Probate Paralegal

(562) 694-4900/Office
(800) 525-1152/Office
(562) 694-4904/Facsimile


Deena M. Updegraff has 30+ years experience as a senior-level paralegal with working knowledge of all aspects of California State and Federal civil litigation, California State and United States appeals, personal injury, estate planning, probate, conservatorship, guardianship and trust proceedings, family law, and insurance defense litigation. Deena is entrusted by attorneys with drafting of all pleadings and documents required from inception of case through trial and appeal. She is detail-oriented with excellent research and drafting skills, exercises independent judgment and decision-making abilities with a high level of confidence, and is dedicated to upholding the ethical standards of the legal profession.
Deena is proficient in and possesses Westlaw and Jurisearch research programs. All pleadings and documents are prepared in Microsoft Word format, with form preparation in Adobe Acrobat format. She transmits all documents electronically to the handling attorney in final form. Deena is also available to assist in-house staff with procedural requirements.


Deena M. Updegraff provides on-demand paralegal services exclusively to lawyers and their clients. Whether you need quick research, help on a specific project, or ongoing assistance, Deena strengthens your legal team as an experienced, affordable and fast-responding team member. Deena differs from traditional temporary or contract help, because she establishes relationships with every client, and is readily available to assess your needs and determine the best strategy for your project.


Deena M. Updegraff works with a number of attorneys readily available to supervise legal document preparation for the general public, allowing Deena to interview clients and prepare the forms and pleadings required for in pro per parties to present precise and effective documents to the Court. Legal document preparation by an experienced attorney-supervised paralegal, at fees the public can afford, is becoming a viable money-saving choice for many Americans who have been shut out of the legal system because of high attorney fees that can range from $250 to $650 per hour. For example, Deena has assisted clients with over 100 uncontested divorce cases, eliminating the need for a Court appearance, at very reasonable rates. She also prepares all forms required to complete conservatorship and guardianship proceedings, probates of wills and appointments of administrators in probates with no wills. Deena has also assisted numerous clients in the prosecution and defense of personal injury matters, and general civil litigation in California State and Federal Courts.

If your case requires that you be represented by an attorney, Deena will refer you to a lawyer or firm who specializes in your particular matter, with no charge to you for the referral.


“We conclude that given the appropriate instructions and supervision, paralegals, whether employees or independent contractors, are valuable and necessary members in the effective and efficient practice of law.” In re: Opinion 24 of the Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law, 128 N.S. 114 (1992). Encouraging the use of lower cost paralegals rather than attorneys whenever possible “encourages cost-effective delivery of legal services . . .” Missouri v. Jenkins, 491 U.S. Ct. 2463, 2471, fn. 10.


Deena M. Updegraff is not an attorney. This website is designed for informational purposes only and is not to be construed as rendering legal advice or accepting fees for legal advice. The laws of the State of California prohibit paralegals from offering legal advice and services directly to the public, and such practice would be considered the unauthorized practice of law. Deena M. Updegraff cannot give you legal advice, tell you what your legal rights or remedies are, represent you in Court, nor tell you how to testify in Court. Deena M. Updegraff reserves the right to deny services to anyone without cause.

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