Merrianne E. Dean has nearly two decades of courtroom experience litigating probate and trust disputes, financial elder abuse matters, conservatorships and business disputes. She also serves as a court-appointed attorney representing developmentally disabled and elderly individuals who are the subject of conservatorships before the probate court.
Ms. Dean’s litigation experience informs the balance of her work, allowing her to create better documents for her estate planning and business clients and craft more effective strategies to achieve their personal and business goals. Ms. Dean works with her estate planning clients to create truly comprehensive family estate plans that provide not only carefully considered asset management, but more importantly a safety net for the family in the event of injury, incapacity or death. Her work also includes providing executors and trustees counsel and assistance with the administration of trust and probate estates.
Ms. Dean works with the other members of the firm to provide comprehensive legal services required by their small business clients in the areas of business planning, business start-up, business operations, risk management and, when needed, effective representation to help business owners resolve disputes either in court or through settlement negotiations or other types of alternative dispute resolution with opposing parties.
Ms. Dean holds dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Business Administration from the University of Redlands and Laws from Western State University. She continued her education, attending Western State University (now Thomas Jefferson School of Law) while working full time and received her JD from that institution in 1994. She was admitted to the State Bar of California later that year and is also admitted to practice before the U.S. District Court, Southern District of California.
During her career as an attorney Ms. Dean has achieved an AV peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell of Preeminent, with a score of 5.0 of 5.0, signifying that her peers and the judiciary rank her at the highest level of professional excellence.
Ms. Dean is very active in the San Diego legal community, having served for two years as a co-chair for the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association and volunteers her time as a mentor for new attorneys seeking advice and assistance as they learn the ropes of their new careers. Since 2003, Ms. Dean has served as a member of the San Diego Probate Bench-Bar Committee which works collaboratively to improve the services provided to the public by the court and the attorneys who practice there, and currently serves as Vice President of Probate Attorneys of San Diego, which was created in 2012 to take over and expand the continuing education programs developed by the Bench-Bar Committee.
Ms. Dean has been a member of Lawyers Club since 2004 and volunteers as a member of the Community Outreach Committee which actively strives to improve the lives and status of women and children in San Diego through hands-on projects. She is a past board member of the Tom Homann LGBT Law Association and currently offers assistance to the organization by serving on committees as needed.
Areas of Practice
Wills, Trusts & Other Family Planning
Estate Planning FAQ
Probate & Trust Administration
Conservatorship & Financial Elder Abuse
Will Contests & Trust Disputes
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