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James Edward Berge

James Edward Berge

Berge & Berge LLP
  • Elder Law, Estate Planning
  • California
Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&ASocial Media
Practice Areas
  • Elder Law

  • Estate Planning

    Guardianship & Conservatorship, Health Care Directives, Trusts, Wills

  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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Professional Experience
Estate Planning Attorney
Berge & Berge LLP
- Current
Golden Gate University School of Law
LL.M. | Taxation
Honors: Cum Laude
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Santa Clara University School of Law
J.D. (1986)
Honors: Cum Laude
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Santa Clara University
B.S. (1981) | Accounting
Honors: Magna Cum Laude Alpha Sigma Nu
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Elijah Watt Sells Award
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
Top 100 Score in the Nation on May 1981 Uniform CPA Exam
Professional Associations
California State Bar  # 126568
- Current
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Articles & Publications
Special Needs Trusts: Planning, Drafting and Administration
University of California Continuing Education of the Bar
Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law
California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
167 Questions Answered

Q. My dad died before he signed amended trust, even though confirmed with estate planner, during covid?
A: If he didn’t sign the amendment, it’s ineffective. It doesn’t need to be notarized, but it does need to be signed by the trustmaker. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but to tell you otherwise is just wishful thinking.
Q. Living trust amendment not signed before death but...Dad gave power to amend to trustee ???
A: If a trust amendment has not been signed by the trustor or an agent acting on behalf of the trustor under a power of attorney before the death of the trustor, it is ineffective.
Q. How do you find out when a law was enacted? We have a will signed in 1968.
A: It's true. The words "under penalty of perjury" were not required in 1968, but the probate examiner is also correct (at least they are interpreting the rules these days): to be a self-proving Will, the magic words must appear in the witness attestation clause, or you'll have to get a proof of subscribing witness form signed by one of the witnesses to validate the Will.
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Contact & Map
1101 S Winchester Blvd Ste I-208
San Jose, CA 95128
Telephone: (408) 985-9918
Fax: (408) 985-9945