Law Office of Dennis James Balsamo, APLC Practice Areas Overview

Estate Planning & ProbateEstate Planning Lawyer | San Luis Obispo | The Law Offices of Dennis James Balsamo, APLC

Families often consider estate planning to be a subject for retired adults coping with end-of-life care issues, but the truth is that it’s never too early to establish a comprehensive plan for your future. A dedicated estate planning attorney can walk you through the process of creating a will or a trust that will protect your assets and beneficiaries.

Probate

It’s important to understand that only assets held in the name of the decedent are generally considered as probate assets. Joint tenancy assets — i.e. assets that are shared by the decedent and another individual — are not considered probate assets. If the decedent is survived by a spouse, probate may be avoided with the filing of a spousal property petition. This is only one aspect of the California probate process, which is why it’s best to work with a qualified probate attorney who can help you navigate any complications that may arise. Dennis Balsamo has years of experience helping San Luis Obispo residents face even the most complicated probate matters.

Will or Trust?

One of the most common questions families have regarding estate planning is whether a will is superior to a trust (or vice versa) in satisfying their needs. Your attorney can review your family’s financial circumstances with you and help you decide which is preferable in your case. In general, however, trusts are better suited for families who have complicated asset portfolios that they wish to protect from probate, fraud and/or litigation. Although more expensive to create than wills, trusts are far more versatile estate planning instruments and are not required to go through probate in order to become legally valid. Also unlike wills, trusts can be used to manage wealth during an individual’s lifetime as well as after their passing. During your free initial consultation, we will help you determine whether a will or a trust might better serve as the cornerstone of your estate plan.

Estate Administration

In addition to handling all kinds of estate planning matters, such as wills, trusts, advance health care directives and powers of attorney, The Law Offices of Dennis James Balsamo, APLC also handle estate administration issues including probate, will contests and trust litigation. If you have questions about your role as a personal representative during the probate process, or if you simply have questions regarding estate administration, call our San Luis Obispo office today to schedule a free consultation. We have been helping California executors reduce or eliminate the time and expense associated with probate court for over 15 years.

 

Personal Injury

Personal Injury Attorney | San Luis Obispo | The Law Offices of Dennis James Balsamo, APLC

If you have been seriously injured in a car crash or other accident in the greater San Luis Obispo area, you’re likely dealing not only with tremendous pain and suffering but also lost income and steep medical bills. California law dictates that when an individual is injured due to another person or party’s negligence and/or misconduct, the victim has the right to pursue legal action against them and recover financial damages for the cost of their injuries (economic and otherwise). Victims also have the option of filing an insurance claim with the appropriate insurance company. If the victim and the insurance company are unable to reach an agreement, the next option is civil litigation. Keep in mind, however, that the best time to get a personal injury attorney involved in your case is immediately following an accident. A personal injury lawyer can assist you with the claims process and give you the best possible chances of negotiating a fair settlement or obtaining damages through civil litigation. Call The Law Offices of Dennis James Balsamo, APLC to get legal advice about how to proceed with your claim in a manner that won’t compromise your interests or your rights. We represent victims of vehicle accidents, slip and fall accidents and dog bites in the greater San Luis Obispo area, as well as family members filing wrongful death suits.

Proving Negligence

The basis of almost all personal injury law is the legal doctrine of negligence. In a personal injury case, the victim is alleging that another person or party’s negligence — or, in some cases, reckless misconduct — was directly responsible for causing their injuries. When a vehicle is involved, often texting or drunk driving is involved, and drivers who escape criminal charges in such situations may still be held liable in civil court for any harm to others caused by their carelessness. Similarly, property owners who fail to chain up a vicious dog or allow other dangerous conditions to persist on their property are likewise responsible for any injuries that may result from this negligence. When filing your claim, you are expected to use the evidence available to you — including medical documentation, expert and/or witness testimony, physical evidence and more — to demonstrate exactly how another person or party’s misconduct led to your injuries. At The Law Offices of Dennis James Balsamo, APLC, we know that the staggering amount of work required can be challenging under even the best of circumstances. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, get help. Contact our San Luis Obispo office today to schedule your free consultation.

Criminal Defense

Criminal Defense Lawyer | San Luis Obispo | The Law Offices of Dennis James Balsamo, APLC

It is simply not in your best interest to try to resolve your criminal charges without legal representation. Defendants who try to talk their way out of an arrest usually end up making their situation worse. Unfortunately, allowing a public defender to represent you does not guarantee a favorable outcome. Public defenders may have noble intentions, but they seldom have the time to familiarize themselves with the details of their clients’ cases and help them construct an effective criminal defense. Often times, defendants only get to discuss their cases with a public defender for a minute or so before each court appearance, and many see a different public defender at each hearing. This is simply not a recipe for success when it comes to beating your charges.

Experience Counts

If you’ve been arrested, we urge you to pick up the phone and call The Law Offices of Dennis James Balsamo, APLC today. Our practitioner spent nearly three decades in law enforcement (including 18 years as a criminal investigator for the Santa Barbara County District Attorney’s office) before becoming a criminal defense attorney, giving him valuable insight as to how the criminal justice system functions and what measures the state will employ to convict defendants. Most of the time, the state will simply try to get the defendant to plead guilty to a lesser charge in order to avoid the time and expense of a trial. Sometimes plea bargaining makes sense, but there’s no way to know for sure without speaking to an experienced criminal defense lawyer. Often we can find ways to beat our clients’ criminal charges and/or get them dismissed entirely. Invoke your 5th Amendment right to remain silent and get help from a local criminal defense lawyer at The Law Offices of Dennis James Balsamo, APLC today. We know what it takes to help our clients avoid prison time, expensive fines and the ruined futures that often accompany a criminal conviction.

Misdemeanors

We represent clients in cases involving DUI, domestic violence, drug crimes and other misdemeanors in the San Luis Obispo metro area. We also assist California drivers who have been arrested for DUI (or who refused to participate in a roadside breath test) by protecting their licenses from administrative suspension. Call our office today to learn more.

Business Law

Business Lawyer | San Luis Obispo | The Law Offices of Dennis James Balsamo, APLC The Law Offices of Dennis James Balsamo, APLC represent entrepreneurs and small business owners in all kinds of business law matters, including business entity formation, transactions and civil litigation. We can facilitate shareholders agreements, mergers and acquisitions and/or other contracts on your behalf, as well as represent you in disputed business matters. Regardless of where your business stands — or what kind of dispute you may be engaged in — chances are you can benefit from the counsel of an experienced San Luis Obispo business law attorney. If you’re dealing with a legal matter related to your small business, call The Law Offices of Dennis James Balsamo, APLC to schedule your free consultation. We have the compassion and experience necessary to help you resolve your issue in an effective and affordable manner.

The Law Offices of Dennis James Balsamo, APLC represent San Luis Obispo residents in cases involving business law, personal injury, criminal defense and estate planning. Call (805) 546-9000 today to schedule your free consultation.