Mr. Achtel combines a thorough understanding of trust and estate litigation with an ability to navigate the nuances of each case. “Your attorney shouldn’t be purely aggressive or demure. He should be able to shift gears based on what is needed. I know my craft and adjust my approach based on the case requirements.” Working with clients to establish clear expectations and maintaining close contact throughout a case are his top priorities.
Though his legal expertise is highly specialized – trust and probate litigation, trust and probate-related elder abuse, conservatorships, trust administration, and probate – his cases are diverse. Mr. Achtel’s typical clients include family members, beneficiaries, and trustees. In his own words, he’s worked on “multi-million dollar estate contests, as well as represented people haggling over children’s toys.” As with any area of the law involving high emotions and distrust, Mr. Achtel understands the divisive issues his clients are struggling with and works to help them achieve satisfactory results and peace of mind.
Joining the firm in 2013 as Partner, the San Diego Attorney brings noteworthy credentials and accolades in his field. He is a certified specialist in Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization and has been rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell™ achieving the highest possible rating for both Legal Ability and Ethical Standards. He was named a Top Attorney in Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust by the San Diego Daily Transcript in 2012, an honor limited to the top ten trust and estate attorneys in San Diego as nominated by his peers. Mr. Achtel was also recognized as a Top Lawyer in San Diego in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 for his practice in Trusts and Estates, as well as named a Southern California Super Lawyers® in 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 for the practice area of Estate and Trust Litigation, an honor limited to no more than five percent of the attorneys within California.
In his community, Mr. Achtel has served as a volunteer advocate for elders’ rights with San Diego Elder Law Advocacy. Formerly, he served on the Board of Trustees for the San Diego Law Library, Board of Directors for the San Diego Justice Foundation, Board of Directors Del Mar Chamber of Commerce, Chair of Legislative Affairs for the Del Mar Chamber of Commerce, and volunteer mediator with the San Diego Municipal Court.
Roland Achtel – Your Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trusts & Probate Law.
Meet Roland H. Achtel
My background is in commercial litigation, but early on in my career I switched from commercial litigation into estate planning because it was something that I was personally passionate about doing. So when I combined those two matters, I took on cases that were trust and estate litigation matters. And what those are, those are cases where there is typically conflict between the family members or between family members and third parties, arising out of the administration of an estate. So my job in those cases is to get to know the client, get the lay of the land, give them sound counsel, work towards a great resolution for them, and then bring them some closure.
A couple of things you can do to avoid estate disputes is to make sure that there’s open communication between whoever’s managing the estate, such as the trustee or the executor, and the beneficiaries. It’s important to freely communicate to avoid any concerns or belief that things are being hidden from the beneficiaries. If you can’t get the answers you want, I recommend highly that you get it in writing to create a paper trail. And if you still can’t come to resolution, it’s time to talk to your attorney.