Marisa Catherine Nelson

Marisa Catherine Nelson

We make it easy to plan for the people, pets, & charities most important to you.
  • Estate Planning, Probate
  • California
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We guide our clients through the creation and implementation of comprehensive wills and trusts so that you can provide for your treasured people, pets, and charities with confidence and ease.

Since 2011 I have been guiding clients through the creation and administration of wills, trusts, and probate.

Early in my legal career I volunteered at the Redwood City Probate Court, where I watched families argue over who would manage and inherit the money, and who would take care of the kids and grandparents. I saw so much heartache and expense that could have been avoided with good quality estate planning, and have been devoted to guiding my clients through estate planning and probate ever since. Every day I help my clients make things easier for the people, pets, and charities most important to them.

Outside of work I love to travel, hike, trail run, compete in obstacle course races, photograph wildlife, and provide the best possible life for my fur babies.

Practice Areas
Estate Planning
Health Care Directives, Trusts, Wills
Probate Administration
Additional Practice Areas
  • Trust Administration
  • LGBTQIA+ Estate Planning
  • Spousal Property Petitions
  • Credit Cards Accepted
  • Rates, Retainers and Additional Information
    We offer flat fees in most cases for complete estate plans. Other matters may be billed on an hourly basis. Probate cases are billed according to California probate law. Please see our website for up-to-date fee information, or schedule a consultation to discuss your specific needs and goals and how we can help.
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • English: Spoken, Written
  • Spanish: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Founding Attorney and CEO
Law Office of Marisa Nelson, PC
- Current
Associate Attorney
Watson & Machado LLP
Of Counsel
Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley PC
Research Assistant to Professor Julie Nice
Research and summarize developments in poverty and sexuality law, including cutting-edge research on the 9th Circuit Perry v. Brown decision. Contribute to book reviews, text books, and articles to be published by Professor Nice in 2012.
Volunteer Tax Preparer
Attended training and volunteered on weekends to help prepare and file tax returns for low-income bay area families. Conducted client interviews and prepared returns using Lacerte software.
Legal Research Volunteer Attorney
San Mateo County Superior Court, Probate Department
Attended hearings and prepared written recommendations for Probate Judge Miram on approximately 18 probate cases per week (over 400 total), including conservatorships; guardianships; estates and trusts; the appointment, supervision, instruction, and removal of fiduciaries; Heggstad petitions; trust modifications; property sales; fee petitions; and distributions.
University of San Francisco School of Law
J.D. | Technology Contracting, Tax Law, Legal Research
Advanced Legal Research, Accounting for Lawyers, Technology Contracting, Corporate Taxation, Federal Income Taxation, International Taxation, Partnership Taxation, State & Local Taxation, Family Wealth Transfer Taxation
Honors: Top 20% Class Ranking
Activities: Published in USF Law Review, Volume 45, Issue 4, Spring 2011: "The IRS Moves Toward Income Tax Equality for Same-Sex Couples Despite DOMA" Maritime Law Journal, Associate Literary Editor and Tech Editor, 2010-2011 Journal of Law & Social Challenges, Articles Editor, 2009-2010 Advocate of the Year Competition, Fall 2009 Moot Court, Spring 2009
University of San Francisco School of Law Logo
California State University - California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo
B.A. | Modern Languages & Literatures; Geography & Anthropology
Universidad Veritas, San Jose, Costa Rica, Summer 2007 Cuauhnáhuac Institute of Language and Culture, Cuernavaca México, Summer 2006
Honors: Dean's List
Activities: Human Powered Vehicle Team Wildflower Triathlon Security Committee American Society of Mechanical Engineers Society of Women Engineers
California State University - California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Logo
Rising Star 2022
Super Lawyers
Rising Star 2021
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Rising Star 2020
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Rising Star 2019
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Rising Star 2018
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Rising Star 2017
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Rising Star 2015
Super Lawyers
Professional Associations
San Mateo County Bar Association
- Current
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State Bar of California
- Current
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California Secretary of State
Notary Public
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Bar Association of San Francisco
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American Bar Association
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Speaking Engagements
Outlook 2017 - Estate Planning Current Events, San Mateo, California
Maheras Wealth Management
LGBT Law Seminar, Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, California
LGBTQIA Faculty & Staff Association
I will be speaking on the current state of California and federal law as it relates to LGBT rights, including the potential impact of the Perry (Prop 8) and Windsor (DOMA) cases currently before the U.S. Supreme Court. California currently allows registered domestic partnerships, but not same-sex marriage. How does that affect your rights and your taxes? How might they change next month? I will also discuss some simple things you can do to better protect yourself and your family, especially in the area of estate planning.
5 Benefits of Estate Planning & How to Create Your Own Investment Plan, Palo Alto, California
Brown bag lunch seminar - bring your own lunch and come learn about how estate planning benefits you and your family now and in the future. We have all heard that we need to get our estate plan done - but why? What does it do for you? Learn more at this free seminar, co-hosted by myself and Michelle Kaiser, who will be discussing How to Create Your Own Investment Plan. Seating is limited - please RSVP. Coffee and water will be provided. No fee to attend and no strings attached. Hope to see you there!
5 Benefits of Estate Planning & How to Create Your Own Investment Plan, Palo Alto, California
Websites & Blogs
FAQ - Law Office of Marisa Nelson, PC
Contact & Map
Law Office of Marisa Nelson, PC
Wills, Trusts, and Probate Lawyers
1300 Industrial Road
Suite 14
San Carlos, CA 94070
Telephone: (650) 485-3437
Monday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Tuesday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Wednesday: 9 AM - 5 PM (Today)
Thursday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Friday: 9 AM - 5 PM
Saturday: Closed
Sunday: Closed