At the Law Office of James F. Watts we strive to provide superlative services in our main areas of focus, including: Trusts, Estate Planning and Probate Law. Because everyone’s estate planning needs are unique we will work with you one on one to create a plan that suits your needs. We encourage you to learn more about trusts and estates through the information in our website. We hope that you find this information to be valuable and we hope to earn the chance to work with you in the future.
James Watts is originally from Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Prior to attending law school, James served five years in the United States Air Force finishing his military service commitment as a Captain and Missile Crew Commander of a Titan II Intercontinental Ballistic Missile launch crew at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base near Tucson, Arizona. After the Air Force James worked as a National Park Service Ranger at Saguaro (pronounced Sa-War-Oh) National Park near Tucson, Arizona.
James graduated from California Western School of Law, in San Diego, California in 1977 and was admitted to the California Bar the same year. Since then James has been serving clients in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law. To further his education James attended University of San Diego Graduate Law School where he earned his Masters of Laws Degree (LL.M) in Taxation which has enabled him to better analyze the tax planning needs of his clients and advise them.
In addition to practicing law James also served for three years as an instructor of estate planning at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). James enjoys long bike rides, international travel and spending time with his family. James is married to Rosy Watts who is a Mexican Attorney who is authorized to practice law in all states of Mexico. Rosy worked in the court in Tijuana for 18 years (starting at age 16) before she left the court to open her own law practice.
- Member, State Bar of California, 1977.
- Certified specialist, Estate planning, trusts and probate, State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization, 1996–present.
- University of San Diego Graduate Law School, Masters of Law degree (LL.M) in Taxation, 1983.
- California Western School of Law, San Diego, CA, Juris Doctor, 1977.
- Southeast Missouri State University, Bachelor of Science in Zoology; Minor in Chemistry.
- University of Arizona, continuing education while on duty in the USAF.
- “Liquidation and Re-incorporation as a Tool of the Tax Planner”, Taxes—The Tax Magazine, July 1983 edition
- The Criminal Law Enforcement Authority of Park Rangers in Proprietary Jurisdiction National Parks—Where Is It?, 13 Cal. Western L. Rev. 126 (1976).
Estate Planning & Living Trusts
We generally recommend a living trust, will, or both, depending on the size of your estate. When you create a new trust we typically also prepare a Uniform Statutory Form Power of Attorney (financial power of attorney), Advance Health Care Directive with a Health Care Power of Attorney, Nomination of Conservator, and a Last Will and Testament among additional supporting documents for you. We can also prepare deeds for you to sign transferring ownership of your properties to you as Trustee of your trust and instruction letters explaining how to take title to other assets.
Estate Administration & Probate
When it comes to estate administration there are several documents that need to be filed with the county in which a decedent lived and/or owned property in that most people do not know about, or have not thought about yet. In addition to filing documents with the county there are administrative steps to be taken by the Trustee or Executor of the decedent’s estate that we can assist you with.
Update an Existing Trusts
It is not uncommon for your wishes or trust instructions to change overtime. When you are ready to discuss those changes and need to document them in your trust we are here to help you amend, update, or restate your trust in its entirety as you prefer.