Finding an estate planning attorney in San Luis Obispo County (or anywhere else) in 3 steps

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Where do I look?

The attorney directories of the County Bar Associations are a good source of unbiased attorney listings. We explain how to use them.

No time? Expand here to see the list of San Luis Obispo County attorneys who limit their practice to estate planning. Read further to understand how this list was generated.


Most people start with a Google search: “Trusts and wills” or “estate planning” or “trust attorney”. Some add “near me”, or, for example, San Luis Obispo county. If you have the time, try it! If you don’t, follow this link.

As you can see, there are all these ads and below it, a lot of irrelevant hits. I am not adverse to advertising (no pun intended), but do you select a car based upon “new cars” “near me”?

Lawyer Directories

When you do the above search in Google you will come across any number of the following: Avvo, Nolo, FindLaw,, Legal Zoom, Justia,, etc. If you follow their link, they will ‘recommend’ a lawyer in your area, and they may even have a score that goes along with it. What you probably didn’t know is that the first placed lawyer paid for that preferential placement on top of the heap. Further down on the list may be lawyers that haven’t practiced for years because these commercial services scrape names from the official state bar registry and these may be retired people who still maintain their license, some of them for sentimental reasons.

California County Bar Associations

County bar associations are voluntary membership organizations for attorneys in good standing who are currently licensed to practice law in the State of California. A complete list of California County Bar Associations is here. Many of these maintain useful membership rosters available to the public.

Step 1: Know about the San Luis Obispo County Bar Association

Lawyers practicing in the county of San Luis Obispo, or any other county in California, are not obligated to join their respective County Bar Association. However, most lawyers in active private practice do. Lawyers who join county bar associations tend to be in active practice, want to network and be visible in the local community, and take advantage of the multiple continuing legal education opportunities that these associations provide.

Step 2: Explore the SLO County Bar Association Lawyer Directory to find an estate planner

If you want to see who practices probate, trust and estates in some form or fashion (but not exclusively) follow this link. The results are in random order and the sequence changes. This is to give every lawyer the chance to be the ‘top dog’, randomly.

You will find more than 90 lawyers are listed. You will quickly notice that most of them have estate planning as one of many areas of law they are practicing: personal injury, divorce, DUI, criminal law, real estate, business law, etc. It is well known that specialization is key in delivering the highest level of service. Trust and estate law is heavily dependent on tax law, which changes all the time. Therefore, you may be better off selecting an attorney who limits their practice to trusts and estates. Some attorneys may also practice a closely related second or third area of law. These may also be good choices.

Step 3: Select someone from the list provided below or, better, generate your own list

Out of these 90+ attorneys who are members of the SLO County Bar, only 19 indicate that they are limiting their practice to Trusts and Estates. They are listed below for your convenience. Do your own due diligence, examine their website (some on this list do not maintain one), look for additional degrees (a business, finance or tax degree helps in estate planning) or a specialist certification from the California State Bar. Do they have a blog which is up-to-date or is “Been doing this for 30 years” their main message?

KlausGottliebSan Luis Obispo and Cayucos
Charles SAlthousePaso Robles
NancyAndrusSan Luis Obispo
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Joseph DBorjasSan Luis Obispo
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StephenDorsiArroyo Grande
LauraHoffman KingSan Luis Obispo
RachelHulburdSan Luis Obispo
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SlO County Bar – Practice Limited to Trusts and Estates – 1 Nov 2022

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