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Kent Kristof

Kent Kristof

Dr. Kent L. Kristof
Rated by Super Lawyers


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Biography

Kent L. Kristof, our esteemed partner, has dedicated his practice to estate planning and probate court matters for more than 16 years. His primary focus is on litigated cases, where he has demonstrated proficiency and knowledge.

Now rated consistently named as a Super Lawyer, Kent L. Kristof was recognized in the Rising Stars List by Super Lawyers for six consecutive years, an honor bestowed upon only 2.5% of attorneys. He is a valued member of both the Court Appointed Counsel Panel (formerly the Probate Volunteer Panel) and the Probate Court's Pro Bono Settlement Program.

Partner Kent L. Kristof has an impressive background in law and aging. He served as the American Bar Association's Young Lawyer Division's Liaison to the Commission on Law And Aging, where he played a key role in the development of the Uniform Elder Abuse Act. Additionally, Dr. Kristof is highly experienced in trusts and estates and has conducted training sessions for other lawyers in this area.

Dr. Kristof completed his bachelor’s degree in History and Spanish with honors at California State Polytechnic University. He holds a Master of Arts degree with a focus on legal history, as well as an LLM (Master of Law) in estate planning and elder law. Dr. Kent L. Kristof completed his Doctorate in Juridical Science (JSD), with a specific focus on quantifying the impact of probate law and the Probate Court on Los Angeles County.

Kent L. Kristof is licensed to practice in the state courts of California and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Practice Areas

  • Estate/Trust Litigation
  • Conservatorships
  • Protection From Elder Abuse
  • Probate & Trust Administration

Representative Cases

  • Pursued heirs’ claims against law firm who represented the former Administrator after she looted all of the estate’s property. Litigation spanned several California counties, included cooperation with law enforcement, and spread to include national financial institutions as respondents. After lengthy litigation and close examination of reams of financial documents, the heirs’ inheritances were satisfied. (Estate of Ballard), 2021
  • Secured client’s inheritance against litigation initiated by one of the largest firms in the world. This litigation included a unique set of pretrial motions and a range of unusual legal questions. (Oestreich, 2023), 2023
  • Represented children against their father’s abuser in efforts to protect their inheritance, while striving to recover real estate and multiple vehicles. After acrimonious litigation spanning several cases, with combined claimes reaching $9 million, represented children in a successful mediation. (Diaz cases) 2022.
  • Pursued heirs’ claims against law firm who represented the estate’s former Administrator after she looted all of the estate’s property.  Litigation spanned several California counties, included cooperation with law enforcement, and spread to include national financial institutions as respondents.  After lengthy litigation and close examination of reams of financial documents, the heirs’ inheritances were satisfied. (Estate of Ballard), 2021
  • Defended former Court Appointed Counsel in vitriolic litigation. Took through trial and was granted extraordinary sanctions which were published statewide.  On appeal from the sanctions motion, the logic of the sanctions motion was unanimously approved.” (Guerra/Alvarado), 2020
  • Protected client’s and estate’s interests during hotly contested litigation involving overlapping assertions of elder abuse, contractual disputes, and significant tax implications.  Secured inheritance of controlling interest in family business, valued between $2,550,000 and $4,000,000. (Falkenborg 2001 Trust), 2019
  • Engaged in multi-faceted litigation to protect widow from aggressive step-sons.  For the widow, recovered valuable real property, and monies for legal fees, from the aggressors. (Barrett matters), 2016
  • Defended Trustee/beneficiary in litigation, spanning multiple cases, with significant international components.  Favorably resolved with client retaining income producing properties and other assets totaling several million dollars. (Zubillaga matters), 2017
  • Intervened, on behalf of clients, in probate that had languished for some 20 years. Engaged in speedy and efficient litigation on multiple fronts. Obtained beneficial recovery to clients while maximizing value of estate. Total recovered for clients approximately $1,040,000.  (Strauss matters), 2015
  • Pursued heinous elder abuse action on behalf of elder. In addition to other recovery, obtained Elder Abuse Restraining Orders, with “move-out” Orders. Total recovery exceeded $613,500. Collaborated with Los Angeles County District Attorney in obtaining a felony conviction against abuser. Conservatorship of Olson and related matters), 2012
  • Prosecuted and defended against multiple legal actions, in three counties within California, between clients and their opponent. Total recovery of $750,000 to clients. (Estate of Knuth and related matters), 2009

Education

  • Western New England University School of Law, Springfield, Massachusetts
    • L.L.M. in Estate Planning And Elder Law - 2015
  • Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, California
    • Doctorate of Juridical Science - 2021
  • University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, California
    • Juris Doctorate - 2004
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California
    • Master of Arts with Emphasis in Legal History - 2002
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California
    • Bachelor of Arts - 1999
    • Honors: With High Honors
    • Major: History
    • Minor: Spanish

Bar Admissions

  • California State Courts and Courts of Appeal
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit

Published Works

  • Doctoral dissertation: “The Economic Impact of Probate Administration.", Loyola Law School
  • “Respiratory Care Board Regulatory Update”, California Regulatory Law Reporter, Pending
  • “Board of Registered Nursing Regulatory Update”, California Regulatory Law Reporter, Pending
  • "Drake And The Law", Master’s Thesis
  • "CEB Practitioner," Contributor, Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB)

Appellate Cases

  • The Estate of Falkenborg , Completed but unpublished
  • The Conservatorship of Alvarado , Completed but unpublished

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association, Young Lawyer’s Division to the Commission on Law And Aging, Liason, 2014 to 2016
  • Amicus Briefs Committee, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Member, 2013 to 2014
  • Center for Civic Mediation, Mediator, 2012 to 2020
  • Attorney-Client Mediation And Arbitration Services, Los Angeles County Bar Association, Arbitrator, 2012 to 2020
  • Pro Bono Probate Settlement Program, Los Angeles County Superior Court, Settlement Officer, 2013 to Present
  • Los Angeles County (formerly Probate Volunteer Panel), Court Appointed Counsel, 2010 to Present
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association California State Bar Conference of Delegates, Delegate, 2009 to 2009
  • Los Angeles County Guardianship Clinic, Attorney Volunteer, 2010 to 2012
  • Phi Alpha Theta, National Honor Society, Member/ Officer, 1997 to 2001
  • Golden Key National Honor Society, Member, 1998 to 2001
  • California Lawyers Association: Trusts & Estates; Litigation, Member
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association: Trusts & Estates; Litigation, Member

Honors

  • Super Lawyers - Rising Star
  • Top Attorney, Pasadena Weekly
  • Best Attorney/Law Firm, Pasadena Weekly
  • Super Lawyers

Classes & Seminars

  • “Economics of Probate: The Impact of Probate Administration in the World’s 16th Largest Economy”, Georgetown University Law Center, National Doctor of Juridical Science (SJD) Roundtable, 2018
  • “Post-Death Trust Administration”, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2018
  • "Impact of Probate in Los Angeles County - a Report on case filings, costs, and economics", South Bay Bar Association (forthcoming)

Languages

  • Spanish