Cal Trust and Estate Law

About us

“Fight for the things that you care about, but do it in a way that will lead others to join you.”
–Ruth Bader Ginsburg


Our philosophy

Established in 2005, our practice has been focused on finding sound, smart solutions to help people safeguard what matters most to them. We strive to help make the trust and estate laws understandable and accessible. From protecting loved ones and preparing an estate plan for carrying out instructions on the management and distribution of your assets to assisting you in carrying out the administration of a loved one’s estate and/or trust, we’re here to help you achieve your goals.


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Barbara Small

Founder and Attorney at Law

After graduating Santa Clara University Law School, Barbara started her legal career as a securities and business litigator with a large Silicon Valley law firm and as in-house counsel for a large Silicon Valley software company. In 2005, she took the opportunity to join a boutique trust and estate practice in her hometown of Los Altos. In 2010, she established her own law practice and has enjoyed growing it ever since. Her approach is to help individuals identify their personal goals, and to help develop a plan to protect and preserve their personal choices—through the practice of estate planning, trust and probate administration, conservatorship, guardianship, and special needs planning.

Barbara is a member of the California State Bar Section for Trusts and Estates. From 2006 through 2015, Barbara was active with the Silicon Valley Bar Association, where she presented programs, chaired several committees and served as a member of the Board of Trustees and as Treasurer. In 2017, Barbara co-presented a program for the 13th Annual Kasner Estate Planning Symposium on the fundamentals of Financial Durable Powers of Attorney and Advance Health Care Directives. In 2018, Barbara gave presentations on “Five Important Things to Know in Preparing your Estate Plan,” to wealth management clients and also presented “Personal Planning for Persons Diagnosed with Dementia” to professionals and others with a family member who has dementia.

In April 2019, Barbara opened a second office in Oakdale, California, to serve the community in the northern Central Valley and southern Sierra location. Barbara has family members who have been long-time residents of Oakdale and looks forward to growing the Cal Trust and Estate Law practice in this community.



“As Barbara’s client, I valued her judgment in dealing with family conflict, advice on legal strategy, and guidance separating law from emotion.”

—Client, Santa Clara County Post Death Trust and Estate Administration



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