Thomas A. Haeuser
Thomas Haeuser has been a lawyer in Sonoma since 1974. A pillar of the community for 46 years, Tom helps make our town a special place for businesses and families to thrive across multiple generations. He started as an associate with Bob Parmelee and never looked back. HVP lawyers and clients alike rely on Tom’s legacy of influence and learned legal counsel to resolve thorny business issues and assist clients with the transfer of family wealth and business interests.
Focus on Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law
Tom is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law, State of California, Board of Legal Specialization, as well as an Accredited Estate Planner certified by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. Highly regarded by peers and clients, Tom meets the complex estate planning needs of families and individuals. He handles trusts, wills, and estates cases throughout Northern California and adeptly navigates the challenges implicit in guardianships, conservatorships, probate, and all critical aspects of estate planning.
Legal Perspectives Inform Estate Planning Needs
Tom takes care to advise his clients on how changes in the law may impact their estate plans. Most recently, Tom has been providing legal counsel on how Proposition 19 impacts property transfers between family members and changes property tax rules. He devotes his practice to developing and safeguarding estate planning and business strategies as a trusted advisor on his clients’ most sensitive matters. Tom’s thoughtful, conscientious approach helps clients make informed decisions to resolve legal issues and problems in their business and personal affairs, for those with substantial assets and individuals with more modest means. He approaches estate planning by helping clients evaluate their end goals, such as whether to keep a business in the family or monetize the assets. He advises on options and familial concerns to customize each client’s estate planning strategy.
Local Knowledge Bolsters Business Law Expertise
As a general practitioner, Tom’s practice spans business formations and sales, real estate sales and transactions, construction law, and non-profit and tax exempt corporation law. His extensive local knowledge informs Tom’s advice and counsel and gives his clients an edge in starting, growing, maintaining, and transitioning their businesses. In the course of his practice, Tom has preserved a legacy of more than 100 years of lawyering, helped several generations grow and prosper. Today he continues to focus on helping his clients and the HVP team move forward and succeed in their business ventures and personal goals.
Attune to the ever-evolving tapestry of the law, Tom’s long-standing community service experience informs various aspects of his legal practice, including his counsel for nonprofit organizations. Tom’s legal memberships include the California State Bar Association, the Sonoma County Bar Association, and the Redwood Empire Estate Planning Counsel. He served on the Trust and Estate Section Steering Committee of the Sonoma County Bar Association. Tom parlays his years of involvement in the legal profession into a strong working knowledge of the local court system and the strengths and weaknesses of opposing counsel.
Over the years, Tom has selflessly helped build and sustain the community where he lives and works. He was recently appointed to a 3-year term as Vice Chair of the Sonoma Library Commission. A long-time advisor/volunteer for Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH), Tom currently serves as President of the board of directors. Tom is also a member of the Professional Advisory Group of Community Foundation Sonoma County and a past Secretary/Treasurer of its Sonoma affiliate, Sonoma Valley Fund.
Life Beyond the Firm
Tom raised his family in Sonoma where he still lives with his wife. A true family man, for many years, Tom was in charge of the Sonoma Fourth of July Parade and he was the chair of the First Annual Building Fund for St. Francis Solano School, further contributing to the fabric of his community.
Hastings College of the Law, J.D., 1973
University of California at Davis, A.B., 1968
Member, California State Bar Association
Member, Sonoma County Bar Association
Member, Redwood Empire Estate Planning Counsel
Tom continues to serve as a community leader, including:
- Community Foundation Sonoma County Professional Advisory Group
- Friends in Sonoma Helping (FISH), President, Board of Directors
- Finance Committee and Newsletter
- Sonoma Library Commission, Vice Chair
Tom has served in community leadership roles throughout his career, including:
- City of Sonoma Parks and Recreation Commission
- Friends of Sebastiani Theatre
- General Vallejo Memorial Association
- Sonoma City Opera
- Sonoma Community Center, Board of Directors and President
- 4th of July Committee
- Concert Series Committee
- Sonoma County Bar Association
- Board of Directors; Trust and Estate Section Chair
- Sonoma State Historic Park Association
- Sonoma Valley Chamber of Commerce
- Sonoma Valley Visitors Bureau
- Francis Solano School Capital Fund Drive
- United Way of Sonoma-Mendocino-Lake
- Vintage House Senior Center
- Capital Fund Drive Committee