James J. Phillips

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Estate Planning & Probate Attorney in Pleasanton, CA

Law Offices of James J. Phillips, A Professional Corporation
 | 4900 Hopyard Road, Suite 260
Pleasanton, CA 94588
Phone: 925-463-1980
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2017
Licensed Since: 1980
Practice Areas:
  • Estate Planning & Probate
Attorney Profile

Since 1990, James J. Phillips has been a certified specialist in probate, estate planning and trust law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He also has an LL.M. in tax. His firm serves Pleasanton, California, and the surrounding communities.

Mr. Phillips focuses his practice on assisting clients plan their estates, prepare necessary estate planning documents from wills to living trusts, including powers of attorney, irrevocable trusts, gifting plans and gift tax returns. Likewise, he represents fiduciaries responsible for managing the financial or personal affairs of others such as executors, administrators, trustees, conservators, guardians, agents and attorneys-in-fact. This includes matters subject to probate court supervision and matters not subject to court review.

Mr. Phillips has authored several publications on the subject of living trusts, wills, estate planning, tax considerations and probate law. He has also served as Judge Pro Tem, Alameda County Superior Courts, and was appointed by Alameda County Probate Court as special master, guardian ad litem, and personal representative in contested trust, probate, conservatorship and guardian cases.

Practice Areas
Lawyer Practice Area Pie Chart

Estate Planning & Probate (100%)


Selected to Super Lawyers for 13 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2017

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About James Phillips

Admitted: 1980, California

Professional Webpage: http://www.pleasantonestateplanninglawyer.com/bios.html

Honors and Awards:

  • AV Rated: Achieved the Highest Rating in Legal Ability and Ethical Standards by Martindale Hubbell Law Directory, and included in their Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers annually since, 1995
  • First Place, 1979 David E. Snodgrass Moot Court Competition--Best Written Brief, Hastings College of Law, 1979

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certified Specialist in Probate, Estate Planning and Trust Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, 1990

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • President, Eastern Alameda County Bar Association, 1990
  • Former Member, Executive Committee of the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section of the Alameda County Bar Association
  • Appointed by Alameda County Probate Court as Special Master, Guardian Ad Litem, and Personal Representative in contested trust, probate, conservatorship, and guardian cases
  • Judge Pro Tem, Alameda County Superior Courts
  • Member, National Association of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Member, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section and Taxation Section of the State Bar of California and of Tri-Valley Business and Estate Planning Council
  • Former Director, Estate Planning Council of the East Bay
  • Member, Executive Committee, California State Bar's Association Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section, 1991-1992

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Founder and Coach of Castro Valley Track Club. www.cvtrackclub.com Director of Eden Area Foundation.
  • Member of Pleasanton, Livermore, Castro Valley Cambers of Commerce and Castro Valley Rotary Club
  • Director, Eden Area Foundation
  • Founder and coach of Castro Valley Track Club
  • Director Emeritus, California State University Hayward Educational Foundation, Inc.
  • Former Director, Castro Valley Arts Foundation
  • Former director, Tri-Valley Community Foundation

Scholarly Lectures and Writings:

  • Author: "Tax Comparison of Living Trusts and Wills," Fundamentals of Estate Planning, CEB and the State Bar Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law Section Program, April, 1991
  • "Tax Considerations in Comparing Living Trusts and Wills," Drafting Wills and Related Estate Planning Documents, CEB and the State Bar Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section Program, April/May, 1990
  • "Taxes and Living Trusts," California Lawyer, February, 1989
  • "Federal Income Tax Differences between Living Trust Administration and Probate Administration," Tax Exchange, November, 1988


Educational Background:

  • Golden Gate University School of Law, Master of Laws (LL.M.) in Taxation, 1988
  • Castro Valley High School, 1972
  • University of California at Davis, B.S., in Human Development, Magna Cum Laude, 1976

Industry Groups

  • Conservatorship
  • Estate Planning
  • Estate Tax Planning
  • Gift Tax Planning
  • Probate
  • Trust Administration
  • Trust Planning
  • Office Location for James J. Phillips

    4900 Hopyard Road
    Suite 260
    Pleasanton, CA 94588

    Phone: 925-463-1980


    James J. Phillips:

    Last Updated: 2/10/2017

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