Kent L. Kristof

Top rated estate & trust litigation attorney in Pasadena, California

Kristof & Kristof, Attorneys at Law
Kent L. Kristof
Kristof & Kristof, Attorneys at Law

Practice Areas: Estate & trust litigation, Elder law, Estate planning & probate; view more

Licensed in California since: 2005

Education: University of San Diego School of Law

Languages Spoken: English, Spanish

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2023 Selected to Rising Stars: 2014 - 2020
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Kristof & Kristof, Attorneys at Law

1122 E Green St
Pasadena, CA 91106 Visit website



Kent L. Kristof is an accomplished attorney in complex trust, estate and conservatorship law, who is dedicated to protecting the financial interests of clients and litigating for the rights of elder abuse victims. He has extensive experience in mediation but is ready to aggressively fight for clients' rights in court when necessary.  

Some of Dr. Kristof's notable successes include multiple high-value trust and estate disputes resulting in judgments in excess of $1 million. His achievements have led to his being named "Top Attorney" in 2020 and his law firm being recognized by Pasadena Weekly as the "Best Law Firm of Pasadena" in 2011.

Dr. Kristof graduated with highest honors from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, with a major in history and a minor in Spanish.  Dr. Kristof earned memberships with Phi Alpha Theta honor society and the Golden Key International Honour Society. He went on to receive his Master's degree in history in 2002  and then earned his Juris Doctor from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2004.  Dr. Kristof has earned his LLM (Legum Magister) in estate planning and elder law. Recently, Dr. Kristof defended his doctoral dissertation (Doctorate of Juridical Science, a research and academic-based doctorate in law) entitled "The Economic Impact of Probate Administration."

Giving back to his community is important to Dr. Kristof. Currently, he serves as a Court Appointed Counsel ("CAC," formerly the Probate Volunteer Panel) attorney for the Los Angeles Superior Court.  Dr. Kristof has worked as a settlement officer for the Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program of the Los Angeles Superior Court and volunteered with the Pro Per Guardianship Clinic.  Dr. Kristof also acts as Arbitrator with the Attorney Client Mediation Arbitration Service hearing disputes between other attorneys and their clients.  Dr. Kristof is a member of the State Bar of California, the Los Angeles County Bar Association and the American Bar Association.  Dr. Kristof was the Young Lawyer's Division of the American Bar Association as Liaison to the American Bar Association's Commission on Law And Aging.  Dr. Kristof also serves on the University of San Diego, School of Law, Los Angeles Alumni Chapter Board.

Practice areas

Estate & trust litigation, Elder law, Estate planning & probate

Focus areas

Will contests, Estate planning, Guardianships & conservatorships, Living wills, Power of attorney, Probate & estate administration, Trusts, Wills

  • 60% Estate & trust litigation
  • 20% Elder law
  • 20% Estate planning & probate

First Admitted: 2005, California

Professional Webpage:

Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Los Angeles County Court Appointed Counsel Panel (formerly Probate Volunteer Panel) A select group of counsel appointed by the Court to protect subject individuals, 2010
  • Los Angeles Attorney Client Mediation and Arbitration Service Arbitrator  (resolves disputes between other attorneys and clients), 2012
  • The American Bar Association's Young Lawyer's Division's liaison to the ABA's Commission On Law And Aging., 2014
  • California State Bar Conference of Delegates - Delegate from Los Angeles County Bar Association (2009-2010; 2021-2022), 2021
  • American Association for Justice, 2003
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit
  • Member, American Association for Justice
  • California
  • Member, Los Angeles County Bar Association
  • Member, State Bar of California, Trusts and Estates, Litigation
  • Member, State Bar of California
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Guardianship Clinic (Los Angeles County Superior Court, East District location), 2010
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Every year millions of dollars of assets are placed in judicial stasis during probate administration, removed from circulating the economy.  The lost economic impact of these assets, during this period of limited alienability, to Los Angeles County has never before been reported.  My doctoral dissertation and my presentation to the National Doctor of Juridical Science (JSD) Roundtable describe the “full cost” of this reduced alienability and how that “full cost” is disproportionally felt across the county’s economic strata., Author/ Presenter, Economics of Probate: The Impact of Probate Administration in the World's 16th Largest Economy, Georgetown University Law Center, National Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) Roundtable, Legal, Academia, Empiricists, Economists, 2018
  • Presented to attorneys, this session provided an overview of the post-death tasks required for trust administration.  Topics included tax matters, changes of trustees, determining the validity of liabilities, payment of debts, distribution scenarios, and litigation avoidance and preparation., Presenter, Post-Death Trust Administration, CEB (Continuing Education Of The Bar), Continuing Education For Attorneys, 2018
  • Provided a periodic review and analysis of the activities of the Respiratory Care Board, as well as the laws affecting the Board and its actions., Regulatory Update (2002-2003): Respiratory Care Board, California Regulatory Law Reporter
  • Provided a periodic review and analysis of the activities of the Board of Registered Nursing, as well as the laws affecting the Board and its actions., Regulatory Update (2002-2003): Board of Registered Nursing, California Regulatory Law Reporter
  • Selected to the elite list of peer-nominated, peer-chosen attorneys in the Los Angeles area., Top Lawyer, Pasadena Magazine, 2020
  • Best Attorney/Law Firm, Pasadena Weekly, 2011
  • Membership, Phi Alpha Theta, Golden Key International Honour Society
  • National Honor Society, Member, Officer Positions, Phi Alpha Theta, 1997
  • National Honor Society, Member, Golden Honor Society, 1998
  • Pursued heirs’ claims against law firm who represented the former Administrator after she looted all of the estate’s property.  Litigation spanned several California counties, included cooperation with law enforcement, and spread to include national financial institutions as respondents.  After lengthy litigation and close examination of reams of financial documents, the heirs’ inheritances were satisfied. (Estate of Ballard), 2021
  • Defended former Court Appointed Counsel in vitriolic litigation. Took through trial and was granted extraordinary sanctions which were published statewide.  On appeal from the sanctions motion, the logic of the sanctions motion was unanimously approved." (Guerra/Alvarado), 2020
  • Protected client’s and estate’s interests during hotly contested litigation involving overlapping assertions of abuse, contractual disputes, and significant tax implications.  Secured inheritance of controlling interest in family business, valued between $2,550,000 and $4,000,000. (Falkenborg 2001 Trust cases), 2019
  • Engaged in multi-faceted litigation to protect widow from aggressive step-sons.  For the widow, recovered valuable real property, and monies for legal fees, from the aggressors. (Barrett matters), 2016
  • Defended Trustee/beneficiary in litigation, spanning multiple cases, with significant international components.  Favorably resolved with client retaining income producing properties and other assets totaling several million dollars. (Zubillaga matters), 2017
  • Intervened, on behalf of clients, in probate that had languished for some 20 years. Engaged in speedy and efficient litigation on multiple fronts. Obtained beneficial recovery to clients while maximizing value of estate. Total recovered for clients approximately $1,040,000.  (Strauss Matters), 2015
  • Pursued heinous elder abuse action on behalf of elder. In addition to other recovery, obtained Elder Abuse Restraining Orders, with "move-out" Orders. Total recovery exceeds $613,500. Collaborated with Los Angeles County District Attorney in obtaining a felony conviction. Conservatorship of Olson and related matters), 2012
  • Prosecuted and defended against multiple legal actions, in three counties within California, between my clients and their opponent. Total recovery of $750,000 to clients. (Estate of Knuth and related matters), 2009
Educational Background:
  • Doctorate of Juridical Science (JSD), Loyola Law School.  In pursuit of this degree, I conducted original research focusing on the role of the Los Angeles County Probate Court in the county's economy, as well as the financial impact and causes of delays in administration., 2022
  • Western New England University, School of Law, LL.M. in Estate Planning and Elder Law, 2015
  • California State Polytechnic Unviersity, Pomona, M.A. in History, 2002
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, B.A. in History, Minor: Spanish, 1999
Industry Groups:
  • American Bar Association (Litigation Section And Young Lawyers Division)
  • California State Bar (Litigation And Trusts And Estate Sections)
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association (Trusts And Estates Section)

Office location for Kent L. Kristof

1122 E Green St
Pasadena, CA 91106

Phone: 855-270-3164


1 Year Super Lawyers
7 Years Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2023
  • Rising Stars: 2014 - 2020

Attorney resources for Kent L. Kristof

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