Thomas E. Rossmeissl

Thomas E. Rossmeissl

Law Office of Thomas E. Rossmeissl
  • Estate Planning, Probate
  • California
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Lawyer Rating and Reviews
Legal Knowledge
5.0/5.0
Legal Analysis
5.0/5.0
Communication Skills
5.0/5.0
Ethics and Professionalism
5.0/5.0
Rating: 10 Justia Lawyer Rating - 10 out of 10
In knowing Tom Rossmeissl for over half a decade, he checks all the boxes. Tom is smart and hardworking. He is also extremely knowledgeable in his area of practice. The fact that I regularly refer my clients and have even referred my family to Tom reflects the level of trust I have for him and in his work product.
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Summary

I am a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Specialization. My focus is on estate planning, trust and estate administration, and trust and estate litigation. I help individuals and families who face serious legal situations, and I help bring them solutions and peace of mind. My goal is to help clients gain the peace of mind that comes with taking care of their families, to help clients navigate through the challenges of trust and estate administration, and to zealously represent clients in litigation to seek the best available result.

Practice Areas
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
Fees
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
California
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9th Circuit
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Languages
  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Owner
Law Office of Thomas E. Rossmeissl
- Current
Attorney at law, practicing estate planning, trust and estate administration, and trust and estate litigation.
Partner
Terra Law LLP
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Attorney at law focused on estate planning, trust and estate administration, trust and estate litigation, and some business litigation.
Staff Attorney (judicial law clerk)
United States Federal Court
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Judicial staff attorney (law clerk) to United States District Judge Ronald M. Whyte
Trusts and Estates Attorney
Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman
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Estate planning and trust and estate administration attorney working with high net worth clients.
Regional Trust Manager
Wells Fargo Private Bank
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Regional Trust Manager for Palo Alto Region of Wells Fargo Private Bank, responsible for managing a team of wealth management professionals who provide and plan estate planning and wealth management strategies for high net worth clients.
Trusts and Estates Attorney
Mount & Stoelker
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Estate planning and administration attorney; estate litigation attorney.
Staff Attorney (judicial law clerk)
United States District Court
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Judiical Staff Attorney for United States District Judge Ronald M. Whyte
Attorney
Skjerven Morrill LLP
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Intellectual property litigation attorney
Attorney
Rosenblum Parish & Isaacs
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Business litigation attorney
Atttorney
Kirkland & Ellis LLP
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Business litigation attorney
Education
Georgetown University Law Center
J.D. (1990) | Law
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Honors: magna cum laude, Order of the Coif
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University of California - Davis
B.A. (1984) | Psychology
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Honors: summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa
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Awards
SuperLawyer
SuperLawyers.com
AV-Preeminent
Martindale-Hubbell
Order of the Coif
Georgetown University Law Center
Phi Kappa Phi
Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society
Psi Chi
Psi Chi National Honor Society
Phi Beta Kappa
Phi Beta Kappa
Professional Associations
State Bar of California # 150384
Member
Current
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Silicon Valley Bar Association
Trustee
- Current
Activities: Board of Trustees member
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Santa Clara County Bar Association
Member
- Current
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Publications
Articles & Publications
Estate Administration (chapter in publication)
PLC Cross-Border Private Client Handbook
Certifications
Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law
State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
Websites & Blogs
Website
Legal Answers
13 Questions Answered

Q. Hi I’m in California my dad passed he is married but not to my mom. He didn’t have a will or trust.
A: You should consult with an attorney near you for advice. If your father had no will or trust, then there is a possibility that you are a beneficiary to a portion of his estate. Under California's law of intestacy, the community property will pass to the surviving spouse, and any "separate property" will be divided between the surviving spouse and the deceased person's children. That said, sometimes property and accounts are held in such a way that they will pass automatically to a surviving co-owner. Your best bet is to consult with an experienced trusts an estates attorney near you, and bring with you as much information as you can gather regarding the nature of your father's assets and how they were titled at his death.
Q. In Calif, doesthe executor of a living trust have to be a resident of Calif
A: An executor is the person who will administer a will through probate. A trustee is who will administer the trust. There is no restriction on who can serve as trustee, and an executor of the estate does not have to be a resident of California. If the estate is going through probate and a non-California resident is the executor, he may be required to post a fiduciary bond before being appointed to administer an estate.
Q. My spouse and I had a simple (restated) spousal trust designed to continue. She died, do I need a new Cert. of Trust?
A: If there has been a change in the trust name, or a change in the trustee, you will likely need a new certification off trust. The attorney who assisted you should be able to prepare it fairly easily. The other option is to complete whatever certification forms provided by the financial institutions themselves.
Q. I inherited a home from my Mother. I have durable power of attorney and a will. The will was signed by my Mom.
A: You will need to probate the will before you can take title to the property. The procedure involves preparing and filing a petition for probate, having the will admitted to probate and getting someone (you, or whoever is named as executor) appointed to administer the estate. From that point on, there are a number of steps that need to be taken, including notifying creditors, before a petition for distribution can be filed. No assets get distributed until the court authorizes distribution. Unfortunately, this can take some time. You should consult with an experienced probate attorney near you for advice and guidance.
Q. I’m executor of an estate. Step bro. Opened probate without awill. Won’t relesase possessions. What do I do?
A: There should be only one probate of the estate. If two have been opened, one will have to be closed. Usually, the first to file should continue, assuming that it was filed in the correct jurisdiction, and if there is a battle over which of the two of you should proceed to administer the estate, that battle should be decided by the court. You should consult with an experienced probate attorney near you for guidance. This is not something you will want to try and accomplish on your own.
Q. Is there a need to delay probate estate distribution until 2019 if decedent had no income source as of Oct 2017 (DOD)
A: There does not seem to be any need to delay closing the estate for that long. The executor will have to file a final fiduciary income tax return, and may have income taxes to pay, and will likely incur expenses to do so. If the final return has already been filed, though, then there is no need to hold back funds for future taxes. What many would do is to estimate the size of the reserve needed to cover all of those administrative expenses, and then file the final report and petition for final distribution, asking the court to approve holding back an adequate reserve to cover those expenses. Either that, or the executor could file a petition to allow for a preliminary distribution to enable some portion of the estate to be distributed to the beneficiaries. You should consider consulting with an experienced probate litigation attorney near you for guidance.
Q. If my brother is on my mother's living trust and is past on .Who receives his share of the trust.thxs much
A: The trust should specify how the assets are to be distributed, and a well-drafted trust takes into account the possibility that the named beneficiaries are not alive when the settlor (your mother) dies. Some are prepared so that the deceased beneficiary's share would pass to his own children and descendants. Some are prepared so that the estate passes only to the surviving children, and others have the share for a deceased child pass to friends, charities or other beneficiaries. The terms of the trust will control. You should consider consulting with an experienced trusts and estates attorney for guidance.
Q. My 80 yo aunt was declared incapacitated by 2 doctors. What is the next step? Is there a time constraint to act?
A: You should consult with an experienced elder law attorney, one who has expertise in Medi-Cal planning and Medi-Cal recovery. The rules are complex, and you could easily take a well-intentioned step that could disqualify your aunt from benefits.
Q. How is money paid back to an estate?
A: You should follow what the will says to do. Generally, though, the money you owe to your father is an asset of the estate and its value should be included when determining the total that is to be divided among the beneficiaries. When your share is calculated, the debt could be allocated to your share, and you would receive a lesser amount of other assets. You should consider consulting with an experienced trusts and estates attorney who can review the document and give you specific guidance.
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Contact & Map
Law Office of Thomas E. Rossmeissl
16450 Los Gatos Boulevard
Suite 108
Los Gatos, CA 95032
USA
Telephone: (408) 883-3520