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Samantha S. Smith, Esq.

Samantha S. Smith, Esq.


Samantha Sterling Smith, a partner at NM Law, is a certified legal specialist in the areas of Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Law. Not only is she an excellent resource for both trustees and beneficiaries in search of sound advice, but unlike many trust attorneys, she is also an experienced, dynamic, and skilled litigator, thus a powerful advocate for her clients in the courtroom, be they, plaintiffs or defendants. This makes her an ideal choice for individuals who anticipate that trust or probate issues may lead to litigation and want one excellent attorney to see them through any and all phases of the process. Samantha is also thoroughly familiar with the complexities of real estate law, not only through her legal education and experience but from working for mortgage, escrow, and title companies throughout her high school and undergraduate studies. This is a valuable advantage for her trust and probate clients, for whom issues around the sale or distribution of real property often arise. Samantha understands that being involved in a legal dispute can be a highly stressful event in someone’s life, and she brings all her knowledge, experience, and skill to identifying, solving, and, when possible, avoiding legal problems.

Holding herself to the highest professional and ethical standards, Samantha’s goal is to provide clarity and superlative advice to people who are in confusing and sometimes intimidating situations. In keeping with her service-oriented approach, she provides a cost-free initial phone consultation to potential clients to help them understand their legal issues. As Samantha explains: “Many of our clients tell me that they feel as if a weight has been lifted off their shoulders once I’ve taken the time to really listen to them and then put their problem in clear perspective. Hearing that reaffirms why I became an attorney.” She strives to achieve the best possible outcomes for her clients, which requires a strong work ethic, meticulous attention to detail, thorough research of relevant issues, a vigorously proactive approach, genuine compassion, and a talent for effective collaboration with colleagues in a team setting.  She has received kudos not only from her clients but from her peers, having been nominated for five successive years to the rolls of the Super Lawyers Rising Star association, an exclusive list of top-rated attorneys in specialized fields.

While exceptionally committed to her career, Samantha understands the critical importance of balance in one’s life. She takes time out from work for running, spin classes, a romp at the dog beach with her two Australian Shepherds, and, whenever possible, traveling abroad with her husband. She also has an enduring passion for effecting change in her community; thus she volunteers on a regular basis for organizations like the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County, and the Festival of Children Foundation. A native Californian, Samantha was awarded her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (with an emphasis in Real Estate and Entrepreneurship), and her law degree from California Western School of Law where she was the recipient of academic excellence awards in recognition of her consistently outstanding work. She is admitted to the bar in both California and Nevada and continues to hone her skills and knowledge, most recently with successful completion of the California Legal Specialization Exam.


  • Chapman University (B.A., Business Administration, 2011)
  • California Western School of Law (J.D., 2014)


  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of Nevada
  • Member, OCBA Trusts and Estates Section
  • Member, OCBA Young Lawyers Division


  • Conservatorship – Represent clients who want to obtain a conservatorship for their parent or other family member with diminished capacity.
  • Trust Litigation Dispute: Settled the case to invalidate the amendment that sought to disinherit our client and restore his 50% interest in mom’s home.
  • Trust Litigation Dispute: Represented a beneficiary who wanted to buy-out her sibling’s share of the Trust real property.  Her co-trustee would not agree so we filed a petition for instructions and obtained a Court order allowing our client to complete the buy-out transaction.
  • Trust Litigation and Financial Elder Abuse: Represent a beneficiary who was disinherited from her father’s estate as a result of her brother removing their father from a dementia care facility center and having him sign a trust and will after he had been diagnosed with dementia.  We recorded lis pendens against the trust real properties to prevent brother from being able to sell them. We issued over 10 subpoenas to obtain records and prepare for depositions and trial.
  • Petition to Modify Irrevocable Trust into a Special Needs Trust: Represent co-trustees who desire to modify an irrevocable trust into a special needs trust to protect the beneficiary from being disqualified from receiving governmental assistance benefits.
  • Petition for Approval of Trustee Accounting: Represent trustees and attorney-in-fact to prepare trust and power of attorney accounting to file with the Court for approval.  Trustees typically have a right to have their accounting approved by the Court, so the fees are paid by the Trust.  Getting Court approval protects trustees for future claims by beneficiaries or other interested persons that they breached the trust or their fiduciary duties.
  • Probate Proceedings: Successfully administered an estate worth $4,500,000 by helping client sell six real properties and obtain access to various cash accounts held in the name of the decedent’s various business entities.
Samantha S. Smith, Esq.


  • NM Law is an excellent law firm to work with! Noelle and her team are very thorough and knowledgeable. They explained the estate planning process to us and kept us informed every step of the way. We…

    Monique S
  • I greatly appreciate Noelle’s assistance in making difficult decisions. When she provides counsel I know she puts herself and her family in my shoes. I feel comfortable knowing my attorney has analyzed every angle and leaves out…

    Cinda H.
  • For those of you that are looking for the perfect attorney to handle any of your estate issues, well Noelle is the one for you! I can’t say enough about Noelle! She recently handled a case for…

    Suzie F.
  • One of the most important things you can do for your family is have a good Living Trust done by an attorney you can trust to take care of your business. I highly recommend Noelle Minto, an…

    Sandy Z.
  • Working with Noelle on litigation and transactional matters was truly a valuable experience for me. Not only was she a great communicator with clients and personnel, but zealous and passionate about her clients. I would recommend her…

    Darren S.
  • I’ve known Noelle as a colleague and friend for close to seven years. Working “across the aisle” in the fast-paced and partisan world of LA County politics, I found Noelle remarkable for her ability to quickly grasp…

    Kerjon L.
  • Noelle and her team were professional, courteous and diligent with my case. It was a small matter but they took it as though it was a large one. They reached a settlement quickly and very little effort…

    Doug S.
  • After my mother’s death, The bank locked all her accounts and the insurance company was playing games. Our family lawyer never call me back. I called Noelle for help! My paper work was not in order at…

    Randy B.
  • Noelle is awesome. Handled everything I needed in a timely manner. Very professional!

    Tammy W.
  • I have worked with Noelle on my Estate Planning and was very impressed by the way she handled my business. Noelle was extremely professional and available for all my questions. I would highly recommend anyone looking for…

    Zac C.
  • I have worked with many attorneys, and there are very few that I would ever recommend. Noelle and her team have gone above and beyond to help all of our clients that we have referred to her….

    Robert Sousa
  • I was first referred to Noelle Minto by my family law attorney Mike Monarch to provide oversight on my husband’s Trust conforming with our Post Marital Agreement. Her outstanding legal insights helped me to feel secure that…

    Sharon McCubbin
  • Noelle and Samantha and their team are amazing. They are extremely knowledgeable and professional (they are the best). They have and continue to support me and my family while dealing with my parents Will and Trust. Samantha…

    Greg Bishop
  • I had a great experience with Noelle and Samantha at NM Law. They were fast, clear and got the result we wanted under budget. I am very happy and impressed.

    John Arens
  • NM Law is an exceptional place to work! Our office is located in the City of Tustin, off the 55 Freeway, between the 5 and 405 Freeways. Our main cross streets are Redhill Avenue and Edinger Avenue…

    Samantha Smith
  • The N.W Law team in Tustin Ca was instrumental in achieving a just result in our family trust dispute. We had the privilege of being represented by Samantha Smith and her staff, during one of my saddest…

    Herman baldonado
  • Amazing service. So happy with the whole team!

    Mitchell Hilde
  • So glad to work with this team of professionals

    Noelle Minto
  • As an attorney who has used two other wills & trusts lawyers prior to seeing Noelle, I have a pretty good idea of what to expect and what it should cost. I recommend Noelle to anyone who…

    Lynne Boisineau
  • Highly recommend NM Law. I recently worked with Noelle and her team on my family trust and the process could not have gone smoother. Very knowledgeable and professional. I have since recommended all of my family members…

    Nathan Perkins
  • A very professional approach and action to fulfill our personal requirements

    Waldo ortega
  • My husband and I decided to update our 12 year old trust. We initally had a call with Noelle, and were instantly very comfortable with her approach. Noelle was great to work with, very patient, was willing…

    Cheri Ondatje
  • Vey helpful with good insight to take the proper steps with difficult situations and have my questions answered. Noelle and her team are professional and courteous and great to work with!

    Corine Cojocaru
  • Samantha and the team are professional compassionate and get the job done. She articulates very well what needs to be done. Her and the firm do Probate and Trust at its finest to protect their clients. She…

    Silvana Sarkis
  • I was referred to NM Law after dealing with a myriad of problems in settling a complicated Trust in Riverside County. At the initial meeting, Noelle Minto and Samantha Smith listened to the mess I was in…

    Aleathea Rayburn
  • Love this firm. I’ve worked on a wide range of legal issues with NM law, and the attorneys here are top notch, reasonably priced, and a pleasure to work with. They truly care about each of their…

  • Ms. Minto, I want to thank you and your staff for the courtesy extended to us during our family’s pending emergency deadline. Mr. O’Grady spoke to my brother and gave us his best recommendation regarding my father’s…

    Abraham Torres

Charities We Support

We dedicate pro bono time, volunteer services, and a percentage of our gross revenue to these organizations. In 2023, we sponsored a refugee family of five to come to the United States and start a new life.

Each year our law firm decides as a group which charities to assist with our time, money, and expertise. Please feel free to click on any of the charities below and make a donation of your own.

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