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Stephanie C. Nathaniel is the founder of the Law Firm of Stephanie C. Nathaniel and a dedicated attorney at law. Ms. Nathaniel has committed her professional life to helping others and primarily focuses her law practice on assisting clients with their estate planning, surrogacy and reproductive law cases.
Ms. Nathaniel has substantial experience in surrogacy and reproductive law, having assisted intended parents, surrogates, and donors on hundreds of surrogacy and gamete donation cases. She offers step-by-step assistance through every part of the journey so that her clients can rest assured knowing they have someone in their corner helping them every step of the way.
Ms. Nathaniel is likewise knowledgeable of estate planning law and has successfully helped clients with the drafting and preparation of their estate planning documents, including but not limited to wills, trusts, advance healthcare directives, powers of attorney, and more. Ms. Nathaniel provides so much more than just documents – along with passing on wealth and assets, she also helps clients pass on their legacy of values, stories, and lessons learned. She guides clients step-by-step through the estate planning process so that their family stays out of court and out of conflict. In addition, Ms. Nathaniel helps clients become financially organized so that no property falls through the cracks and becomes lost to the state, or results in the family being stuck dealing with probate.
Throughout her life, Ms. Nathaniel has seen how estate plans have failed families time and time again. They either fail to appropriately achieve the client’s goals and objectives, or they come as a surprise and cause turmoil amongst families. These are just a couple of examples of how estate plans and estate planning attorneys can fail families and fail to achieve the client’s intent, but in reality, there are many more ways things can go wrong in the estate planning process. Having recognized these pitfalls in estate planning and seen the havoc they can wreak, Ms. Nathaniel has designed her practice to offer a holistic and personal approach to estate planning that takes into account and considers the realities of her clients’ lives and family dynamics. Her approach offers personal touches that allow families to not only pass on their financial legacy and assets, but also to pass on their personal stories, experiences, and beliefs to their loved ones.
The death of a loved one is an important time to reflect on the good memories and lessons learned through their life experiences, to come together to reflect on their loved one’s life story, and to support one another through this difficult time of losing a close friend, family member, role model and/or confidante. It is not a time that should result in or be consumed by conflict and family discord.
Ms. Nathaniel understands the critical importance of confidentiality in all legal matters and provides heightened protection and security of all sensitive data and privileged information, thereby ensuring discreet legal action and representation. Having represented various high-profile clients in the past, Ms. Nathaniel can prepare non-disclosure agreements for clients who wish to secure the utmost legal protection against the disclosure of confidential information by a third party.
By engaging the representation of our firm, Clients can breathe easy knowing their legal matter will be handled discreetly by qualified hands.
Prior to starting her own solo practice (the Law Firm of Stephanie C. Nathaniel), Ms. Nathaniel worked with a boutique law firm in their Assisted Reproductive division where she practiced surrogacy and reproductive law. Ms. Nathaniel’s passion for helping others, coupled with her background in psychology and demonstrated commitment to excellence in her work product, allowed her to meaningfully and successfully assist clients with their assisted reproductive technology (ART) cases. Her clientele included many high-profile clients, as well as international clients, whom she assisted with building their families through ART by drafting and negotiating surrogacy or gestational carrier contracts, embryo adoption agreements, and gamete (i.e., egg and sperm) donation agreements. She further assisted clients with any and all insurance-related legal issues and secured intended parents’ parental rights both domestically in the United States as well as internationally in their home countries.
Ms. Nathaniel became an expert in all matters related to the surrogacy and gamete donation process, including but not limited to insurance and immigration/travel matters. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she was responsible for obtaining special permission from the United States government to allow her international intended parent clientele to travel into the United States for the birth of their child, to be delivered via a surrogate mother.
Ms. Nathaniel also practiced at a large firm in downtown Los Angeles where she worked in the firm’s Appellate Law division and on the governmental entity litigation team. During her time there, Ms. Nathaniel gained substantial experience handling law and motion and pre- and post-trial strategy at both the state and federal court level, in addition to practicing civil rights defense and defense of California governmental entities and officers. Ms. Nathaniel has also assisted with appellate case strategy and has experience with policy review and compliance.
While completing her JD, Ms. Nathaniel held several sought-after internships, including a summer associate position with the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office, a judicial externship with Justice Jon B. Streeter of the California Appellate Court, First Judicial District, and a judicial externship with the San Francisco Superior Court in the appellate division and the presiding judge’s chambers.