Kirsten Howe, Attorney At Law
Kirsten focuses on estate planning, elder law, and closely related practice areas. She began her career as a business planning attorney. Many of her business clients were so impressed with her work that they asked her to handle all of their planning needs, including their estate plans. Over time, she realized that she enjoyed the personal nature of estate planning and elder law, and decided to focus on these areas.
She is dedicated to designing and implementing customized plans, and establishing close, long-lasting relationships with her clients.
Kirsten was admitted to the California bar in 1987 and has had her own practice in Walnut Creek since 1997. She earned her J.D. cum laude at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she was a member of the Thurston Society and Managing Editor of The Hastings Law Journal. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 1980 from the University of Michigan.
Kirsten is a member of the Business Law section and Trusts and Estates section of the California State Bar; the Business Law and Corporate Counsel section of the Contra Costa County Bar Association; and the Conservatorship/Guardianship, Probate and Trust section of the Contra Costa County Bar Association. She is on the Board of Directors of the Estate Planning Council of Diablo Valley.
Ivy Altman, Marketing/Event Planner
Ivy is Kirsten’s “Go To Person” when it comes to planning events and reaching out to the community. A self-described people person, Ivy combines her outgoing nature, enthusiasm, and organizational skills to make seminars and other events a success.
Born and raised in Chicago, Ivy graduated from the University of Northern Colorado. She is married, has three children and a rambunctious dog that she frequently takes running and hiking. If work and the outdoors aren’t enough, she enjoys designing costume jewelry.
Denette brings her cheery disposition and organizational skills to our firm after several years owning and operating a child care in Benicia. As our Resource Manager, Denette manages our workflow and projects, payroll, human resources, and everything in between to keep our office running efficiently. She also meets with clients to review and sign their estate planning documents. A native to the Bay Area, Denette loves spending time with her children, visiting local attractions and especially “The Happiest Place on Earth!” She also enjoys summer camping, sharing a laugh with good friends and trying new restaurants.
Meet Jessica Colbert, the newest member to our team. Jessica joined us this past January as our administrative assistant. She graduated in June of 2015 summa cum laude from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a B.A. in History and a minor in Political Science. While attending classes in her senior year, she worked at a local law firm. She is presently enrolled in the paralegal program at Cal State East Bay for the next 15 months, attending classes at night. Jessica lives in Benicia with her roommate and two cats, Missy and Yuna. If she’s not working, studying or in class, she’s running along the water in Benicia or hiking in the nearby hills. If you’re a “House of Cards” fan, you have a lot in common.
Sandy was born and raised right here in the bay area before moving to Cincinnati, Ohio. She attended UC Santa Barbara and Cal State Hayward where she received her BA in English. She worked very hard raising two sons in Cincinnati before becoming a paralegal. Her 14 years of experience at an estate planning law firm gave her the knowledge and expertise we were looking for when she recently moved back to northern California. She works well on her own and is a huge asset to our team. We are very lucky to have her! When Sandy’s not working, she enjoys spending time with her large, extended family, hiking, traveling, reading and going to the theater.