Meet the Team
Kirsten Howe, Esq.
Founder and Managing Partner
For more than 20 years, individuals and families in Walnut Creek, California and the surrounding areas have trusted Absolute Trust Counsel Managing Partner Kirsten Howe and her team to help them secure their legacy.
Uniquely qualified to create individualized estate plans, Kirsten and her team provide focused counsel on estate planning, trust administration, probate, Medi-Cal planning, special needs planning, and other estate-related issues.
“I began my law career as a business planning attorney, but soon realized that I was most passionate about estate planning and elder law. I founded Absolute Trust Counsel as a firm dedicated exclusively to providing full-scope, client-centered estate planning services and I’m very proud of the specialized counsel we’re able to provide to families as they plan for their futures.”
She earned her law degree cum laude from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a B. S. in Biology from the University of Michigan. While in law school, she was a member of the Thurston Society and managing editor of The Hastings Law Journal.
A noted speaker on estate planning issues, Kirsten is a member of the Trust and Estates Section of the California State Bar, and the Estate Planning and Probate, Elder Law, and the Women’s Sections of the Contra Costa County Bar. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Estate Planning Council Diablo Valley and is a member of the Robert G. McGrath Chapter of American Inns of Court.
Madison has been an esteemed member of the Absolute Trust Counsel team and our associate attorney since 2019. Her extensive and diverse background of legal experience was built off years of working her way up from intern to attorney at law. While Madison worked with various firms in different areas of the law, it was her passion for helping seniors, individuals, and families protect their legacies and prepare for the future that ultimately became her focus for practice as an attorney. Absolute Trust Counsel clients love working with Madison for her commitment to maintaining high levels of communication. She takes great pride in getting to know every person who walks through the door incorporating their goals, concerns, values, and feedback into every service provided.
Madison earned her Juris Doctor degree in 2017 from John F. Kennedy University School of Law. While at John F. Kennedy, she served as a member of the Elder Law Clinic, working to interview clients and help draft related estate planning documents. Before earning her J.D., Madison graduated from California State University, East Bay, in March of 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and a Minor in Criminal Justice Administration.
Madison is currently a member of East Bay Trusts and Estates Lawyers, the East County Senior Coalition, the membership chair for the Tri-Valley Estate Planning Council, and the chair of the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the National Aging in Place Council.
“I love working with clients and finding customized solutions to fit their unique trust and estate needs. We all know it can be a struggle to keep up with the ever-changing estate laws, and there is just so much that people don’t know, so I truly enjoy teaching clients about their options. It’s a thrill helping them navigate the legal system, demystifying their journey, so they fully understand why it’s so important to have a comprehensive plan in place. I’m so thankful for the team at Absolute Trust Counsel. We truly are a family and see our clients that way too. I appreciate the mentorship and guidance that Kirsten and the team provide daily to help me grow, excel, and go outside of my comfort zone.”
Sandy has more than 14 years of experience working as a paralegal with estate planning law firms.
“I enjoy working at Absolute Trust Counsel because it is a firm with heart and compassion, which is very important for the type of law that we practice.”
She attended UC Santa Barbara and earned her bachelor’s degree from Cal State Hayward.
Absolute Trust Counsel is committed to providing the community of Walnut Creek with tools that make it easy to understand trust administration and estate planning, making the process pleasant, convenient, and efficient. As part of that effort, Kara takes the lead in coordinating our community seminars and other education programs. Kara brings over 20 years of experience supporting corporate executives in sales, marketing, business development, account management, and more, which has made her a dedicated team player and creative problem solver.
“From the moment I met with Kirsten and the rest of the team, it was clear they are a firm that leads with compassion and empathy in everything they do. It is an honor to be a part of such an admirable and highly regarded team. I’m proud to support the growth of Absolute Trust Counsel.”
Kara received her BA in Business Management with a focus on Marketing from Golden Gate University and completed additional studies in International Business and Marketing at San Diego State University.
Every member of the Absolute Trust Counsel team plays a role in making our client’s experience a positive one. As our Resource Manager, Denette makes sure all firm projects and processes run efficiently so that we’re able to deliver the highest levels of service.
Denette also assists our clients as they finalize their estate planning documents, ensuring that all paperwork is completed and filed properly.
“I enjoy working for someone I admire and respect and at a company where we truly work as a team and care about our clients.”
Jessica joined us in December 2015 as our administrative assistant. She was a recent graduate (summa cum laude) from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo with a B.A. in History and a minor in Political Science. While attending classes during her senior year there, she worked at a local law firm and realized that she wanted to pursue a career as a paralegal.
While working for us as our admin, she attended classes at night to earn her paralegal certificate. In June 2016, with certificate in hand, we were pleased to offer her the opportunity for which she had been working so hard.
“I feel very lucky to work with a team where everyone’s ideas are heard and valued. We are constantly collaborating to improve our processes to create a better experience for our clients.”
Katelyn joined the Absolute Trust Counsel team as Case Manager in late 2021 after graduating from Sonoma State with a B.A. in Psychology. Katelyn was no ordinary student graduating Summa Cum Laude after only three years. While there, she enjoyed volunteering with a variety of different groups to get hands-on experience relating to the concepts from her classes.
“I am excited to work with such a kind and caring team. From the moment I began working here, it was clear to see everyone is dedicated to creating the best experience for clients with kindness and compassion that makes their decisions easier to understand.”
A Bay Area native, Katelyn has always been passionate about forming relationships with the people in her community. She is excited to continue to do so through her work with Absolute Trust Counsel.
Suzette joined our team as an Administrative Assistant in late 2021. She has earned her bachelor’s degree in Advertising and Marketing from San Jose State University. She has worked for several large bay area technology companies and more recently owned her own business. She enjoys assisting clients and giving them a positive experience with the firm.
“I am happy to work for a firm where all employees feel that they’re valued members of the team and have a passion to help clients protect their families.”
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