heir:

Thanks for your question.  Since I'm not admitted to practice in New Jersey, I don't know the laws there ... but I'm relatively sure that if you're an owner you cannot be evicted (nor can you be required

2013-06-15 Probate Valuation / California:

Thank you for your question and please accept my condolences on your brother's death.    The appraisal you need depends upon what it will be used for (but see the very end of this email, too):    1.  If

2012-09-08 eviction of heir:

Thank you for letting me know this is California.  Unfortunately, under California law your sister cannot be "evicted" - only renters can be evicted, and she's an owner, not a renter (even if she paid

2012-03-29 Probate in San Francisco:

Thank you for letting me know this is a California estate.  Yes; they need to petition the court for a partial distribution - it requires a court order.  If the estate has been open for more than a year

2011-11-20 trust vs will:

Thanks for your question.  I can give you a "short" answer to your question, but for a longer answer, I suggest you google "trust vs. will".    One of the advantages of a living trust (aka a "revocable"


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