Hi. I’m attorney Bob Bergman. I am married and the father of twin daughters. My wife Jennifer A. Lotz is a labor and employment attorney. I was raised in the Catholic Church, and my years of spiritual journey through various denominations has led me to where I am now: a simple Christian who loves the Lord Jesus Christ as my Savior.
I was born in Tripoli, Libya in 1955 to an Italian mother. I was adopted by my parents Harold and Adaline Bergman, and then brought back to the United States. On the way, my name was changed by my parents, and I became a U.S. Citizen in 1960. My father was an officer in the U.S. Air Force, and was stationed in Libya at that time. He was a pilot in WW II in the Pacific Theater, and became a meteorologist after the war, serving another 20 years in the Air Weather Service around the world.
As an “Air Force brat,” I had the opportunity to live in several different places, including Colorado, Bermuda, and finally, Virginia, where my Dad completed his military career and moved our family to California. My parents were both from Midwestern farms, my Dad from Kimball, Nebraska, and my Mom from Ellsworth, Kansas. Those who know me remark that I seem to be from the Midwest. I tell them that, even though I never lived there, having parents who were born and raised in the Midwest means that I was raised in the Midwest too!
I’ve lived in Santa Clara County since 1968, where I attended St. Francis High School in Mountain View, and then UC Berkeley, De Anza College, San Jose State University, and finally Santa Clara Law School, where I graduated in 1980, passing the bar examination in the same year.
I’ve been a practicing attorney since 1980, with additional work expertise in real estate as a real estate broker, insurance, securities, and financial planning. I was also a vice president at Comerica Bank, handling business development for their Institutional Trust Department.
I am a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, certified by the California State Bar Board of Legal Specialization. To become board certified as a specialist, you must have years of experience in your practice area, pass a competitive examination, have specific continuing legal education in your field of practice, be recommended by your fellow attorneys, and be approved by the Board of Legal Specialization. This reflects my years of experience as an estate planning attorney.
As an estate planning attorney, I help families with disability and inheritance planning, including planning to avoid Probate after death, and to avoid a Conservatorship if you become disabled while alive. I also help families take maximum advantage of the estate tax and inheritance laws to quickly and inexpensively pass on their property to their children or other heirs after death, which can include planning for asset protection for the inheritance for many generations. I also assist families that have children or other relatives with special needs with comprehensive supplemental needs trust planning to preserve an inheritance for the care of the special needs person.
Although my law practice emphasizes working with families that have young children, I have clients at all stages of life, including clients who are married and unmarried, those with children and those without children.
I am also a member of WealthCounsel, an association of estate planning attorneys with approximately 1500 member law firms and over 3600 members throughout the country. WealthCounsel attorneys share ideas and planning techniques with each other, and are on the cutting edge of estate planning issues and trends in the United States. Although I practice as a sole practitioner in Santa Clara County, I have access to the combined wisdom and expertise of my fellow attorneys in the WealthCounsel network.
As an attorney who specializes in estate planning, my work is similar to that of an architect designing a dream home for my clients. In our meetings together, I create a “blueprint” for your estate plan that has the features and benefits you request. Then, once the estate plan is designed, I build your estate plan like a contractor, using the sophisticated drafting software available only to WealthCounsel members. Because of this approach, I’m able to custom design each and every estate plan I prepare by hand, assuring that your wishes and needs are met.
On the lighter side, I have sung and acted with several Bay Area performing companies, including the Lyric Theatre (Gilbert & Sullivan Society of San Jose), Lamplighters of San Francisco, the Stanford Savoyards, Mission City Opera, the West Valley Light Opera Association, the Sunnyvale Community Players and the Saratoga Drama Group. I am also an avid amateur military historian and collector of military board games and miniatures.