Practice Areas

The following is a representative list of practice areas covered by O’Neil & Rueppel, LLP. If you have a problem in an area that is not listed below, or if you are unsure about what area of law you need help with, please call us for a consultation.

Estate Planning/Wills & Trusts

Probate Administration

The administration of estates through the court probate process is usually required for medium-sized to larger estates.  It is a complicated process requiring an in-depth knowledge of local and state probate rules that govern the transfer of property.  Attorneys for the personal representative of the estate (the administrator or executor) are paid out of the estate at the end of the probate process, as a percentage of the value of the estate set by state law.

Trust and Probate Litigation

Trust disputes arise in a number of situations: where the trustee has misused trust funds or enriched themselves at trust expense; where the trustee has shown bias towards certain beneficiaries, or where the trustee has not followed the dictates of the trust.  Disputes can also arise when co-trustees cannot agree upon the proper administration of the trust.

Trust and wills, along with amendments and codicils, can be challenged if they were obtained by undue influence or fraud, or where the testator or trustee lacked the mental capacity to understand the consequences of their actions.

Finally, creditors who believe they are owed money by a decedent can seek compensation out of a trust or estate, but must do so promptly.

Conservatorships

If an adult has not done essential estate planning, and loses the ability to make financial or health decisions, or becomes vulnerable to the undue influence of others, often the only recourse is for a concerned friend or family member to seek a conservatorship.  The court oversees the appointment of a conservator, who must comply with complicated rules and requirements as they manage the conservatee’s person and finances.

Fraud and Elder Abuse

Often, elderly or infirm adults are taken advantage of by friends, relatives, caregivers, or sometimes strangers.  Financially abused adults have lost their hard-earned savings, and sometimes even their homes.  California law strongly supports the rights of elders to reclaim their assets and punish the offending parties.

Landlord/Tenant

The rights of landlords and tenants are determined by a complex web of federal, state, and local laws, some tenant friendly, some landlord friendly.  Having good representation on your side can mean the difference between a very costly outcome, and a very successful one.  O’Neil & Rueppel has handled evictions and disputes in trust and probate related matters, wrongful eviction litigation, and commercial evictions.

Real Estate

Real estate matters handled by O’Neil & Rueppel include disputes before the San Francisco Planning Commission, Home-Owner’s Association disputes, quiet title actions, and sales of real property.

Litigation

O’Neil and Rueppel has handled various other contested matters, including legal malpractice, breach of contract disputes, and commercial torts.