stefanie west mug 2016 300px

Stefanie West is an estate planning attorney in the East Bay. She lives with her husband, Jim, her son Benjamin, and two dogs, Penny and Biggie.

Stefanie received both her B.A., summa cum laude, and her law degree from the University of California at Berkeley. Stefanie spent her last year of law school studying at Harvard Law School, and graduated at the top of her class. Prior to entering the private practice of law, Stefanie was the first Planned Giving Officer at U.C. Berkeley’s Law School. In this position, she helped the school’s most prestigious donors with their bequests and other estate gifts to the University.

Stefanie’s current practice is exclusively estate planning, including Wills, Trusts, Probate and Medi-Cal planning. She assists clients without long term care insurance who need skilled nursing care to become qualified for Medi-Cal.

Stefanie served as the Chair of the City of Lafayette's Senior Services Commission. As Chair, she worked to prevent elder fraud and abuse and to bring services to seniors in her community. She also served on the Contra Costa Advisory Council on Aging.

Stefanie also believes that young children should be taught strong money skills and how to save for a “rainy day.” She volunteers with Junior Achievement to teach financial literacy to elementary and middle school students. She also is a frequent speaker at parent groups, where she discusses ways parents can teach their children the basics about money.

 

Heather Minuk

Heather Minuk 2016 300pxHeather Minuk is Stefanie's Assistant. She manages the office, drafts engagement letters and invoices, organizes expenses, records deeds, coordinates correspondence and mailing, and occasionally schedules appointments. She has a Bachelor's Degree in English from Case Western Reserve University and gained legal experience working as a Contract Officer at Barclays Global Investors and BlackRock for many years.

Heather lives with her husband, two children, and a darling little dog named Cookie. A little-known fact is that Heather also is a marvel chef, and has the knack to create the most delicious meals out of any ingredient she touches.

 

Cissi Holmgren-Kates

Cissi Holmgren-Kates 300pxSwedish native Cissi Holmgren-Kates has joined Stefanie’s team as her Marketing Assistant. She has an extensive media background, including more than a decade with the Bay Area News Group. Cissi started her career in the early 1990ies as a journalist for Ålandstidningen, a local newspaper on the Åland Islands in the middle of the Baltic Sea.

Cissi lives with her husband and has two boys, three cats, Jabber the Hut, Joey Whitesocks and Stacey Trancer Pilgrim, and two lizards, Little Beard and Abigail Adams. Cissi’s passion is gardening, anything green makes her happy, therefore Winter and Spring are her favorite seasons in California.