Comprehensive Estate and Financial Planning

Probate Expertise

Flat Fee Legal Service Options

Mark J. McGowan, Esq.

Mark is certified by the Board of Legal Specialization of the California State Bar as a Specialist in Trusts, Wills, Estate Planning and Probate, and is experienced in all related areas including:

  • Trusts
  • Wills
  • Comprehensive Estate Plans
  • Probate
  • Trust Administration
  • Trust Disputes
  • Will Contests
  • Conservatorships
  • Asset Protection
  • Creditor Protection
  • Domestic Partnerships
  • Cohabitation Agreements
  • Tax Issues
  • Power of Attorney
  • Advanced Health Care Directives
  • Medi-Cal Planning
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • LLCs
  • Credit Shelter Trusts
  • Family Limited Partnerships
  • Charitable Trusts
  • Qualified Domestic Trusts
  • Grant Deeds
Mark McGowan has done a wonderful job in handling our estate planning for over 10 years. Mark has responded to all of our questions and concerns with great thoroughness.

My wife and I feel that we couldn’t be in better hands. Dean F.

Mark McGowan has been my attorney for over ten years. He handles all my personal trust affairs in a professional manner. He has always been available to take my calls and answer any questions or concerns that I may have.

Additionally, Mark’s assistant Elder Mae, is very knowledgeable and helpful.

I would certainly recommend Mark’s office to anyone who is looking for a dignified, professional, and knowledgeable law practice. Marie C.

For the Desert Bar Attorney Recognition Award I submit the name of Mark McGowan for your consideration.

As his co-worker I this year witnessed Mark’s working through the entire year for hundreds of tough hours above and beyond the very small amount for which he could be paid in order to protect others’ inheritance interests that included that of a five-year-old beneficiary who would have otherwise been unrepresented, and whose beneficiary interests would have been otherwise jeopardized.

This was done by Mark at great personal sacrifice, in the face of retaliatory tactics and bad faith litigation, to see that trust terms were not ignored or trampled upon, that there be accountability, and that the right thing be done.

Hats off to Mark, who has so earned the recognition of his highly regarded peers. E. M. McClellan

Top 5-Star Reviews (Yelp, Google, Facebook)
Client Champion – Platinum (Martindale-Hubbell)
Top-Rated Lawyer (Avvo)

Certified Specialist in Trusts, Wills, Estate Planning and Probate

Caring Counsel Through Your Life and Those of Your Loved Ones

As a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law, a license and distinction of the California State Bar’s Board of Legal Specialization, Mark J. McGowan is devoutly dedicated to providing each selected client with personal, caring counsel, attentive accessibility, diligent performance and quality service. Call us for information about any of the following:


  • The 10 documents you need to have a complete basic estate plan
  • What is probate and why must it be avoided?
  • Most common mistakes made in estate plans


Flat Fee Packages for Basic Estate Planning Services

At the Law Offices of Mark J. McGowan, PC, we understand that proper estate planning is the foundation of your family’s financial security. In addition to affordable hourly rates for estate planning services, we offer a variety of flat fee basic estate planning services* for individuals and couples. Ask us about any of our flat fee services listed below:

Last Will and Testament
  • Guardian designation for any minor children
  • Disposition of bodily remains
  • Free Revisions up to 30 days
Financial Power of Attorney
  • Initial 20 minute consultation
  • With estate tax minimization addendum
  • Free revisions up to 30 days
Health Care Directive
  • Medical power of attorney
  • Hospital decisions
  • End of life decisions
  • Disposition of bodily remains
  • Free revisions up to 30 days
Retitling Grant Deeds
  • Correctly title property (e.g. into trust)
  • Discussion of various title options
  • Free revisions up to 30 days
Living Trust Package
A living trust, also called a revocable trust, allows you pass on property while avoiding the costs, delays, and risk associated with probate. A living trust is one of the most important financial documents most individuals and families will prepare in their lifetime.


Our Living Trust Flat Fee Package Includes:

  • Initial 1-Hour Consultation
  • 1 Revocable Living Trust Agreement
  • 1 Certificate of trust
  • Pour-over will(s)
  • Free revisions up to 30 days
Comprehensive Estate Plan Package
gold-starIncludes all 10 needed documents:


  • Revocable living trust
  • Last will and testament
  • Financial power of attorney
  • Advance health care directive
  • Grant deed(s) retitled
  • Homestead declaration
  • Affidavit-intent to return home
  • Assignment of personal property
  • Community property agreement
  • Certificate of trust
  • Credit shelter trust
  • Legal execution and notarization of all documents
  • Assistance with the legal transfer of assets into the revocable living trust

Free one-hour consultation when you complete the estate planning questionnaire.

*More complex cases may require additional hourly work beyond the standard package pricing.
*More complex cases may require hourly work beyond the standard flat rate pricing.

Special Needs Trusts:

We are experienced in properly drafting, advising and administering special needs trusts to protect a beneficiary’s interests without jeopardizing the loss of his/her governmental benefits.

Other estate planning and tax saving vehicles we draft include but are not limited to:

  • Generation Skipping Tax Trusts
  • Charitable Remainder Trust or Charitable Lead Trusts
  • Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
  • Qualified Personal Residence Trust
  • Grantor Retained Trust (GRAT, GRUT, GRIT)
  • Family Limited Partnerships
  • Limited Limited Companies
  • Foundations
Dear Mark,

You may not recall this, but my wife and I are second generation clients of yours. You prepared my Mother’s updated trust documents following her move to the desert. That’s how we came to contact you. And now having completed the update of our own trust, I just want to say thanks for a great job. Also, thank you for exceeding our timeline and cost expectations! It was all good!

Happy New Year to you and Elder Mae Charles V.

Reason #8 To Make A Proper Estate Plan:

mohawk2Your son-in-law Jimmy

  • Plays video games instead of looking for a real job.
  • Smokes pot ‘medicinally’ though shows no signs of glaucoma.
  • Never studied but is suddenly picking up chemistry.
  • Brags to deadbeat friends that his in-laws are loaded.

Is he going to get half of what you leave your daughter?

Avoid the 10 Estate Planning Mistakes

Now more than ever there are some questions that are far too critical to be left unresolved if you are to properly protect yourself and your family. For example, did you know:

  • When you die without a properly executed Trust, transferring to your heirs everything you have earned, saved, and created could take years as it goes through a process called probate?
  • If you do not properly designate who will inherit everything after your death, the State of California will make that decision for you?
  • If you have not made plans, a Judge of the Superior Court without any input from you will decide who will raise your minor children?
  • Without the proper documents, if you become incompetent, it may cost your family thousands of dollars just to have the right to take care of you and to direct your medical care?
  • Holding title to property as “Joint Tenants” may cost you thousands of dollars in capital gains taxes on the death of the first to die?
  • If you have a trust prepared before 2004, critical parts of your estate plan may not work?

Probate is necessary when an individual dies without the proper estate planning documents and his/her assets exceed $150,000. The cost for probating an estate is based on the estate’s gross asset value, which generally means including all that you own, but without subtracting what you owe. For example, if you own a home worth $800,000 with a $790,000 mortgage, the gross asset value is $800,000.

Please find below a chart that shows the compensation that your personal representatives and attorneys can request as set by California law relative to the estate’s gross asset value. These fees do not include special fees for the sale of assets, filing fees, tax preparation, and litigation.

Gross Asset Value of Entire Estate Estimated Cost WITHOUT Proper Estate Planning Probate Fees WITH Proper Estate Planning
$400,000 $22,000* $0
$500,000 $26,000* $0
$700,000 $34,000* $0
$1,000,000 $46,000* $0
$2,000,000 $66,000* $0
$3,000,000 $86,000* $0
$4,000,000 $106,000* $0

*This is not a tax. These are statutory fees authorized by the California Probate Code, not even including special fees; one half will go to an attorney and the other half will go to your Executor or Administrator.

As you can see, it is critical to prepare the proper estate planning documents to save your family thousands of dollars in probate fees as well as provide quick, easy distribution of your assets the way you want them distributed… not the way the State of California wants them distributed. If you do need to go to probate court, we can represent you in all probate matters and probate litigation.

Click any link below for more specific information:






Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation at 760-340-3332

questionnaire-downloadDownload your estate planning questionnaire to get started on your road to financial protection.

Call for your free consultation with attorney Mark J. McGowan today by calling our Palm Desert offices at 760-340-3332 or inquire by email with a brief summary of your situation, issue or question.

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Visit Our Palm Desert Office

72-630 Fred Waring, Suite 201
Palm Desert, CA 92260

Located on west side of Fred Waring between Monterey and Hwy 111. Look for our signs on any side of the building and take the elevator to the second floor. We look forward to meeting you.

Proudly serving the Coachella Valley communities of Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, Indian Wells, La Quinta, Indio, Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Bermuda Dunes, Desert Hot Springs, Thousand Palms, Coachella, Thermal, and beyond since 1987. El abogado habla español.