Sterling L. (Terry) Ross, Jr. (of counsel), through his professional corporation, had been associated with Robb & Ross since 1986. Terry now serves in a consulting capacity with Robb and Ross. He represents individual clients in estate planning, trust administration, and probate matters.

Terry is the originator of the Special Needs Trust used in estate planning for families with a disabled child or other family member. He has lectured and written extensively on this subject.

Terry received his BA in political science from Stanford University in 1968 and his J.D. from the University of Michigan in 1971.

He is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law of the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He is the former Chair of the State Bar’s Legal Specialization Advisory Commission on Estate Planning and Trusts (1996); former Chair of the Trusts and Estates Section of the Marin County Bar Association (1986-87); former member of the Executive Committee of the Estate Planning Trust and Probate Section of the State Bar of California (1986-1992); and a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

Terry is a past President of the Youth Law Center, San Francisco (1999); former Board Chair of the Cedars of Marin, providing residential and program services for developmentally disabled adults (2002-2008); Honorary Life Member of ARC (Association for Retarded Citizens) California (1973); and former President of the Mill Valley Tennis Club (1998).

For a number of years Terry has been selected by his peers for inclusion in “The Best Lawyers in America.” In addition, for the past several years Terry has been selected by his peers as a Northern California “Super Lawyer,” placing him in the top 5% of attorneys in Northern California.

    Areas of Practice:
  • Estate Planning
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Administration of Trusts and Estates
  • Probate law
  • Federal Estate and Gift Taxation
    Bar Admissions and Memberships:
  • California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
    Education:
  • Stanford University B.A. – 1968
  • University of Michigan Law School J.D. – 1971
    Publications:
  • Ross, DeYoung & Cohen, “Confrontation: Special Education Placement and the Law,” Exceptional Children, September, 1971.
  • Chandler & Ross, “Zoning Restrictions and the Right to Live in the Community”, The Mentally Retarded Citizen and the Law, Kindred (ed.), The Free Press, 1976, p. 305
  • Ross, “Legal Advocacy Considerations”, Advocacy Systems for Persons With Developmental Disabilities, Research and Training Center in Mental Retardation, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, 1976.
  • Ross, Pruett and Levin, Conservatorships Supplement (Continuing Education of the Bar), November, 1981.
  • Ross, “The Special Needs Trust and Its Use in Estate Planning for Families With Disabled Children”, Estate Planning for the Aged or Incapacitated Client, Practicing Law Institute, 1986.
  • Ross, “The Special Needs Trust and Its Use in Estate Planning for Families With Disabled Children”, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate News, State Bar of California, Spring 1987.
  • Ross, Conservatorship, Trusts and Wills for People with Developmental or Other Disablilities – A Guide for Families, 6th Ed. Protection and Advocacy, Inc. 2000.
  • Ross, “Developments in Special Needs Trust Planning”, Trust Horizons, Summer 1990.
  • Prensky & Ross, “Public Benefit Planning for the Elderly and Disabled”, 1990 USC Probate and Trust Conference, University of Southern California Law Center, October, 1990.
  • Ross, “Sheltering Zebley Retroactive SSI Benefits in Trust”, Clearinghouse Review (National Clearinghouse for Legal Services, Inc.), Vol. 5, Number 10, February 1992.
  • Ross, “The Special Needs Trust,” Future Care Planning – Developing a Program for Future Care Planning for Persons with Mental Disabilities, Government Law Center of Albany Law School and the NYS Office of Mental Health, September 18, 1992.
  • Ross, “Use of Special Needs Trusts To Manage Proceeds of Litigation For A Disabled Minor or Adult”, CEB Civil Litigation Reporter, November 1992. Reprinted in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate News, State Bar of California, Winter 1993.
  • Ross, “The Litigation Special Needs Trust – Recent Developments,” First Annual North Bay Trust Forum, Northern Trust Bank of California, N.A., November 17, 1993.
  • Ross, “Recent Developments in the Litigation Special Needs Trust”, CEB Civil Litigation Reporter, June 1994.
  • California Will Drafting Supplement, (Chapter 23 – Special Needs Trusts) California Continuing Education of the Bar (1995).
  • Ross, “Special Needs Trusts” (Chapter 13), Drafting California Irrevocable Living Trusts, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 3rd ed., 1997.
  • Ross, “Be a Certified Specialist”, California Trusts and Estates Quarterly, State Bar of California, Spring 1998.
  • Ross, “Special Needs Trusts: Drafting Tips and Traps”, The North Bay Trust Forum, Northern Trust Bank of California, N.A., November 19, 1998.
  • Ross, “The Special Needs Trust: A New Wrinkle No More,” Thirty-Sixth Annual Philip E. Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, University of Miami, January, 2002.
  • Ross, “The Evolution of the Special Needs Trust: The First Party / Third Party Dichotomy,” The Twenty-Fourth Annual Estate Planning Institute, UCLA-CEB, June 2002.
  • Ross, “Special Needs Trusts: Updates and Hot Topics,” program materials for presentation to the Estate Planning Trust and Probate Law Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco, March 3, 2010.