Comprehensive Estate Planning

Probate Expertise

Flat Fee Options

Mark J. McGowan, Esq.

Mark McGowan 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
  • Deeds
  • 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

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 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
Financial Power of Attorney
  • With estate tax minimization addendum
Health Care Directive
  • Medical power of attorney
  • Hospital decisions
  • End of life decisions
  • Disposition of bodily remains
Retitling Grant Deeds
  • Correctly title property (e.g. into trust)
  • Discussion of various title options
Living Trust Package

A living trust, also called a revocable trust, allows you to 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:

  • 1 Revocable Living Trust Agreement
  • Certificate of Trust
  • Pour-over Will(s)
Comprehensive Estate Plan Package

Includes 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
  • 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

I cannot express enough how grateful I am for the exceptional service provided by Mark McGowan. From the very first consultation, Mark demonstrated a deep understanding of trust and estate law, putting our concerns at ease. Mark is not only highly knowledgeable, but also incredibly personable and attentive to the specifics of the situation.

Throughout the entire process, Mark exhibited a level of professionalism that truly sets his services apart. Mark took the time to explain complex legal concepts in a way that was easy for us to understand, empowering my wife and I to make informed decisions about our trust and estate plans.

What stood out the most to us was Mark’s genuine commitment to ensuring our family’s best interests were protected, and the personalized approach made us feel like more than just his clients. Thank you Mark.

Mike J.

Reason #8 To Make A Proper Estate Plan:

Your 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

** Probate avoided altogether

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.


Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation

at 760-340-3332

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

Call now for your free consultation by reaching us at 760-340-3332, or inquire by email with a brief summary of your situation, issue or question.

Inquire by Email

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.

Mark McGowan is an exemplary attorney. He gives great counsel. He is intelligent, knowledgeable, and an experienced Estate Planner. But most importantly, he listened and readily anticipated my legal needs and questions and solved my concerns. It is my pleasure to recommend Attorney Mark McGowan with a 5-star rating for professionalism, and for taking a huge burden off my shoulders.

Jane B.

Two friends of mine as well as myself have used the services of Mark McGowan over the past seven years for estate planning as well as a financial elderly abuse case. Mark has provided superior counsel and service in all instances and given us peace of mind.

David H.

We visited Mark McGowan to establish an Estate Plan and Equity Sharing agreement. Our situation involved some unique considerations. Mark was very professional, attentive and personable. We valued the experience and are very happy with the results.

Jack V.

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

Mark McGowan is the ultimate trustworthy professional for both legal and investment services. My parents used Mark for many years from preparation of their family trust, to entrusting him with their investment strategies. In the past year, Mark assisted me in successfully navigating the legal and financial complexities of settling my parents estate. Needless to say, it was an easy decision to transfer my own investments to Mark.

Pat G.

Proudly serving the Coachella Valley communities

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.