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We recently needed to redo our wills and trust. After contacting several local estate planning attorneys, we met with Brian Sterzer. First, it turned out that the others quoted prices that were 10-30% higher than Brian's. Of course I realize that you get what you pay for, and we are 100% satisfied with Brian's work for us. He clearly knows his stuff; he was professional and friendly, enduring and answering our many questions.Brian provided us with numerous hard copies of our estate planning documents, electronic versions (PDFs) of the same documents, and guidance on how to arrange ownership and beneficiary designation of our assets. All of this in a professional binder.IMO, we received exceptional value from Brian. In addition, he is a genuinely friendly, caring person - easy to talk with, and a pleasure to do business with.Brian made it easy for us to understand all aspects of our situation and how to accomplish our estate planning goals. We have no hesitation in recommend Sterzer and Associates for family estate planning needs.Sep 25, 2017Review from Google
My husband and I were very pleased with our experience working with Brian. He was very patient with us. We felt like he listened to our needs and customized an estate plan to accommodate our wishes. We felt like we were working with a friend. It was not intimidating as one might expect in dealing with an attorney. We appreciated the fact that he met with us in the evening to accommodate our schedule. We had considered using a prepaid legal plan and are so glad that we didn't. We would highly recommend Brian.Aug 6, 2018Review from Google
Very helpful attorney and staff!! He was able to answer all of our questions.Jan 2, 2018Review from Google
Having been in the television and real estate industries for nearly 40 years, I've had more than my share of associations with attorneys, some positive, many negative. Shining above most everyone is Brian Sterzer. Brian is both extremely knowledgeable and remarkably compassionate and helpful.Brian takes the time to patiently and thoroughly explain the language and meaning of the documents and forms created by his office. My wife and I have met with Brian many times to create and/or revise our living trust and other legal documents. Brian has always been the consummate professional and his advice and reputation are impeccable. Unlike other attorneys who seem to have a stopwatch to keep track of billable hours, minutes and seconds, Brians fees are very reasonable and are not affected by the extra time he takes to ensure that we completely understand each section of the forms his office provides. In fact, on more than one occasion, Brian has made changes to our trust at no charge at all. Ask your friends the last time they heard of an attorney that worked on their behalf for free. If you are contemplating the assistance of an attorney with your estate planning or are fed up with the lawyer you are currently using, I would strongly urge that you give Brian a call. You will most certainly not be disappointed.Nov 6, 2017Review from Google
I had been procrastinating the process of Estate Planning for many years primarily because it can be a very confusing and daunting process. However, when I met Mr. Sterzer and his associate, I was welcomed warmly and assured that he would explain everything in great detail from start to finish. As an Estate Planning specialist, his credentials are impeccable which also gave us great comfort in knowing that our estate plan would be perfectly suited to our needs. As we worked through the process, he was extremely patient in responding to my many questions in layman's terms that I could understand and he helped guide me in making several decisions that had previously perplexed me. His on-going follow up and support now that our estate documents have been completed is equally satisfying. His rates are very reasonable and his office is located conveniently close to our home. We are very happy with our new estate plan and we feel like we've made new friends with Mr. Sterzer and his associate. We are happy to recommend them highly to anyone seeking an expert Estate Planning attorney. Sincerely, Dave Weigel and family.Oct 27, 2016Review from Google
License Type: Attorney (CA)
- What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?My fees for an Estate Plan featuring a Living Trust are shown below. I do not prepare "cheap" estate plans, but my fees are very reasonable for a highly experienced Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Probate and Trust law. Any attorney can purchase software and produce boilerplate documents, but the devil is in the details when it comes to Estate Planning. Estate Planning is complex. A well-drafted plan can make a huge difference, even in a simple estate (especially in a simple estate in many situations). There is a reason the State Bar certifies specialists in Estate Planning, and there is a reason the process to become certified is so rigorous. Improperly drafted Estate Plans by uncertified attorneys or paralegals can be a disaster in the end, resulting in great expense and heartache to your children or other beneficiaries. With an experienced Certified Specialist you can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your estate plan has been done correctly. FEES FOR A COMPREHENSIVE LIVING TRUST ESTATE PLAN $2,200 for Married Couple $1,800 for Individual This includes a Living Trust, Pour-Over Will(s), Durable Power(s) of Attorney, Advance Health Care Directive(s), HIPAA Authorization(s), Trust Transfer Deed, General Assignment of Assets, Certification of Trust, and other important documents. FEES FOR PROBATE Attorney fees for a probate are set by law. The"Statutory Fees" paid to an attorney are a percentage of the gross value of the probate estate. The percentage is between 1% and 4% depending on the gross value. FEES FOR TRUST ADMINISTRATION (post-death) I charge an hourly rate of $375 for Trust Administration.
- What is your typical process for working with a new customer?Our client completes a Questionnaire telling us about themselves, their children (if any), and their assets (home, accounts, life insurance, etc.), and brings it to the first meeting. At the first meeting I thoroughly explain what an Estate Plan is and consists of, including the Living Trust, Pour-over Will, Durable Power of Attorney and Advance Health Care Directive. The client has several decisions to make, which we discuss in detail during the meeting. Usually most or all of the decisions are made at the first meeting, but not always. We schedule the signing meeting after all decisions have been made by the client. At the signing meeting I thoroughly review and explain the Estate Plan to the client, which consists of multiple documents in an organized Estate Planning Portfolio (binder). The client then signs the documents, which we then scan and copy onto a thumb drive the client receives with the Estate Planning Portfolio.
- What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?Every three years Certified Specialists in California must complete 36 hours of continuing education in their specialized field, which in my case is Estate Planning, Probate and Trust law. Prior to opening my own law office in 2005, I was employed and received training at two law firms that specialized in this same area of law.