Julianna M. Malis, LL.M - Founder and Managing Attorney

As my mother's health deteriorated over the last decade, I became a reluctant member of the Sandwich Generation - caring for my mother while still raising my children. Initially, she came to live with my family and I was shuttling her to doctor's appointments and physical therapy daily, dealing with her health insurance issues, physicians and social workers, managing her finances and winding down her business until she passed away in Hospice in 2016. I truly understand now "the elder care life continuum". It was through that personal experience, I decided to focus my practice on elder law with a special emphasis on Medi-Cal long-term care planning and the concerns that arise as we age.

I pride myself on my ability to work through huge problems and major life transitions.  I know what it's like to be a full-time "caregiver" and what it takes to juggle a demanding career and a family through crisis and life transitions.

I attend to my clients' needs from a ‘holistic' viewpoint, by addressing legal, medical, financial, social, and family issues we encounter every day regardless of stage of life. I work closely with my clients to ensure they understand their options and rights so that they can make informed decisions about their future. I bring a breadth of experience with families in crisis and provide each with hope and resolution. I strive to find real-life practical solutions for the families I serve, realizing that a loved one's health, well-being, and often loss of independence are at stake.

My practice involves all aspects of estate planning and elder law including special needs planning, trust administration, probate and conservatorships. I bring the attention to detail and experience required to capably handle complex estate tax matters.  I am also a Certified Dementia Practitioner Trainer and Certified Dementia Practitioner and a frequent speaker to public and private groups on issues of estate planning, elder law, and asset protection planning

Families run full speed 24/7. Our small team at Santa Barbara Estate Planning & Elder Law does too.  We are available to you when you need us.  Elder law feels like an emergency room at times; people popping in with unforeseen problems at all hours of the day, night and on weekends. You can always reach us.  Oftentimes when a client calls at the beginning of what seems like a crisis, we can divert the storm with a little creative problem-solving and education.  Having an emotionally available attorney and staff who understand your rights and options available and will frankly explain your responsibilities is an essential resource in dealing with an elder care crisis and through your life transitions.

I received my Bachelor's degree from U.C. Santa Barbara in 1993 and my Juris Doctorate from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1996, followed by an LL.M in Taxation-Estate Planning in 1999. I was founder and partner in the law firm of Makler & Baker LLP, a consumer protection and estate planning law firm from 2000-2014.  I am a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), the Trusts & Estates Section of the California State Bar, and Lawyers with Purpose- nationally recognized program for estate planning lawyers that provides top training and continuing education - as well as other community organizations concerned with the needs of older adults. I also serve on the Executive Board of the Santa Barbara County Legal Aid Foundation.

In my other life as Wife and Mom, I love spending time with my husband, Sean (when he is not on duty with the U.S. Army Reserve), and our large blended family of five adult children and one grandchild. Our lovable yellow Labrador ‘Gus' enjoys being in the middle of it all. We enjoy hiking and spending time at our mountain cabin, traveling, gardening and all the wonderful outdoor activities we can enjoy on the Central Coast.

 Contact Julianna for your estate planning needs or for speaking engagement opportunities.

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Santa Barbara Estate Planning & Elder Law is committed to answering your questions about Elder Law, Medi-Cal Planning, VA Benefits, Special Needs Planning, Estate Planning, Conservatorships, Probate/Trust Administration in California.

We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.