Janis is the founder of The Law Offices of Janis A. Carney, where she focuses her practice on a holistic approach to law, covering many facets, including Elder Law, Estate Planning, Alzheimer’s & Long-Term Care Planning, Asset Protection, Medi-Cal planning, VA benefits planning, Trust Administration, and Probate Administration. Janis assists clients of all ages and stages from young families to the end stages of life. Janis is an expert in assisting elderly, disabled, or chronically ill, she is able to assess their situation and come up with a plan that stands up to their unique needs. Janis attended law school in her late 30’s as a wife and mother of two, and after watching both of her parents pass away. Janis has gone through the process of dealing with the issues of aging, care and death with her parents and in-laws first hand. Her experience in her own family has given Janis insight and drive to jump in and fill a need for human kind by creating better plans that not only protect assets, but helps plan for a better quality of life for us as we age. She excelled academically at Santa Clara University Law School, where she won competitions in client-counseling by utilizing her skills in listening, identifying issues and prioritizing responses, skills she uses today as an elder law counselor and attorney-at-law. She has a deep understanding and concern for clients who are caring for a chronically ill spouse or parent, or who want to plan for their own future care. Ms. Carney asks her clients what they want to happen when they die, what they want to happen if they don’t die and what happens if they get Alzheimer’s disease. These questions really ensure that the client is thinking realistically about the hard decisions and is able to plan accordingly with their wishes.
Mrs. Carney has been recognized as one of the top five percent of elder law attorneys in Northern California every year since 2006 and was recognized by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization as a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law in 1995. In 2005, she became the first Certified Elder Law Attorney in Santa Clara County.
Today Janis’s passion is helping people to get the most out of what they have and plan for their future in the most effective way possible. Her holistic approach to providing a care path along with legal documents sets her aside from others in planning and gives her clients far more than they would get from a basic Estate Planning Attorney. Janis is a resource to many and as a student of life is constantly learning and growing as an attorney and as a person.
Janis is a founder of N3AP - National Alliance of Attorneys for Alzheimer’s Planning - a group of attorney’s across the U.S. dedicated to making an impact on issues related to long-term care planning for families affected by Alzheimer's.
For years, I heard my mom, Janis A. Carney, talk about the need for estate planning and the difficulties families encounter when a loved one develops a serious and debilitating illness unexpectedly. Everyone is affected by these arcs in life. My own family is no exception. My mother-in-law suffered a stroke in 2009, transforming her from a vibrant woman who could still ski black diamonds at the age of 69, into someone who needed intensive care and assistance with daily living. Within a few years, it became apparent that her primary care-giver, her husband/my father-in-law, was experiencing dementia, and his ability to care for her, their home, and their finances was beyond his capacity.
During the years that followed, I became acutely aware of the need for trusted and caring advisors in this area, the lack of resources available, and the growing need for attorneys and others who specialize in helping families navigate the process.
I am passionate about helping others and healthcare. I have a Master’s in Public Health, and went to Law School specifically to work in this field. In 2006, I began my legal career at Hanson Bridgett LLP, a mid-sized law firm in downtown San Francisco. There I specialized in long-term care and healthcare law, assisting corporate clients with residency agreements, navigating health care reform, medical staff issues, and physician contracting. When one of my largest clients, Sutter Health, was hiring, and I joined their team, honing my drafting and negotiation skills, while assisting hospitals and physicians with their delivery of services throughout the bay area. With the past 13 years’ legal experience, the transition to join my mom’s law firm seemed like a natural fit, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to expand my expertise to help families.
I earned my J.D. and M.P.H. from Tulane University in New Orleans, and my B.A. from Colgate University in New York. I am member of the California bar.
I am married, with two young children, a dog, and a home in Oakland. Together, we enjoy being outdoors, and you can usually find us either boating on the water or skiing in the mountains, depending on the season.
I am married, with three adult children. When not working, I enjoy spending time with family, staying connected with friends, and traveling, especially to Paris. I have an avid interest in interior design and the arts. I worked as a medical technologist in clinical chemistry, hematology, and research before going to law school, then started my legal career practicing civil litigation. After a few years I chose to be full time mom and did some interior design work on the side. In time I wanted to resume my legal career in a positive and supportive way to help people and families navigate the legal issues that impact their lives, families and future plans. That’s why I chose trust and estate law. I have personally experienced what it means to serve as the trustee of a family trust navigating the legalities of trust administration and understand how important it is for clients to work with a lawyer who understands their wishes, fears and needs to plan for the future.
After admission to the California Bar, I practiced as a litigator representing clients in cases involving legal and medical malpractice, product liability, personal injuries and deaths, construction defects, real estate issues and contract disputes.
I have had the pleasure of working as a trust and estates attorney with Janis A. Carney since 2017. I enjoy working with our clients and the other members of our firm creating the estate plans our clients desire and helping guide them through their long-term planning goals along with assisting them in resolving any issues or problems they are facing.
I earned a law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law in Santa Clara, California, and a B.S. in Medical Technology from the University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Medicine in Omaha, Nebraska.
I received scholarships to study law at Southwestern Law School. I served as a Children's Rights Advocate, Teaching Assistant, Dean's Fellow, Judicial Extern to the Honorable Richard M. Neiter, and Law Review Associate Editor during law school. In my final year at Southwestern, I served as a Law Clerk at the Superior Court, assisting low-income families with difficult family law matters.
I became interested in estate planning during law school. I had the opportunity to study the subject under a very experienced attorney, and decided to focus my own practice on this particular area of the law. I graduated Magna Cum Laude with Public Service Distinction from Southwestern in 2013, and was offered a Law Professor position at Southwestern immediately following law school. I also passed the California State Bar Exam in 2013.
After my teaching fellowship at Southwestern, I started my own estate planning practice. I practiced at the Law Office of Elizabeth Mackey-Sall in the San Francisco Bay Area, until 2020. I also worked as an Estates Attorney at Legato Law and assisted Barulich Dugoni & Suttman with a complex tax case. I joined Ambrecht & Associates in 2020, which later merged into DT Law Partners, LLP. I practiced advanced estate and tax planning at Ambrecht & Associates as well as DT Law Partners, LLP as a Senior Estates Attorney.
I joined the Law Offices of Janis Carney in 2022. I practice estate planning—including for complex matters, trust administration, and probate law. In my free time, I enjoy international travel and exercise of all types.
In 2022, I co-authored “The Future for Family Business Estate Planning: Integrating Family Dynamics in the Planning Process” in the California Tax Lawyer. I serve as the Articles Chair of the California Lawyers Association Estate and Gift Tax Committee.
One of our goals for the residents we serve is for them to enjoy a high quality of life. We know that a healthy local community is important for our clients, and we work toward that end in everything that we do. The saying “It takes a Village” couldn’t ring more true.
We recognize the importance in human connection and serving as well as leading with our hearts. We hope that our intentions show in our interactions with not only our clients, but all interactions.
Cheers to never settling for meritocracy and each of us living our best possible life in any given situation.
At the law offices of Janis A. Carney, we take a unique approach to enhancing the quality of our clients' lives.
Our objective is to use the depth of our experience and legal knowledge to create a supportive approach to resolve our clients’ concerns and protect their legal interests, while preserving harmony in their families, lives, and relationships.
Our goal is to assist our clients in every stage of their lives including finding and maintaining quality health and personal care, and ensuring that all legal and financial documents are in order. We counsel family members regarding the difficulties of navigating the legal process for the mentally ill, incapacitated, and disabled. We will advise families in the life and death issues that they may face. At the Law Offices of Janis A. Carney, we are champions for the elderly and their families.