Thank you for taking the time to read about me. Researching and choosing the right lawyer and trusted advisor is a big deal. And I know dealing with lawyers is not everyone's favorite thing to do!
You can read more about the legal services I provide and how I can serve you on my Estate Planning page or my Business Legal Services page. Continue reading this page If you want to know something about me, Debra Garcia, the attorney and counselor-at-law behind this website.
So here's some of my story ...
When I was younger, I wanted to “save the world.” This led me to seek out and attend a public interest law school. After law school, I practiced law for a short while. Unfortunately, I discovered that I absolutely could not stand the adversarial nature of the law as I experienced it then. I looked for a way out as fast as I could. It took me over two decades to circle back to the practice of law and to the passion I originally felt about using the law to be of service.
In the interim, I had an opportunity to work for a legal publishing company writing and editing legal how-to books for attorneys. I also had a fantastic opportunity to work with Consumers Union as a consumer advocate to help ensure that California's EBT system (the way SNAP Food Stamp recipients access their benefits) worked for the folks it was intended for.
Afterwards, I pursued my passion for education by getting a master’s degree in Adult Education. I started my own small business teaching English as a Second Language to adults (mostly small business owners and other professionals who wanted to improve their Business English skills, as well as Visiting Scholars at U.C. Berkeley). I did this for over a decade and gained invaluable experience as a solopreneur/small business owner; plus, I met wonderful people with incredible life stories. I also realized that my legal background enabled me to be of service in an even more supportive way to the small business owners I was teaching, so I dusted off the law degree and got back to my first passion: using the law to be of service and make a difference.
While working with small business owners, I discovered that most do not have their "personal business" in order and are in danger of having the State, or other people they do not want, making (literally) life and death decisions for them. That's when I became interested in Estate Planning. I want to ensure that my clients' personal wishes are honored in the event of their incapacity or death and that their loved ones are taken care of the way they want them to be.
As an estate planning attorney, I help ensure that your loved ones will stay out of court and out of conflict at a difficult time. I set aside two hours for each initial meeting, called a Life and Legacy Planning Session, to get to know about you and your loved ones, about your hopes and fears, and about what it is you want to achieve. During our Session together, I share with you how the law applies to your situation and offer solutions to accomplish your goals with comprehensive estate planning. Our relationship doesn't end once your estate plan is in place. As a Personal Family Lawyer®, I am always here to answer your questions and if I don't know the answer, I will refer you to my network of attorneys and other professionals.
On a more personal note, I'm a California native and I have lived in the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area since 1987. I'm a cat lover and a "foster fail" currently living with a sweet Tortie named Maya. Social justice is even more important to me now than ever and I do what I can to make the world at least a slightly better place.
I would love to learn about you, your loved ones, and how I can be of service. You can reach me at (510) 495-0445 or use my Contact page to schedule a consultation call with me.
Wishing you a long life with great health and happiness,