Estate Planning Attorney

Headshot photo of Mark E. Powell Estate Attorney California

Mark E. Powell

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” – Leonardo da Vinci

My mission is to demystify the law and design estate plans that work when they are needed.

I worked for nearly 26 years in fantastic private wealth groups, including Snell & Wilmer, Baker Hostetler, Dorsey & Whitney, and Holland & Knight. I’ve learned one thing—many plans fail. Too many estate planners approach planning as a transaction. You’ll get technically correct documents that don’t mention a single thing about your values or how you want to pass these on to your beneficiaries.

I’ve done complex planning despite never speaking to the actual client. The entire estate plan was based on data from the CPA, insurance agent, and family attorney. Spreadsheets, not values, took the lead. That is not how I find meaning in my work.

I want to connect with and understand my clients. I help them find clarity and understanding. Talking about client objectives and values are crucial in building a plan that will work over the years, but many attorneys don’t like having those discussions.

A well-designed plan should be meaningful and easy for a client to understand. No smoke and mirrors. No surprises. All values and objectives are represented.

If you’re looking for my more traditional credentials, here they are. I am certified as a specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law by the California State Bar’s board of legal specialization. I am rated a Preeminent (or AV) Attorney by Martindale Hubbell. I’ve taught as an adjunct professor for many years at Chapman University’s law school. I am a 21/64 Certified Advisor. My proudest professional achievement, however, is being a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.