Legal Services for Business, Family and Institutions

The Law Offices of Daniel J. Knight, a Professional Law Corporation is committed to bringing both legal expertise and business experience to your legal matter.

Civil Litigation Group

General Litigation is a very broad term, and general civil law matters may range from contractual disagreements, to property and real estate disputes, to personal injury cases.

Group Lead: Daniel Knight
Group Members: Daniel Knight, Scott Hamblin, Benjamin Bourgault and James Caldwell

First steps are important in determining your legal position and the strengths of various approaches to winning a positive outcome in any dispute.

A consultation with a member of our team is the safest, easiest and fasted way to determine how, when and if you should pursue a legal remedy.

Just call or click the Schedule Consultation button on the left to email or call our local office.

Estate Planning Group

Group Lead: Benjamin Bourgault
Group Members: Craig S. Ainsworth, Dana Ainsworth

Guardianship  •  Will  •  Trust  •  Financial Power of Attorney • (POA) Durable Power of Attorney (POA)  •  Advance Healthcare Directive (AHCD)  •  Beneficiary Designations  •  Succession Plan

Construction Group

Group Lead: Daniel Knight
Group Members: Scott Hamblin, and Benjamin Bourgault

Expert Witness • Alternative Dispute Resolution  •   Defective Design (architectural and engineering   •   Professional Liability   •   Defective Workmanship   •    Delay, Disruption and Prolongation Claims   •    Contractor and Subcontractor Disputes   •   Mechanic’s Liens and Foreclosure Claims   •    Terminations

Real Estate Group

Group Lead: Scott Hamblin
Group Members: Daniel Knight and James Caldwell

Land Use   •   Variances Permits   •   Foreclosures   •   Escrow    •   Contracts

San Luis Obispo

Group Lead: Daniel Knight
Group Members: Scott Hamblin, and Benjamin Bourgault

Central California Office 

Civil litigation refers to court proceedings that involve a non-criminal matter including any pre-trial procedures, trial hearings, and any post-trial activities such as judgment enforcement.. This is a very broad term, and general civil law matters may range from contractual disagreements, to property and real estate disputes, to personal injury cases. Some additional examples include:


Dan J. Knight a Professional Law Corporation

1103 Johnson Ave #H
San Luis Obispo CA 93401 
Phone: 805-316-1180

Our North County offices are located in downtown Templeton next to Hewitt Hardware

Tempelton, California

Main Street Templeton  Office 

North County Office Address:
424 South Main Street 
Templeton CA. 93465


Dan J. Knight a Professional Law Corporation

North County Office Address:
424 South Main Street
Templeton CA. 93465
Phone: 805-316-1180

Remote Office

California Law delivered Across Town or Anywhere by Internet

Our Virtual Office service provide, convenience, fast service confidential personal client meetings, depositions, document signing and the full range of in office capabilities at home, office or on the road. 


Dan J. Knight a Professional Law Corporation

North County Office Address:
424 South Main Street
Templeton CA. 93465
Phone: 805-316-1180

Legal Team

Daniel J. Knight

Principal Attorney – SLO &
Templeton Offices

A “born & raised” San Luis Obispo County native, Dan feels privileged to be an active part of such a strong and vibrant community and to have grown up learning its ins and outs, institutions, relationships and interrelationships.

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Dan started his career by working in his father’s construction business; gaining knowledge from experienced tradespeople about the “right” ways to construct foundations, build residential/commercial structures, and work in the public right-of-way. During high school Dan worked at Pete’s Automotive in Morro Bay, California.
After graduation from high school, Dan started his own one-person

general construction business and, through hard work and tenacity, grew it into a full-service general building and general engineering company. At the same time, Dan went back to school, earned both a bachelors and master’s degree in accounting, and then continued to and graduated from law school, passed the bar and began his career as a licensed attorney. Along the way Dan also obtained his real estate broker’s license.

Dan lives in Atascadero with his wife Shawn (married in 2013), and three precocious children. When not working, Dan enjoys playing rugby at the Prop or Lock positions, weightlifting/kettle bell workouts, endurance backpacking and other outdoors activities. Dan’s goal in his hobbies is to push the body hard enough that it becomes both a physical and mental test of discipline.


Benjamin Bourgault

Associate Attorney –
Templeton Office

Benjamin Bourgault is an Associate Attorney with The Law Offices of Daniel J. Knight, PLC. Ben earned his law degree from San Luis Obispo College of Law in 2020 where he was taught by local legal professionals, including Dan Knight.

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He was also a finalist in the San Luis Obispo Heisler Moot Court, where he argued against government invasions of privacy through personal devices. Ben recognizes the value that local relationships bring to a law firm.

Prior to attending law school, Ben worked in healthcare where he managed the relationships of clients and industry stakeholders. He has a bachelor’s in business administration from San Diego State University and graduated from Paso Robles High School. Ben strives to represent the acumen and work ethic expected of professionals in San Luis Obispo County. He cares for the community and wants to preserve the values that make up life on the Central Coast.

Ben is married to his darling wife, Kelly, who owns a salon with her family in Templeton. When they get a day off together, you’ll find them at their property in Paso Robles, where she walks her Chesapeake Bay Retriever, and he putts along on his 1968 Allis Chalmers (bulldozer).


Craig S. Ainsworth

Of Legal Counsel –
SLO Offices

Craig attended Santa Clara University School of Law from fall 1998 through spring 2001.

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Following his first year of legal studies, where he received honorable distinction as an American Jurisprudence Award recipient for top achievement in the study of real property law, Craig studied comparative legal theory at Magdalen College, Oxford, England. Following his second year studies, Craig interned with the District Attorney’s Office, San Luis Obispo County. Throughout law school, Craig also worked and volunteered at his law school’s community law center, gaining experience under supervising attorneys in the practice areas of consumer law, bankruptcy, immigration and workers’ compensation.

Craig graduated from law school in spring 2001, sat for the summer 2001 Bar Exam, and was admitted to the California State Bar in December 2001. Craig immediately returned to San Luis Obispo where he has since practiced principally in the areas of family law, estate planning, trust and probate law, and civil litigation.


Scott Hamblin

Associate Attorney –
SLO Office

Scott Hamblin is an Associate Attorney with The Law Offices of Daniel J. Knight, PLC. Scott earned his J.D. and Master of Legal Studies degrees from San Luis Obispo College of Law in 2021. 

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In addition to his legal knowledge, Scott brings with him a professional background consisting of two decades worth of military and corporate leadership positions and experience. Scott is a 10-year disabled Navy veteran.

Following his military services, he held multiple corporate leadership and negotiator roles at Hawaiian Airlines and Zodiac Aerospace. 

While not originally from California, since 2017, Scott proudly calls the Central Coast his home. Scott lives in the Central Coast with his elegant wife, Jamie and his two bright and beautiful daughters.

When not working, Scott can be found either surfing at Pismo and Shell Beach, spending time with his family at the beach, hiking or playing golf, or having make-believe tea parties with his girls.

Office Team

James Caldwell

Paralegal – Office Administrator – SLO Office

In the position of Office Manager and Paralegal with The Law Offices of Daniel J. Knight, P.L.C., James Caldwell brings the knowledge, experience, organizational and problem-solving skills garnered during a 35-year career in the real estate field, first as a Title Officer and subsequently as a certified Petroleum Landman.

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James is highly skilled in addressing issues and formulating solutions for a wide range of real property matters, such as title defects, subdivision, mineral rights ownership and leasing, complex transactions, boundary line disputes, and access/right-of-way issues. Having worked closely with many attorneys over the years, James was excited to make the transition to become a part of Dan Knight Law and found that the same skill sets applied; intellectual curiosity and “outside the box” thinking coupled with a detail oriented, logical and methodical approach to serving the client’s needs.

A lifelong Californian, James was born and raised in the central valley. After obtaining a B.S. in Economics from C.S.U.B. he began working in the title insurance industry and in pursuing that career lived and worked in both Southern California, Monterey, and the San Francisco bay area. James was fortunate to be able to return home to the central valley to care for his mother during the last few years of her life and, as a person who is committed to life-long learning, he was able to obtain a degree in human biology during that time.

Now, having been back in San Luis Obispo County and living in Atascadero for the last decade, James spends his leisure time exploring this remarkable area, building model rockets and wrangling slightly overweight cats. All while being lucky enough to have his son, daughter-in-law, grandson and stepdaughters nearby.


Dana Ainsworth

Administrative Manager – SLO Office

Dana is a multi-tasking powerhouse and makes solving complex administrative problems look easy.

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Dana has variously worked as her husband Craig’s legal assistant in his estate planning and probate administration practice for the last 15 years. For the last 8 years, she has also worked integrally in developing and growing a multi-million dollar general contracting firm, shepherding its growth from a small family business. Dana was born in Saigon, Vietnam one month before the 1975 evacuation of American personnel. She is a lifetime California resident, having lived in San Luis Obispo for the last 25 years. She has one daughter, Alexis, who is the center of her universe. Dana developed early on in her professional career extraordinary administration skills that have served her employers well. She has worked in several attorneys’ offices and insurance agencies, as well as for the Superior Court. 


Darren Thomas

Technology Director

Darren’s decades in the corporate communications  for the technology field provide ample experience to maintain a secure and productive suit of support and marketing services for our network of offices.

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Darren has worked for fortune 500 companies going back to the early days of Apple and Intel, starting out in corporate communications then moving on to startups in computer graphics systems used for product introductions for Porsche, Toyota and Honda to name a few. His PR experience and hands-on computer skills make him a valuable member of our growing team. A North County community member since 1995 additionally he works with several local non-profits.

Please complete and submit the below form so we can contact you to schedule your consultation or call us directly if you prefer to set up your consultation over the phone.

Submission of this form does not create an attorney client relationship. Do not include any sensitive information in this form. Include general information and parties only. A condition of scheduling your consultation will include performing a conflict of interest check by The Law Offices of Daniel J. Knight, a Professional Law Corporation.

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Estate Planning Group

Group Lead: Benjamin Bourgault
Group Members: Craig S. Ainsworth, Dana Ainsworth

Guardianship  •  Will  •  Trust  •  Financial Power of Attorney • (POA) Durable Power of Attorney (POA)  •  Advance Healthcare Directive (AHCD)  •  Beneficiary Designations  •  Succession Plan

Most Common Estate Planning Issues

Several documents will make up your Estate Plan. Each is important in its own way, and together they form a powerful representation of your final wishes.


States what you want to have happen and who you want to care for your children or any other dependent you’re responsible for after your death or in the event you’re no longer able to care for them. Most often, instructions for guardianship will be included in a section of your Will.


A legal document that expresses your last wishes for distribution of your property or other assets.


A legal three-party fiduciary agreement that allows the first party (the Settlor, also may be referenced as Trustor or Grantor) to give the second party (the Trustee) rights to hold assets and property on behalf of and for the benefit of the third party (the Beneficiary).

Financial Power of Attorney (POA)

A legal document that gives someone the power to handle your financial affairs.

Durable Power of Attorney (POA)

A variation of a Financial Power of Attorney, which is a document that gives legal rights to another person so they can handle any of your non-health or non-medical affairs. “Durable” simply means that even if you become incapacitated, the POA remains in effect.

Advance Healthcare Directive (AHCD)

Also sometimes referred to as a Living Will or a Medical Power of Attorney. An Advance Healthcare Directive directly states what, if any, medical actions should be taken if you become incapacitated and unable to make your own decisions.

Note: it’s important to understand that while the terms “Living Will,” “Medical Power of Attorney” and “AHCD” are commonly used interchangeably, there are legal distinctions between them.

  • A Living Will lets you specify your medical preferences (typically for end of life decisions, like life support).
  • A Medical Power of Attorney lets you designate someone else to make healthcare decisions for you if you are unable to do so.
  • An AHCD combines the Living Will and Medical Power of Attorney to let you give instructions but also designate someone else to make decisions for you if needed.

HIPAA Authorization

Consent you give that allows your medical records or information to be shared with a third party.

Estate Planning & Taxes

Much of your Estate Planning is done with taxes in mind. The ultimate goal is to leave the absolute most you can to your heirs. Strategizing by taking action to minimize assets lost to taxes is an effective way to achieve your goal. There are some tools you can use within your Estate Plan, including ways to avoid probate and pass assets while avoiding hefty taxes. Understanding potential types of taxes is important.

  • Estate tax: A tax imposed on estates worth more than a set value. The tax is only assessed on the amount that exceeds the maximum, not the entire value of the estate.
  • Inheritance tax: A tax paid by someone who inherits either property or money from someone who has died.
  • Gift tax: A tax that’s applied on gifts exceeding a certain dollar amount. Note the giver, not the receiver, is responsible for any tax.

Who Needs an Estate Plan?

Short answer: Everyone. It’s easy to try and convince ourselves that we don’t need an Estate Plan. But the reality is, we would all be better off if we were planning a little more for our future. You don’t need to be wealthy, or elderly or even have a specific amount in your bank account to justify the need for a valid Estate Plan. If you are over the age of 18, you should start thinking about creating a plan.

Even if you don’t have a lot of assets, your Estate Plan is a guarantee that everyone will know what your wishes are. Health directives and long-term healthcare wishes are perfect examples of this – if you were ever to become incapacitated and couldn’t make your wishes known, your Estate Plan will speak for you, so your loved ones don’t have to make unthinkable decisions or wonder what you would want.

It used to be that properly preparing the types of documents that go in an Estate Plan could cost you thousands. But now you have options. You can get an affordable, legal, effective, valid Estate Plan that ensures your wishes will be known should the time ever come it’s needed. Even if you don’t have a lot of assets, an Estate Plan is still a wise idea.

How to Create an Estate Plan in 12 Steps

Yes, there are a lot of steps that go into creating a complete Estate Plan, but we’ve made it as easy as possible for you by listing each out.

  1. Gather your assets. Inventory everything you own, from cars to collectibles.
  2. Protect your family. Think about if you have adequate life insurance to leave your family in a position where they could maintain the life you currently lead.
  3. Determine the plan that’s best for you. Decide what type of Estate Plan you need.
  4. Choose who you would like to be guardian of your children/pets/self. If you have children or pets, or if you care for another loved one who cannot care for themselves, you want to choose a guardian. You can also name the person you would want to make medical and/or financial decisions on your behalf should you ever become unable to do so for yourself.
  5. Determine and establish the necessary directives. There are several directives you should include in your Estate Plan, including but not limited to:
    • Durable Power of Attorney
    • Medical care directive
    • Limited Power of Attorney – LPOAs are less commonly used (Durable POAs are more frequently the norm), though an LPOA can be appropriate in some instances.
  6. Name your Beneficiaries. Some documents and accounts will have Beneficiaries already designated. These could include retirement plans and life insurance policies, to name a few. But there are other assets you should note in your Will or Trust if you’d like to leave them to a specific person. If there is an opportunity, you should name contingent Beneficiaries. Keep in mind that Beneficiary designations will only go into effect after you pass, so if you become incapacitated and unable to make decisions, you need to have prepared for more than simply naming Beneficiaries.
  7. Find a trusted partner. Explore your options for creating your Estate Plan. This can be face-to-face with an attorney or you may choose to use another service provider. You have options, but some are going to be much more expensive than others. If you don’t have an overly-complicated estate, working with a partner like Trust & Will could be the perfect solution to starting on the path of Estate Planning.
  8. Create your plan. If you’re using an online program to create your Estate Plan, be sure to go through all the steps and finalize everything.
  9. Sign and notarize your Estate Plan. Don’t forget to check how many witnesses your state requires.
  10. Notify your Executor. It’s a good idea to let the person you chose to be your Executor know of your intentions.
  11. Store your Estate Planning documents. Put your Estate Plan in a safe place where your loved ones can easily find it. A fireproof safe is a good idea.
  12. Update as needed over time. There isn’t a hard rule about when you should update your Estate Plan, but a good rule of thumb is try to update it whenever you have a major life event (birth of a child, death of someone important to your plan, marriage, divorce, etc.). And if you find you haven’t had any life events in recent years, try to review and update as needed every 3 – 5 years.

Common Estate Planning Mistakes to Avoid

Take caution when developing your Estate Plan. There are many mistakes that could result in delays, inaccuracies or other misunderstandings. Some of the common mistakes people make along the way include:

  • Not having an official plan
  • Not updating a plan over time (at major lifetime events)
  • Not making arrangements for if they become incapacitated (disability or long-term care)
  • Improper ownership of assets (how easy will it be to pass assets on)
  • Not including charitable gifts
  • Not appointing a guardian for children or others who would need their care
  • Underestimating the implication of taxes
  • Not having liquidity of assets
  • Not making gifts during their lifetime to reduce the value of the estate after passing (tax advantages)
  • Putting their child’s name on the deed to property (potentially huge tax implications)

Difference between an Estate Plan and a Will

While many people think simply having a Will is sufficient, the fact is you need more. If you have a Will, you’re off to a great start. But a Will by itself is just a small piece of the Estate Planning puzzle. In order to fully protect your loved ones after you pass, you must incorporate all the documents, nominations and appointments to ensure you’ve done everything you can to make the process easier on them when the time comes.

Other Common Questions about Estate Planning

What Are Beneficiary Designations?

A Beneficiary designation is a way to designate where your assets go after you pass.

What Does a Trustee Do?

A Trustee handles and is responsible for managing all assets or property in a Trust. In essence, he or she is the legal owner of said assets.

How Much Does an Estate Plan Cost?

The cost of creating an Estate Plan can widely vary, depending on a number of factors. If you go the traditional route and work face-to-face with an attorney, your cost will be much higher. Newer methods of Estate Planning include innovative and creative platforms like Trust & Will, where you can get a legal Estate Plan at a fraction of the cost.

Do I Need an Attorney to Create an Estate Plan?

In some cases, you do not need an attorney to create your Estate Plan. If you have a very complicated estate, you may opt to go the traditional face-to-face route. But many people have simple, straight-forward needs. They may find a service like Trust & Will is ideal for their Estate Planning needs. It can save time and money while still offering a superior product that touches on all the important things you want to take care of with your Estate Plan.

Though there are many parts to a complete Estate Plan, tackling them one at a time is the best way to draft a plan that’s conclusive, comprehensive, thorough and that protects everyone in your life you love.

Construction Law 

Most Common Issues

Several documents will make up your Estate Plan. Each is important in its own way, and together they form a powerful representation of your final wishes.


Real Estate 


At BPE Law we provide comprehensive real estate services. Our real estate clients include developers, investors, businesses, home-owners, brokers and real estate agents. Having assisted more than 7,500 clients with their real estate needs, BPE Law is a go to law firm in Sacramento for real estate advice.

Contract Formation & Disputes

Contracts are a significant part of the everyday real estate life cycle. Whether buying or selling, leasing or investing, developing or constructing or financing you will encounter various contracts. Careful consideration of the issues presented whether financial or environmental is crucial to the success of the contract. The real estate attorneys at BPE Law have significant experience in all facets of contract law and are well versed in the dispute resolution processes should a problem arise.

Eviction Law

It is no secret that California law protects tenants, whether it is through the just cause eviction models or rent control protections. Consequently, eviction law can be difficult to navigate. The real estate lawyers at BPE Law recognize these complexities and are prepared to help you through the eviction process in an efficient manner.

Failure to Disclose

The law in California requires certain disclosures during a real estate transaction. Since the inception of this firm, BPE Law has been one of the leading Sacramento law firms regarding issues related to failure to disclose. It remains one of our largest practice areas and the real estate attorneys routinely are looked to for advice related to the interpretation and application of the failure to disclose laws. Our real estate lawyers when not actively representing clients in failure to disclose matters are routinely sought to teach classes to trade associations, to provide expert witness services, and are asked to provide mediation services involving failure to disclose situations.


The laws governing HOA’s and CCR’s are complex and rooted both in statutes (commonly the Davis Stirling Act) and in contract law. The real estate attorneys at BPE Law have significant experience representing both the developers in creating the CCR’s as well as the residents who live in communities governed by HOAs and CCRs.

Landlord Tenant Disputes

Aside from evictions, there are a multitude of other issues that may arise during the landlord-tenant relationship. Whether it involves negotiating or extending a commercial lease or enforcing leasehold covenants or navigating the quiet enjoyment rights of a tenant in possession. Regardless of the issue, the real estate lawyers at BPE Law are here to help you determine your rights, remedies and obligations related to the landlord-tenant relationship.

Short Sale vs. Foreclosure

Are you currently upside down on your home loan? If so, understanding the impacts of a short sale or foreclosure is critical to your decision making. There are pros and cons to each. Since 2008, the real estate attorneys at BPE Law have counseled over 5,000 individuals related short sales and foreclosure. Let us help you navigate this difficult process.

The BPE Consult

In 2008, in response to the economic crisis, we developed the BPE Consult. We offer a discounted consult for $300 for one hour where we review your situation and discuss rights, obligations, potential liabilities and strategize how to move forward. Over the years, the attorneys at BPE Law have counseled thousands of individuals and businesses on their real estate matters. Let us help you to. Contact our office at 916-966-2260 to schedule your BPE Consult.