The Marin Lawyer recently sat down with Tim Barteau, MCBA’s new co-chair of the Probate and Estate Planning Section. MCBA’s sections are a critical part of the association, offering an opportunity not only to stay up to date through CLE programs but to get to know colleagues. The Probate and Estate Planning section is one of the larger and more active sections and we spoke with Tim about the section as well as his practice and life in Marin.

What is your practice area?

I am a career litigator. However, I went back to school to obtain my LL.M. in Tax and my Estate Planning Certificate, and have spent the last five years developing knowledge and experience in the areas of estate planning, trust and probate administration and trust and estate litigation.

Do you have a particular emphasis?

Litigation, whether civil or trust & estate, are my main areas of emphasis. However, I also focus my practice on trust and probate administration.

Why did you decide to become a lawyer?

My father was a general practitioner in Indiana. I recall summers spent in his law office and tagging along on various court appearances. Likely because of this, I have always known in some way that I wanted to become a lawyer.

Why do you live in Marin?

I was raised in Mill Valley from the third grade forward. College and law school took me away to different places, and I started my career in San Francisco. When my wife was pregnant with our first child and we had outgrown our one bedroom apartment in San Francisco, crossing the bridge and living back in Marin seemed like the only choice (although it took me a little while to convince my wife of that). Given the beauty, location, and proximity to Mt. Tamalpais and open space, I don’t think there is anywhere else that I would rather live.

What do you love to do when you’re not busy practicing law?

First and foremost, spending time with my family. Otherwise, I train for and participate (definitely not compete) in triathlons and other races.

Tell us about your family.

I met my wife while still in college, and we have been together for 19 years. I have two children in elementary school. My mom and brother also both still live in the area.

If you could pursue any other career besides law, what would it be and why?

I have always wanted to be a writer. At this point, I have no grand aspiration of writing as another career. However, writing a book is high on my bucket list.

Why did you join MCBA?

To develop relationships with attorneys and other MCBA members in the area.

Why did you become a Section Co-Chair?

I have found the Estate Planning and Probate Section to be a great resource for Marin attorneys and other professionals in my practice area. I volunteered as Section Co-Chair to do my part in maintaining and developing this resource while building on relationships with the community served by the Section.

What is your vision for the Probate and Estate Planning Section this year?

I would like to work with my co-chair, Valerie Kushel, and continue the excellent work done by past chairs in bringing varied, informative and useful speakers to our monthly meetings. Additionally, I would hope to organize other events or activities that would allow Section members to come together and interact informally.

If you had to pick a single highlight of your career, what would it be?

I honestly can’t think of anything that stands out. I’m just happy to have the good fortune to do something I love for a living.

Tim Barteau will start a new job with the Keystone Law Group in San Francisco on March 1st where he will continue his trusts and estates litigation and administration practice.