Estate planning serves a vital role in providing for your loved ones. That’s why you need to make sure to execute your estate plan flawlessly. When you work with the right Sonoma County estate attorney, crafting the right custom estate plan for your needs becomes simple. But how do you choose the best Sonoma County estate lawyer?

Ultimately, choosing a lawyer remains an incredibly personal process. You need to choose someone who makes you feel comfortable and that you can trust. Still, there are four key questions you need to ask yourself when choosing a Sonoma County estate attorney to ensure that you find the right fit.


  1. Does this attorney have the right education and local Sonoma County probate experience? A quality law degree matters if you want to get proven results. Top-tier law schools like Harvard, Yale, and the University of Chicago simply turn out more experienced, better trained attorneys who can serve complex legal needs better. Of course, probate law is all about local requirements, which is why a trusted degree isn’t enough. You want to choose a Sonoma County estate attorney who has years of experience locally, so they know the weird intricacies of Bay Area estate laws.
  2. Are they dedicated to this area of law? No one lawyer can do it all. Look for an attorney who specializes in a small area of law, focusing solely on probate law, financial legal matters, or other similar areas of law. Just because an attorney is great at criminal defense does not mean that they will be able to draft you an effective estate plan. In fact, the opposite is likely to be true. Make sure your attorney has extensive experience specifically in estate planning before trusting your estate plan in their hands.
  3. Does this lawyer have a good reputation in Santa Rosa and throughout Sonoma County? Credibility and reputation matters. Make sure that any lawyer you choose comes highly rated by past clients. Search for their ratings online and find out what past clients have to say about them via testimonials and reviews.
  4. Do they listen to my needs and create a custom strategy based on what I tell them? Estate planning requires an incredibly personal approach. You should never trust your estate plan to someone who creates cookie-cutter instruments using fill-in-the-blank standard forms. Find a Santa Rosa estate lawyer who will listen to your needs and adjust plans accordingly.


While this guide to choosing an estate lawyer just provides you with a place to start, hopefully it will help you remember some key areas to address when choosing the right estate attorney for your needs.

If you’re currently looking for a Sonoma County estate attorney, I hope you’ll consider us at Michael J. Larsen Law. Michael J. Larsen has been practicing law out of his San Francisco and Santa Rosa offices for over 20 years. Since graduating from law school at the University of Chicago, his primary focus has been wills and trusts, key elements of any estate plan. When you work with Michael J. Larsen, your needs will always come first. We know that successful estate planning requires listening first and then designing a plan around your unique situation, which is why we promise that when you work with us, you’ll get a custom approach that puts you before everything else, every time.