For the Love of Your Family
Debra Garcia

Debra Garcia

The Law Office of Debra M. Garcia
2930 Shattuck Ave., Ste. 200-8, Berkeley, CA 94705, US


Industry Focus: Estate Planning, Kids Protection Planning, Family Business

Licensed In: California, USA

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Lawyer Profile

When I was younger, I wanted to “save the world.” This led me to seek out and attend a public interest law school. (I actually cried when I read their brochure and how they trained people to "save the world.") 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 and I also had a fantastic opportunity to work with Consumers Union as a consumer advocate to help ensure that California's EBT system 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 serving, so I dusted off the law degree and got back to my first passion.

Serving small business owners, I've 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 Legal Life Planning and Protection (aka Estate Planning). I want to ensure that my clients' personal wishes are carried out in the event of their incapacity or death and that their loved ones are taken care of.

And now, although I still serve small business owners (especially those who are working to make a positive difference in the world), my practice is primarily devoted to helping people stay out of court and out of conflict and ensuring that their wishes are carried out in life and after death via thorough and compassionate Estate Planning.

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 have a ~20-year-old black cat named Neko. 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.

Firm Description

California Estate Planning is a process to help you ensure that your wishes are carried out after your death, and also during life in the event you become temporarily or permanently incapacitated. The right planning can also minimize taxes, legal fees, court costs, and lengthy and complicated court procedures that can keep your loved ones (and your assets) tied up in probate court for a very long time.

The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones, and to ensure that your wishes are carried out, is to create a plan while you are able. A well-designed and well-thought-out plan will keep you and your loved ones out of court and out of conflict.

If you don’t have a plan in place, the State of California will impose its plan on you, and it's most likely not what you would choose for yourself.

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