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ONE-ON-ONE with Dena Klotz


Dena Klotz, Senior Counsel and Managing Attorney at Lagerlof, LLP in Encino, specializes in estate planning and post-death trust administration and probate.

After graduating from UCLA, Dena attended Pepperdine University, School of Law. She began her career practicing in the area of estate planning. Dena took time off from practicing law to prioritize her family and raise her three children.

Dena’s personal experiences of parenting, marriage, and familial issues led her to a journey of self-discovery and curiosity motivating her to earn a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy. Dena worked as a therapist, specializing in conflict resolution and communication within families and couples.

Passionate about helping people and utilizing all her skills, Dena returned to practicing law. Dena’s relatability allows her to connect with clients on a personal level, understanding their unique circumstances while assisting them in creating estate plans to protect and pass down their family wealth or navigate trust administration following the passing of a loved one. 

Tell us about your typical clients.

That’s tough because I don’t have a “typical client.” I work with people from all walks of life. In general, estate planning spares loved ones from unnecessary stress during an already difficult time. Specifically, it avoids a lengthy and costly probate process, ensures individuals that their wishes are carried out and assets are distributed according to their preferences, navigates the complexities of intergenerational wealth, and can minimize or eliminate estate taxes.

I work with clients in all life stages. I love working with couples who just got married or welcomed their first child, and have many clients seeking assistance have just settled into retirement. I have clients with modest assets and net worth along with clients of extreme high net worth who require intricate and sophisticated planning strategies.

The flip side to my estate planning practice is my post-death practice. This includes both a probate practice and trust administration. Trust administration is the process of managing and distributing the assets according to the terms of a trust after someone has passed away. Many individuals fail to do any trust administration when a spouse dies that can create a number of issues when the second spouse dies. I have clients referred to me with big issues because either they did not do any trust administration at the first spouse’s death or the attorney who did it did not specialize in it and did a lousy job.

How has having a Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy along with a real estate license and your law degree helped you most in your practice? 

I possess a unique skill set that benefits my clients. My MFT degree allows me to understand my clients’ emotional needs and family dynamics, as well as provides me with tools to help guide them through this process. Additionally, I easily facilitate open and honest conversations about sensitive topics, and my clients feel safe, heard, and understood.

As a real estate broker and someone who worked as a realtor, I understand and guide my clients on property transfer issues, tax implications, property law, and other issues surrounding real property. Most clients own at least a primary residence, and many individuals own rental and commercial properties.

My education and experiences allow me to truly counsel my clients and address their legal, emotional, and practical concerns with empathy, expertise, knowledge, and professionalism.

You love the outdoors. What activities are your favorite and how do they help you provide work-life balance?

Cycling (mountain and road) is not just a hobby; it is vital to my work-life balance. Cycling forces me to disconnect from the noise of the world and be fully present in the moment. It allows me to clear my head and recharge. It has also been instrumental in helping me overcome my fears. Conquering a steep hill on the road or navigating rough terrain on a mountain bike has been instrumental in helping me overcome my fears and tackle difficult challenges. Cycling enhances my physical and mental health, prevents burnout, and empowers me giving me the courage and determination to be a better person and professional. 

Dena Klotz

Senior Counsel / Managing Attorney


(818) 804-4691

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