Since 1995, Thea has worked exclusively in the trusts and estates field, after determining in law school that the practice was an ideal combination of intellectual challenge and opportunity to improve people’s lives. Thea has worked with a broad range of clients, including entrepreneurs; first and second generation small businesses owners; and shareholders, partners, executives, officers and directors at public and private companies in the fields of technology, financial services, medicine, law and real estate. Thea has represented trustees and executors, including corporate fiduciaries, in the settlement and administration of trusts and estates, including appearing in court on her clients’ behalf.
With a Masters of Law (LL.M.) in Taxation, Thea is well-equipped to advise her clients regarding the most efficient and effective means of protecting and transferring wealth. Over the course of her career, Thea has developed expertise in related areas of the law and finance, including the formation and transfer of family business entities, creditor protection, structuring and drafting co-tenancy agreements for real estate owners, pre-nuptial agreements and the financial analysis of wealth transfer strategies.
Certified Specialist, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law
State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
The reasons for and the significance of the designation are explained below, adapted from the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization brochure: What Can a Certified Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Specialist Do for You?:
What does it mean when an attorney is a Certified Specialist?
A Certified Specialist is more than just an attorney who specializes in a particular area of law. An attorney who is certified by the California State Bar as an Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Specialist must have:
• Taken and passed a comprehensive full-day written examination in estate planning, trust, and probate law administered by the State Bar Board of Legal Specialization;
• Demonstrated a high level of expertise and requisite number of years of experience in estate planning, trust, and probate law;
• Fulfilled mandated ongoing education requirements in estate planning, trust, and probate law;
• Been favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with his or her estate planning, trust, and probate work.
Why does the State Bar certify legal specialists?
• To help the public identify attorneys who have demonstrated proficiency in specialized fields of law;
• To encourage the maintenance and improvement of attorney competence in specialized fields of law.
Estate planning, trust, and probate law is complex and constantly changing - a Certified Specialist stays current with the law.
What can a certified Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Specialist do for you?
• Create and implement your estate plan by preparing wills and trusts;
• Minimize death, gift, and income taxes in connection with your estate plan;
• Assist with probate, trust, conservatorship, and guardianship proceedings and disputes.
Senior Counsel, Trust & Estates
2013-2016, Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP, San Francisco, California
Founder & Attorney
2006-2013 Law Office of Thea Beatie Eliot, Larkspur, California
2002-2006 Plageman, Lund & Beatie, LLP, Oakland, California
Member, Director and President
1997-2002 BPM Goldman, LLC, San Francisco, California
Estate Planning Attorney
1995-2002 Goldman & Associates, San Francisco, California
1995 LL.M. in Taxation with honors -- Golden Gate University, San Francisco, California
1994 J.D. cum laude -- Seattle University Law School, Law Review, Recipient of Cheney Award for Legal Writing
1991 B.A. in Comparative Literature -- Reed College, Portland, Oregon
1989 Literature and Art History Studies -- University of Paris, Sorbonne, through Scripps College
1987 Graduate -- Ursuline High School, Santa Rosa, California
California State Bar
Washington State Bar (Inactive)
San Francisco Estate Planning Council
Marin County Estate Planning Council
San Francisco Bar Association, Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Section, Taxation Section
Marin County Bar Association, Probate and Estate Planning Section, Tax Law Section
Former member, Women President’s Association