ATTORNEYS AT LAW
Specializing in Wills, Trusts, Estate Planning, and Real Estate Law.
Wills & Trusts
A WILL is a legal instrument that directs one's personal representative to perform certain actions concerning a decedent's estate upon death. It may provide for disposition of one's remains, the designation of a guardian for minor children, the distribution of one's assets, and the appointment of an executor to administer the estate. Generally, it must be probated through a court proceeding.
A TRUST is a private legal instrument--similar in nature to a will--which generally does not require court intervention. It directs a trustee to administer the trust assets and distribute them according to the individual's wishes. It may also be used as a device to lower or eliminate estate and other taxes. There are several variations of trusts, the choice of which generally requires specialized legal advice unique to each situation.
In order to become enforceable, both wills and trusts have specific legal requirements.
Our office represents parties in the purchase and sale of real property, as well as the litigation of disputes concerning real property.
a strategic review and planning of a client's assets and needs for the protection of the client and future beneficiaries.
This may include the creation of a Will, Trust, Powers of Attorney, Advance Health Care Directive (AHCD), etc. Each client has a unique situation, one which our firm will evaluate and advise on an individual basis.
Administration & Litigation
A Will is generally administered through a court probate process, which requires the determination of the decedent's assets, obligations, valuations, accounting and distribution.
Generally, a Trust can be administered without court oversight, allowing the trustee to determine the trust assets, obligations, valuations, accounting and distribution. Our office guides the trustee in his/her administrative obligations.
Oftentimes, Will and Trust litigation arise from various disputes with respect to the creation of the legal instrument, the valuation of the estate, the financial accounting of the estate, and other technical issues that may arise within the administrative process.
Major issues include: whether or not the decedent had the requisite mental capacity to execute a will or trust; whether or not the decedent was subject to any fraud or undue influence at the time of signing the instrument; breach of fiduciary duty by the trustee or personal representative; the interpretation of an ambiguous instrument; elder abuse; etc.
Powers of Attorney & AHCD
A POWER OF ATTORNEY (POA) is a written authorization to represent or act on another's behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter.
An ADVANCE HEALTH CARE DIRECTIVE is a document that details your healthcare preferences, and appoints an agent(s) to make these decisions if/when you become incapacitated. Creating an AHCD avoids having your family guess your wishes or make important medical decisions during emotional times.
PROBATE is the process by which the estate of a decedent (an individual who has died) is administered and distributed by a court. A probate is generally necessary for a person who dies with assets and only a will (testate), or has assets but no will or other testamentary instruments (intestate).
The probate process is a public proceeding that is lengthy, costly, and lacks privacy. In most cases, one can avoid the probate process through proper estate planning during one's lifetime.
With more than five decades of combined legal experience, Gordon & Gordon provides a warm, personal touch when it comes to planning and administering one's estate, as well as matters involving Estate Planning, Probate, Wills, Trusts, and Real Estate.
Donald Gordon began his career at the Los Angeles firm of Kahn, Stern & Blaney. There, he gained significant experience in general civil litigation and transactional matters, particularly in the fields of business, real estate, and probate law. After practicing for several years, he founded his own firm. In 2012, his son, Justin Gordon, was admitted to the California State Bar, and the father-son team of Gordon & Gordon was established.
We work closely with each client to determine his or her individual needs. Please contact us for a complimentary initial consultation, where we can discuss your matter and assist you in determining next steps.
Donald Scott Gordon
Donald Gordon grew up in Los Angeles. He graduated from UCLA with a B.A. in Political Science.
He went on to study law at the University of Southern California, graduating near the top of his class. While in law school, Donald was a member of the USC Law Review, received the American Jurisprudence Award for Copyright Law and Civil Litigation, and won First Place in ASCAP's Nathan Burkan Copyright Writing Competition.
Throughout his four-decade career in the law, Don has developed an expertise in the fields of business law, family law, probate, estate planning/administration, and real estate. He has extensive litigation and transactional experience.
Justin M. Gordon
A native of Santa Monica, Justin Gordon graduated from USC, with honors, and magna cum laude from Temple University School of Law.
During law school, he was a member of the Political & Civil Rights Law Review, and a mentor for the Jewish Law Students Association. Justin spent his final year of law school at UCLA. There, he externed for the Honorable Gary A. Feess, a federal judge in the Central District of California.
Upon passing the bar in 2012, Justin joined his father in establishing Gordon & Gordon. Since then he has gained extensive experience in Estate Planning, Trust Administration, Probate, and Real Estate law. He is an Executive Board Member of the LA County Bar Association Barristers/Young Attorneys Section, Co-chair of its Networking Committee, and has been named a "Rising Star" by Super Lawyers in 2019 and 2020.
As new parents with another child on the way we realized we needed to get an estate plan in place. Justin and Don did a fantastic job helping my wife and I create a Family Trust, Wills, Advanced Health Care Directives and Power of Attorneys. They also helped us prepare a Deed to transfer our home into the Trust. My wife and I are detail oriented, especially around documents that would help our children should anything happen to us unexpectedly, and Don and Justin made sure all of our desires were accurately captured (guardians, trustees, distributions, specific language my wife a physician wanted around our AHCDs, burial plans etc.) and patiently answered many questions we had on our estate. We found their rates to be very competitive based on the three quotes we received.
I was an heir to my late Uncle’s trust fund. The trustee he appointed decided she could interpret his will and trust fund instructions to benefit herself. She refused to release my inheritance more than one year after his death. I contacted and interviewed at least ten attorneys to defend me. Most of these attorneys wanted $20,000 retainer, the ones that did not wanted 25% of my inheritance to take the case and 50% after the first hearing. Then I interviewed Justin Gordon. He did not use scare tactics to push me, he did not make promises he could not keep. What he did do was approach the case calmly and logically. He was genuinely appalled at the trustee’s self dealing at my expense. He charged a fraction of the cost of the other attorney’s retainers...He kept me informed both of good and bad news. He dealt with an openly hostile opposing counsel by knowing both what the law could and could not do and standing his ground. I received my full inheritance within a few months. The trustee had to pay her attorney (who had promised her the moon) to lose...Honestly I did not have a high opinion of attorneys. Now I do, Justin has my respect and my gratitude for life.
Justin Gordon is the most decent, honest, caring, kind and generous attorney I have ever had. I have had to deal with other attorneys who ripped me off and were greedy and ruthless and Justin is the absolute opposite of those things. He is an incredibly decent human being who is only interested in helping people and he has helped me through horrible pain with compassion and understanding. Justin is incredibly knowledgeable in real estate, probate and estate planning and helped me enormously. He has gone above and beyond to help me and I trust him with all the legalities that my son will have to face when I am gone...He's one of the best persons I have ever met.