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gold standard for 300x150 090616Like many in the “sandwich” generation, I found myself with young children and aging parents who had not planned for this part of their life. Putting their affairs in order became even more critical and timely as my mom was diagnosed with a rare and fast progressing neurodegenerative disease. I don’t know what I would’ve done without Stefanie to guide us through this process. We had consulted with another elder law attorney, well known in our area, who completely overwhelmed us with “worst case scenario” and accompanying costs that couldn’t be projected. Our hospital social worker recommended Stefanie as she frequently gives informational talks at senior community forums and will also travel to your home.

From the very beginning we knew that Stefanie was the right choice…she was completely available and there for us, compassionate, thorough, and extremely generous with her wisdom and time - being very transparent and fair about costs. While Stefanie meticulously and efficiently put my parents’ affairs in order, she remained available to us for continued counseling as new issues emerged (particularly around MediCal). I highly recommend Stefanie to anyone needing counsel (and yes, some hand-holding) while they address difficult questions and make decisions about their end-of-life. To me, Stefanie West represents the gold standard for elder law attorneys.

Annemarie, Kensington, California

 

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Stefanie West came recommended to us and after we met her, there was no question that we would work with her. The legal service we received was better than outstanding. She was so knowledgeable about everything we needed to know and very patient when she was explaining how she was going to accomplish what she needed to do.

Working with Stefanie has been our pleasure because of her wonderful, caring personality and her hard work to accomplish what she needs to do. Her approach is professional, brilliant and successful.

It is like working with a friend that you have known for many years and you know you are in good hands with whatever your legal needs are. We absolutely adore her.

Sharon and Jim, Alameda, California

 

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 listened to my concerns white 300x150 030816 001I wanted to restate my trust and specifically needed advice on how to address a family situation. Stefanie West was highly recommended to me by a close friend who knew my situation and, who was, at the time, restating her family trust with Stefanie.

The service that Stefanie provided was excellent. She made me feel comfortable and relaxed even though the subject matter is not the most pleasant to discuss. She listened to my concerns, offered suggestions and provided the pros and cons to each suggestion she made. I never felt rushed to make a decision. She always made herself available whenever I had a question and still does, which I greatly appreciate. She wanted to make sure I was happy with the end result.

I was impressed by Stefanie's professionalism and her knowledge of the law, and just as she was recommended to me, I would not hesitate to recommend Stefanie to others. I feel I not only have an outstanding estate tax attorney, but I gained a friend, as well.

Susan I., Vacaville, California

 

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My parents are quite elderly.  At about the time we met Stefanie West, Dad was about 90 and Mom about 87. Mom had gotten sick with dementia/Alzheimers. Even though I had never had the conversation with my parents about "what if" . . . . you got sick, where would you like to be taken care of . . . at home at a skilled nursing facility; I knew my mother would want to be taken care of at home, if at all possible. The problem, of course, being how would we finance it. Dad had worked about 40 years on the same job and was receiving a decent retirement + social security and all, but nothing extravagent ... by no means. However, my parents would not qualify for MediCal with their combined income. So we needed to come up with a plan. That's where Stefanie came into the picture.

Takes her work personally white 300x150 030816 001Stefanie was recommended to us by the manager of a caregiving agency where Mom was receiving services. Since this was Stefanie's level of expertise as an attorney, our family wanted to find out what our options were. Although she came highly recommended, that was not the reason why we decided to work with her. It was her total sincerity and lack of pretense.  We received the absolute very best service. Stefanie will admit that our case was one of the most challenging, frustrating cases she had ever encountered. This is not because our finances were so complicated or anything. Hey, we're poor people. It was just dealing with the different systems (i.e., papers getting lost, papers having to be refiled, agencies not returning phone calls, etc.). It took an enormous amount of time and sticktuitiveness to get my parents qualified for MediCal. But Stefanie did it... and we could all breathe a little easier.

Stefanie is absolutely brillant at what she does. When you examine her background, it is totally impressive. But by sitting down and talking with her, you would never know that about her. She does not go around "tooting her own horn".

I guess that if there is any chance that Stefanie can help you, she will do everything within her power to make it happen. She takes her work personally the moment she takes on your case. You know and feel that you're getting the best service, and it puts your mind and heart at ease.

Michele S., Pittsburg, California

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cares about her clients white 300x150 030816 001

We were looking for someone to set up a Living Trust for our family, when we attended a seminar at our community lodge in Brentwood, California given by Stefanie West. We were very impressed with her presentation. She was very knowledgeable

and very personable. We knew we could trust her with our personal information.

She not only set up a trust but also a power of attorney, will and health care directive. We would not hesitate to recommend Stefanie to our family and friends, because she cares about her clients. We know we can count on Stefanie to be there for us in the future.

Tony and Judy DeRosa, Brentwood, California

 

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I met Stefanie West at an Appleby’s restaurant where she and her paralegal were to give a presentation on trusts. My attendance was in response to a ‘flyer’ received in the mail. I thought I would just be getting a free meal in a nice restaurant and at the time, I wasn’t even sure what was needed or how Stefanie could help me.

However, once there I could see that, in addition to a free meal, I would be treated to the pleasing visuals of two pretty women.  Right from the beginning, I could sense the sincerity and the true caring of this person. Yes, all of us there were prospective clients, but Stefanie treated us as individuals and/or couples with very unique needs.

Conscientious caring capable white 300x150 030816 001Shortly after she began her presentation, I realized that both my mother and I needed a trust.  Stefanie listened to all questions intently and provided answers in a clear, non-condescending manner. She did not hurry us and remained at the restaurant until everything was clear with her audience.

Since the preparation of my trust, Stefanie has remained in touch.  She also answers all my e-mails promptly.  If I were to choose three adjectives that best describe Stefanie's style or approach, it would be “Conscientious, Caring, and Capable”...

The bottom line for Stefanie is not financial compensation for her or for her firm, but fair and adequate remuneration/service for her clients.

Daniel L., Alameda, California

 

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Stefanie West was referred to us by a trusted friend who spoke very highly of her.  At the time, we needed a living trust revision and also a special needs trust.

genuinely enjoys her work white 300x150 030816 001After meeting with Stefanie, it was clear to us that her legal knowledge, honesty and sincerity stood out as positive traits and therefore, she was someone we could easily work with. Her compassion and understanding of her clients' needs has been remarkable and it is evident that she genuinely enjoys her work.

While working on our trusts, we could see that Stefanie was very thorough in requesting input for all involved parties. Her explanation of complicated legal terms was appreciated by all and the trusts were very carefully created.

Anonymous

 

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After hearing Stefanie West give a very informative estate planning presentation at the "over-55" community where we live, we decided to take her up on her offer of a free consultation and had her review our trust which had been created 4 years earlier. She knew just what to look for, and we were lucky to knowledgeable in her field white 300x150 030816 001have her find our trust in good shape. We were even luckier to have "clicked" with Stefanie. Later we consulted her pertaining to settling a relative's trust. She quickly absorbed the facts of the situation and gave immediate, clear answers to our questions. Stefanie is very professional, has a wonderful educational background, is extremely knowledgeable in her field, is passionate about her work, and truly cares about doing what's best for her clients. If there's something she doesn't know, she is willing to find the answer. She has the ability to work with anyone, but "seniors" seem to hold a special place in her heart. She even makes home visits which is a big "plus." And if you are also an animal lover, Stefanie is your gal. We think of Stefanie not only as a very good attorney but also as a very good friend.

Julie and Harvey K., Brentwood, California

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Not long ago, I was faced with a situation regarding an aunt who had no children and had recently suffered a stroke. The stroke left her left side deficient and she was no longer able to care for herself. She required 24 hour care. I'd recently moved back to Los Angeles and was now more than 300 miles away from her. I was faced with getting my aunt's legal papers in order and preparing her for transition to Medi-Cal.

fully engaged in my case white 300x150 030816 001Once working with Stefanie, I was very impressed with her understanding of my situation and knowledge of the laws. She was able to guide me with a degree of clarity and thoroughness I have yet to encounter from another attorney. She fully understood my position and what I needed to do living many miles away. Stefanie was always available and fully engaged in my case at each face-to-face meeting, phone call and/or email exchange. These types of exchanges with Stefanie has sealed my full commitment to the professional relationship we have built with over the past two years. She is one of the best!

Stefanie is incredibly thorough and forthcoming with information. She does not hold back when answering my questions and addressing my concerns. She covers all of the bases and insures her client is well-informed. She is very clear explaining all possible outcomes and always provided me with the information and guidance I needed to get though a very difficult time. Stefanie also spent quality time with my aunt explaining the legal process, as well as her options. Her bedside manner with the elderly is to be commended.

Stefanie is a skillful, intelligent and wonderful attorney. She is committed to her clients and a joy to have on your team!

Kathryn A., Los Angeles, California

 

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Stefanie West did our Living Trust. We chose her due to the quality of her Living Trust presentation at a local Senior Center. Her talk and Q & A was clear, concise, and presented in an easy-to understand manner for us laymen.

dont forget her humor white 300x150 030816 001Our Trust is somewhat complicated due to a blended family. Ours is a  second marriage with children and their families for each spouse. It involves a Special Care grandchild and offspring needing financial protection.

Stefanie spent many hours with us to discuss, analyze, and examine all our options ... the good, the bad, and the ugly. Her suggestions provided a broad  spectrum of choices and their pros and cons. We were able to evaluate our choices to best meet the needs of our survivors. Stefanie is detailed-oriented, clear, precise, knowledgeable and a joy to work with. Don't forget her humor!

Nan & Vic, Orinda, California

 

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As a retired professional living in a gated senior community, I became aware of Stefanie's blend of competence and caring on the occasion of an estate planning seminar she presented to our group. Her genuine warmth and personal concern came through from the first, and are clearly part of who she is, as are her advanced professional credentials and sheer competence and ability. Whether to a group, or communicating one-on-one, there is never any obscure professional jargon but only clear every day language and explanation that makes even advanced terms and concepts understandable.

part of our family white 300x150 030816 001Initially, though, my wife and I did not feel that we needed her services. At most perhaps, a simple, straightforward updating of our old but still very serviceable will would be all we might need, if anything. Little did we know! Suffice it to say that after hearing us out -- and when Stefanie listens she really listens, seeks to understand what makes the family tick, and never begrudges her time -- I realized we had major specific and rather unique issues that needed addressing. Without going into detail, I'll just state that we're quite pleased with our new wills, powers of attorney, special needs trust provisions, IRA and personal properties disposition, and health proxy statements. For our family, we feel many potential future problems have been averted.

In the process we both feel as if Stefanie has become part of our family and almost knows each of our children after careful attention to their unique situations and needs. At each step in the process we felt free to present any further issues that came to mind, and these were always carefully and thoroughly addressed and incorporated into her recommendations.

At a later time, when a modification to our plan was needed, I felt able to implement it myself from the solid base she had already established. However even then, she had our backs and walked us through the process, advancing some important suggestions and considerations.

I see, from other posted evaluations, that our extraordinarily positive experience is hardly unique. Somehow I'm not surprised! It's not often that one has the opportunity to make an unreservedly positive recommendation with every reason to expect that others' experiences will be equally meaningful and helpful.

Mort S., Brentwood, California

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