Estate Planning Lawyer & Real Estate Attorneys

Serving San Joaquin, Ventura, and Northern Los Angeles Counties

willbanks and Wood

At Willbanks & Wood PLC, our goals are to provide a high quality, creative, and result-oriented suite of legal services to our individual and business clients.  We take the time to understand our client’s objectives and meet or exceed their expectations. Our Mission is to provide our clients with innovative legal solutions, excellent legal representation, responsiveness, and a dedication to quality customer service.

Our Practice Areas


Estate planning essentially means taking proactive steps today to protect yourself, your family, and your assets tomorrow.



We aggressively represent injury victims, so they can feel confident that they are getting the best legal representation available,



Our office handles several different types of real estate matters inclusive of Landlord-Tenant matters. LEARN MORE


We assist corporations small and large in both the initial formation as well as ongoing compliance documentation. LEARN MORE


At Willbanks & Wood PLC, you’ll have the assistance of experienced probate lawyers throughout the probate process. LEARN MORE


In appreciation of your service, we offer discounted services for Active Duty, Veterans and First Responders. LEARN MORE

Frequently Asked Questions

What does an estate planning lawyer do?

An estate planning lawyer meets with you to discuss your objectives and concerns regarding your assets and family. He or she makes recommendations about the type of estate planning documents and other arrangements you should put in place to plan for what happens to your assets and family after you pass away and during periods of incapacity during your lifetime.

Why should I consider estate planning?

The goal of estate planning is to allow you to put the proper documents in place that will allow someone you trust to handle your financial affairs, take care of your dependents, make medical decisions on your behalf, and distribute your assets should you become incapacitated or when you pass away. This relieves your loved ones of having to make difficult decisions without knowing your wishes.

What does an “estate” include?

An estate includes all the assets and liabilities that a person owns. These assets can include bank accounts, real estate, retirement accounts, pensions funds, and personal effects, such as jewelry and furniture. The liabilities of the estate can include things such as mortgages, personal loans, and taxes. 

What is probate administration?

Probate is the court-supervised process of finalizing and disposing of someone's estate (e.g., their assets and liabilities) after they have died. This entails gathering all the decedent's assets and paying off any bills, then distributing what is left over according to their will or California's intestate succession statutes. 

What services does a probate attorney provide?

When an executor is appointed to administer an estate, this can often be an overwhelming task at a time of grief and sadness. A probate attorney can provide convenient, end-to-end administration that can take the pressure off an already stressful situation. Among other things, a skilled probate attorney will assist the executor of the decedent’s estate in locating and securing probate and non-probate assets, paying taxes, handling creditor claims, obtaining death certificates, and preparing and filing all the necessary documents for probate. 

Do I need a probate attorney if I have a small estate?

If the decedent died without a will, and his or her estate is worth $166,250 or less, or if the estate contains no more than $55,425 in real estate, then California law allows a person or people inheriting from the estate to file a Small Estate Affidavit with the court, and avoid most of the cost of a court-supervised administration. 

The small estate affidavit must comply with the statute governing Simplified Probate Procedures in California and be approved by the court. But, if approved, you may not need the assistance of a probate attorney. Still, you may want to consult an experienced attorney for guidance on the estate's eligibility for the simplified procedure. 

What types of cases does a personal injury lawyer handle?

There are several types of personal injury claims that personal injury lawyers handle. One category of claims that falls into personal injury is auto accidents, which can include cars, trucks, motorcycles, and accidents involving other kinds of motor vehicles. Other examples include medical malpractice claims, defective product claims, slip and fall accidents, dog bites, and wrongful death.

What damages are available in a personal injury case?

When a party is injured by no fault of their own, they generally have the right to recover two types of damages:

  1. General damages, for things such as their pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life; and 
  2. Special damages, which provide an injured party with compensation for damages such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages and income, and damage to property

Under certain circumstances, an injury victim may also recover punitive or exemplary damages. These damages are sometimes awarded to an injured party to punish the defendant for their reckless and inappropriate behavior, and to deter others from engaging in the same or similar behavior.

How can a personal injury attorney help me?

If you are injured as a result of someone else's negligence, a good personal injury lawyer can help you by:

  • Managing your claim against those who caused your injuries
  • Handling any claim you have against your own insurance company for accident benefits
  • Working with your treatment team and making sure that you see the right specialists and treatment providers
  • Assembling a team of highly specialized expert witnesses and consultants to help present the best possible case of how you were injured 
  • Assisting you with solving financial problems until your case gets resolved
  • Helping you and your family find good counselors to assist you with family issues brought about by the accident and the resulting injuries

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