GEOFFREY W. PHILLIPS, ESQ.
Geoff is certified as a specialist in Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. Geoff is AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®; the highest rating of skill and ethics an attorney can obtain. He has also been selected as a Northern California Super Lawyer every year since 2005. Geoff practices exclusively in the areas of estate planning, probate and trust administration.
Geoff’s estate planning practice includes the preparation of revocable and irrevocable trusts, wills, powers of attorney for financial management and health care, and family wealth preservation. Over the tenure of his career as both an attorney and a CPA, Geoff has accumulated years of knowledge and wisdom enabling him to better serve his clients. Foremost in his mind is the importance of teaching and assisting clients to understand and wisely choose from the many ways to achieve their estate planning goals and objectives. Geoff will work with you to craft a plan that considers the conservation and management of wealth, the implication of taxes, social responsibilities and the generational harmony of your family. Your values, traditions and family culture will be discussed and incorporated in your plan. Charitable giving will be explored and included if you choose. Geoff’s experience in the realm of family matters allows him to offer solutions to the challenges that relationships can bring.
Geoff’s administration practice includes trustee representation, tax planning, federal estate and gift tax return preparation, and complex trust and estate accountings. Geoff understands that death creates so many unique challenges and issues. He specializes in advising personal representatives, executors and trustees in all legal and tax issues concerning a person’s death whether through a formal court-supervised probate or the informal administration of a living trust.
Geoff also represents trust and estate beneficiaries, and he consults regarding estate, gift, fiduciary income, pension and property tax matters. Geoff is available as an expert witness and as a referee in the fields of trusts and estates. He is also very familiar with the principles of Christian stewardship.
Dedicated to continuing education, Geoff has taught county and state bar association programs on living trusts, estate planning, estate and trust administration, and related tax subjects. He has authored and coauthored articles and publications on these subjects as well. He has also spoken to community groups and church groups on estate planning matters. Geoff has been appointed by the court to serve as a referee on difficult trust and estate matters.
Believing in a more traditional practice of law, Geoff sees himself as a counselor and teacher to his clients in addition to being an attorney. The subjects of life and death are difficult and distressing for most. Geoff’s deeply-held faith allows him to better understand clients, teach them about arduous concepts and counsel them about true wealth: families and the legacy of values.
• J.D., cum laude, Santa Clara University School of Law, 1987
• B.A., Accounting, Santa Clara University, 1981
Admissions and Licensures
• California, 1987
• Licensed CPA, California State Board of Accountancy, 1985
Professional Organizations and Memberships
• Member, State Bar of California, Trusts and Estates Section
– Participated on a subcommittee to develop an attorney’s checklist for the complex administration of a living trust at death
• Member, State Bar of California, Law Practice Management Section
• Member, Silicon Valley Bar Association
• Former Chairman, Santa Clara Bar Association, Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law Section
• Member, California Society of Certified Public Accountants
• Member, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
• Member, Christian Legal Society