Heather’s practice focuses on estate planning and trust administration.
Heather guides clients through developing basic and complex estate plans. She drafts revocable and irrevocable trusts, and presents decisions involved in estate planning, including selecting successor trustees and designing distribution schemes. She helps clients to understand various taxes at play, including estate tax, income tax, and real property tax. Heather considers her clients’ personal values and circumstances and explains options to achieve their goals.
Heather assists trustees and personal representatives in navigating the duties, responsibilities, and legal requirements of a fiduciary in post-death administrations of trusts and estates. She works with clients’ other advisors, including CPAs and financial advisors and helps assess and manage risk. Heather is sensitive to the emotional aspects that may arise during this time. She aims to resolve disputes outside of court whenever possible.
Heather has litigated matters involving accountings, breach of fiduciary duties, suspension and removal of trustees, lack of capacity, undue influence, financial elder abuse, and the validity of marriage. She volunteered as a research attorney in the probate division of the Superior Court of California where she drafted bench memoranda on various probate issues, prepared the daily probate calendar advising jurists on petitions and motions, and researched and drafted statements of decision for bench trials.
Before attending law school full-time, Heather’s first career focused on accounting and consulting. Her prior positions include manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers, operations officer at Bank One Corporation (now J.P. Morgan), university auditor at San Francisco State University, and management consultant at Northern California Public Broadcasting, Inc. (KQED).
Heather is dedicated to animals and supports numerous organizations supporting their welfare. She also enjoys running in her personal time.
Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law as certified by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
Certified Public Accountant (CPA), licensed in Colorado
- Graduate Student, Taxation, Golden Gate University, School of Law
- J.D., University of San Francisco School of Law
- B.S., Louisiana State University, Finance Major, Philosophy Minor, Commercial Banking Concentration
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA) licensed by the State of Colorado Board of Accountancy
Affiliation & Awards
San Mateo County Bar Association’s Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section. Past Chair, Chair Pro Tem, Treasurer, Chair of New Attorneys
The Humane Society of the U.S. District Leader for California’s 18th Congressional District
Junior League of San Jose. Past Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors
San Francisco SPCA, Adoptions Counselor
Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch in America, Trusts and Estates, 2021-2024
Northern California Super Lawyers Estate Planning & Probate “Rising Stars,” 2017-2020
Speaking & Publications
Estate Planning for Your Pet, Hoge Fenton Legal Article, February 1, 2022
Bay Area “Quirks”, The Bar Association of San Francisco Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Section and Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Litigation Subsection, Panelist, April 2021
Where There Is A Will, There Is A Way: Exploration of Will Drafting, Execution and Litigation, Eastern Alameda County Bar Association (EACBA), Co-presenter, January 2020