As of December 2019, Charlie has begun cutting back his law practice to focus exclusively on representing a small group of long-term clients, serving as court appointed attorney for conservatees, consulting with other attorneys about family conflicts that can arise in conservatorship and probate cases, and working to educate other professionals about often neglected end-of-life concerns.
A lifelong Bay Area resident, Charlie attended Stanford University. After a post-college stint as slot machine mechanic at a Lake Tahoe casino, he attended the University of Santa Clara Law School, graduating in 1978. He worked with his father, Charles F. Jonas, of Jonas & Matthews, until Chuck’s retirement in 1994. Since then, his practice has focused on estate planning, trust and probate administration, and conservatorships, both as a sole practitioner, and, since 2010 with Anne Asis. He speaks at professional gatherings about the role of attorneys in this field, a role which is broader than provision of legal services. Clients, like anyone else, experience a range of feelings, including those related to deaths of family members, to needs of children, and to their own immediate, or future, loss of independence. Practicioners with an awareness of this larger context are better able to better serve their clients.
Charlie serves as court-appointed attorney for both those who are subject to an on-going conservatorship and those who may be conserved. Frequently, clients are experiencing some degree of dementia and other mental health issues. His experience as a clinician allows him to more effectively represent these clients through the complex conservatorship process.
In addition to his law practice, Charlie has pursued his interest in the counseling aspect of law, completing a Masters program in counseling psychology at Holy Names University in 2007 followed by a four year internship at Hospice by the Bay. In his clinical training, Charlie has focused on bereavement work with children and adults, individually and in groups, and with families. He is now a licensed marriage and family therapist. Charlie finds that his work as a grief counselor allows him to bring a unique perspective to his work with his clients, and to offer a deeper understanding of their legal needs.
To get away from it all, he goes on long bicycle rides, and is reminded of why it all matters by staying in close touch with his two adult daughters and three grandchildren.
Sally has over 30 years of bookkeeping experience. After receiving her degree in Economics from Cal State East Bay (formerly Cal State Hayward), Sally began working with Charlie and his father. In addition to providing accounting and notarial services to Charlie, Sally handles the bookkeeping for other solo practitioners, small businesses, and real estate managers, and also assists clients in drafting personal and corporate income tax returns.
When she is not busy crunching numbers, Sally enjoys spending time with her family, especially her two grandsons and sweet granddaughter.
Charlie's 30 years of experience working with individuals, couples, and families on all stages of the estate planning, probate, and trust administration process, coupled with his mediation training and experience as a marriage and family therapist specializing in grief and loss issues, gives him a unique and useful perspective on the challenges that face estate planning professionals in their work.
These challenges do not always lend themselves to a legal solution. Charlie works with other professionals, and their clients, on a consulting basis to help them best address these challenges. He is available to facilitate workshops and to teach how an understanding of grief and loss can help estate planning professionals, including attorneys, accountants, real estate professionals, trust officers, and financial advisors, better serve their clients.