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Barry L. Adams

Barry L. Adams

Law Office of Adams & Rafferty, P.C.
  • Estate Planning, Probate, Elder Law
  • California
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A

I am an experienced trusts and estates attorney. I advise clients regarding estate planning, estate/trust administration and litigation. I can help you with setting up your estate plan, resolving a family dispute regarding a trust or estate and with administration issues after a loved one passes away. Listen to my podcasts to find out more information about these issues.

Practice Areas
  • Estate Planning
  • Probate
  • Elder Law
Additional Practice Areas
  • Estate and Trust Litigation
  • Trust Administration
  • Free Consultation
    Initial one-half hour free consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Contingent Fees
    Possible contingent fee arrangement in trust or will contests
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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Professional Experience
Principal Attorney
Law Office of Adams & Rafferty, P.C.
- Current
Practice which consists of all aspects of estate and trust matters. Including estate planning, estate and trust administration, and estate and trust litigation.
Founder and Clinical Professor
Community Elder Law Clinic, Empire Law School
Founder of non-profit elder law clinic providing free legal advice to seniors. Recipient of Chamber of Commerce Excellence in Education Award 2003.
Law Office of Barry L. Adams
Anderson, Zeigler, Disharoon & Gray
Rutan & Tucker
University of the Pacific
J.D. (1986) | Law
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Whitworth College
B.A. (1983) | Journalism
Honors: Cum Laude
Activities: Editor of Newspaper, 4 year varsity letter for tennis, Academic All-American tennis
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Excellence in Education, Teaching Award
Santa Rosa Chamber of Commerce
Awarded for teaching Elder Law Clinic at Empire Law School
Pro Bono Award
Sonoma County Bar Association
Pro bono award for service to seniors through Empire Law School Elder Law Clinic
Professional Associations
Orange County Bar Association, Trust and Estate Section
- Current
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Sonoma County Bar Association, Trusts and Estate Section
Steering Committee Member
- Current
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California State Bar # 125474
- Current
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Empire Law School
Founder and Professor Elder Law Clinic
Activities: Founder of highly successful Empire Law School Elder Law Clinic. Providing free legal advice for seniors in Sonoma County.
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Speaking Engagements
Nuts & Bolts of Trust Administration on Death, Continuing Education for Lawyers, Santa Rosa, California
Sonoma County Bar Association, Trusts and Estate Section
An introductory class on trust administration for lawyers providing detailed information, forms and checklists
Probate Nuts & Bolts, Continuing Education for Lawyers, Santa Rosa, California
Sonoma County Bar Association, Trusts and Estate Section
An introductory class on probate administration for lawyers providing detailed information, forms and checklists
Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law
State Bar of California
Legal Answers
12 Questions Answered

Q. As a benifaciary of a trust do I have any recourse if another benifaciary refuses to sign release that will close trust?
A: Under California law, a beneficiary cannot be forced to sign a release of the trustee. Therefore, I don't see that you would have any recourse against the co-beneficiary.
Q. I am a disabled person in CA, age 66, and am now being shifted from disability payments to social security.
A: It really depends on the terms of the special needs trust. You will need to have an attorney review it to determine whether this is possible.
Q. if someone is sick and medicated in hospital and coerced to sign power of attorney how can it be blocked stopped
A: If the person is able to sign, then you can have a new power of attorney signed which revokes the prior power of attorney or you can have her sign a revocation of power of attorney only. If she is unable to sign, then you would need a court action or a conservatorship (also a court proceeding) which revokes the durable power of attorney.
Q. My younger sister died 8/29/15 she left no will She was in the process of a Class a suit How do i get to be her executo
A: To become executor, you need to Petition the court in the County where your sister resided at the time of her death. However, you may not need to depending on the amount of the class action award. Check with the attorneys handling the case.
Q. i was married 4 days when my husband died of his first dose of chemo. no i responsible for no probate filed?
A: You aren't required to file a Petition for Probate of your husband. I think the attorney's advice was correct.
Q. What happens if a Will goes into probate 9 years after the testator died, and if a beneficiary is died with no child.
A: You should contact a lawyer to discuss this and have the will reviewed, however, generally speaking if the will does not provide for a disposition upon a beneficiaries death, then the laws of intestate succession apply and the share goes to the persons closest blood relatives. In this case, that appears to be the surviving siblings. To give you a definitive answer, an attorney needs to look at the will and be sure about who the closest relatives are.
Q. What are my options regarding a false claim that leads to a default judgment I never knew existed?
A: You need to hire an attorney to file a motion to set aside the judgment based upon your lack of service. You should go to the courthouse and get copies of all of the relevant documents to give to your attorney. Yes, you should be concerned.
Q. My boyfriend hit me 2 month ago, I have picture and scares and therapist statement. is too late to report it and proof i
A: No, you can and should report this.
Q. On the California Petition for Probate, can only one list themselves as Executor if a Will had named them and others?
A: No. The will controls and if the others are alive, they all have the right to serve as co-executors. They can file an objection to the Petition on that basis.
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Contact & Map
Orange County Office
19900 Beach Boulevard, Suite B
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Telephone: (949) 274-4760
Santa Rosa Office
532 Mendocino Avenue, Suite 104
Santa Rosa, CA 95401
Telephone: (707) 542-6644
Fax: (707) 528-3189
San Diego Office
By appointment only
San Diego, CA 92108
Telephone: (619) 419-0212