At the Asset Protection & Elder Law Center, we are committed to representing our clients with integrity, hard work, and highly personal legal counsel. We strive to make sure you understand your options by explaining complex legal matters in real English, not “Legalese.” Then, we work closely with you to design and implement a customized plan to address all of your concerns and help you achieve short and long-term goals. We represent individuals, families and businesses, including corporations and professional partnerships, both domestic and foreign. We have represented clients locally, nationwide and internationally, from Europe to Asia and beyond. Our practice includes all aspects of Estate Planning, Domestic and Offshore Asset Protection, Business Planning/Incorporation and Medi-Cal planning. We take pride in the fact that the bulk of our new business comes from the referrals of existing clients. We are also different from most Orange County law firms in that we do not operate under the traditional “hourly billing” model, where clients are billed in six-minute increments, or sent an invoice for each email, phone call, or fax that crosses our desk. Instead, we operate under a flat-fee model, which means you pay one price—no matter how many times you need to call or how many hours we invest in your case (litigation excluded). This reflects our belief that clients should have access to great representation in a way that is straightforward, equitable and affordable.


Asset Protection, Estate Planning, Medi-Cal Planning and Business Incorporation

Unlike many traditional lawyers, attorney Patrick Phancao began his career abroad. Having been raised in Europe, Asia and Africa, traveling has always been a part of his life. After law school, when the opportunity arose to act as the Assistant Legal Counsel to a French Bank based abroad, he took on the challenge. He worked as the Bank’s Assistant Corporate Counsel for a year, where he learned a great deal about the financial industry. When he came back to California, Mr. Phancao was offered a position as Legal Counsel to a Supplemental Nutrients Company in Los Angeles. There, he became acquainted with the previous owner who had a wide range of legal needs. In his year and a half at the company, Mr. Phancao received a great deal of legal exposure in the following areas of the law—Patents and Trademarks, Corporate Governance, and Asset Protection to name a few. A few months back and in full practice, Mr. Phancao set the highest bond in California history in the White Collar Crime Division in the Superior Court of Los Angeles. He also participated in the biggest individual tax case of 2003. Given results like this, affluent individuals, families and businesses in both California and Florida began seeking Mr. Phancao’s counsel on all aspects of Asset Protection and Estate Planning, particularly complex matters. He soon realized that many of his clients, particularly baby boomers, needed counsel in the areas of Elder Law and Medi-Cal eligibility. He set out to change the landscape in this area as well, helping seniors and the people who love them take the proper steps to safeguard their life savings against the high cost of long-term care. Mr. Phancao then partnered with Ms. Shaffer to further strengthen his capabilities in this complicated and increasingly important arena. The two of them started a boutique law firm in Irvine, California specializing in Estate Planning, Asset Protection, Business Planning and Succession, and Medicaid/Medi-Cal Planning.


Estate Planning, Probate Litigation, and Trustee Administration

Attorney Shadi Shaffer completed her Bachelor of Arts in Law & Society at the University of California, Santa Barbara. The following year, she went on to complete her Masters Certificate while studying abroad in Spain. Attorney Shaffer thereafter completed her Juris Doctorate degree in San Diego, California in 2002 and was proudly admitted to the State Bar of California in November 2002. Prior to her legal career, Attorney Shaffer had an extensive and diverse work history, which helped her gain skills that have proven invaluable to her legal practice. As an Attorney, she worked for the underserved at the San Diego Labor Board. She then joined a legal defense firm where she represented large insurance companies and hotels located throughout California. Shortly after, Attorney Shaffer opened her own firm so she could provide clients with exceptional legal representation and personalized client service of a different caliber than she had experienced thus far. She started the Asset Protection & Elder Law Center with her like-minded partner Patrick P. Phancao, in an effort to build a law practice dedicated to providing the level of sophisticated legal representation one would expect at a large firm combined with the personal attention of a boutique firm. To date, the firm receives the majority of its business through referrals, which shows the commitment and quality representation the two partners have provided to their clients. Since its formation, the Asset Protection & Elder Law Center and its staff have shown an uncompromising commitment to client service and responsiveness. Throughout its growth, Attorney Shaffer continues to provide individual attention, sound counsel, and cost effective representation. Attorney Shaffer is active in the community, both here and abroad. She has volunteered overseas helping orphaned children. She has worked with at risk teens through the Orange County Bar Association, continues to provide numerous pro bono hours to her community, and has served as a Big Sister with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Orange County. In 2009, Attorney Shaffer also became an active and contributing Board Member of the Pacific Youth Symphony Ensemble of Orange County. Attorney Shaffer’s passion is educating clients about estate planning and the law in general. She strives to provide individuals and families with an estate plan that will act as a foundation to protect everyone they love and everything they own. Her warmth and passion toward estate planning has forged long-lasting relationships with her clients, many of whom regard her as counsel and friend.

Check out the California Business Journal article on Shadi Shaffer

Read the magazine article, click here.

Ruth Brissenden

Attorney After 18 years in the hospitality industry, Ruth was looking for a change in her professional career. She had spoken to countless people advising her that with her outgoing personality and analytical mind, a job in the legal industry seemed like a perfect fit. As with most things in life, she took a leap of faith, and jumped headfirst. Once she graduated, she had the opportunity to practice in a boutique estate planning firm. The Asset Protection Center was lucky to acquire her services in early 2012. She has been an intricate part of the team, bringing her expertise, caring attitude, and attention to detail to our firm, and to our clients.

Carol Ivancik

Legal Assistant/Client Liaison

Carol came to us in November 2016.  She worked for many years in the legal field before taking some time off to raise children.  Now with her boys in high school and college she returns to law excited to be back in the field she loves.  She is passionate about helping people and is often the first person our clients talk to here at our firm.