About Us

Real People. Real World Advice. Real Results.

Our Firm

Norton Basu LLP focuses on estate planning and probate issues throughout the Bay Area.  Founded by Zakiya Norton and Somita Basu, the firm provides real world advice to clients in order to get real results in the most practical way possible.

Norton Basu LLP is helping thousands of people who are concerned about protecting their families from the devastating legal effects of disability and death. Through the utilization of in person seminars, T.V. interviews, podcasts, video presentations, and articles/blogs, Norton Basu LLP is championing the use of revocable living trusts as a proven way to protect families from the expense and delay of probate and to minimize or eliminate federal estate tax.

Our firm is staffed with professionals who have significant experience in the complex areas of estate planning, probate, trust administration and probate/trust litigation. The mission of each member of our team is to help you accomplish your estate planning goals and to take the mystery out of the estate planning process. Your estate planning documents will be explained to you in straightforward language you and your family can understand. We will also accompany each trust we draft with a summary page highlighting all of the major points within your trust for easy reference. You can save reading the rest for when you’re facing insomnia.

We are dedicated to helping people just like you ease the burden on family members left behind.  If you take advantage of our services today, your loved ones will be relieved of the stress and expense of needless attorney’s fees and court involvement in settling your estate. Most importantly, you’ll have the peace of mind that comes with knowing your loved ones will be taken care of and protected.

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Zakiya McCullough

Zakiya J. Norton, Esq.

Founding Principal and Partner

Zakiya J. Norton is a true rarity – a Bay Area native. Zakiya grew up in the South Bay but decided warm weather, blue skies, and temperate winters were unsatisfactory and attended college in upstate New York. After suffering through a few winters in Oneonta, NY and obtaining her B.A., Zakiya followed the undeniable siren song of her home state and attended law school at University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. She then lost her senses again and moved to Las Vegas where she took the Nevada bar and practiced at a civil litigation firm in a variety of practice areas. It was during this role that Zakiya embraced her role as a litigator and learned the importance of advocating for her clients in the right manner, time, and place.

After starting her family, the lure of California was too strong to resist and Zakiya moved back to the Bay Area and decided to undertake the herculean task of studying for the California bar while raising a small child. While looking for the seemingly impossible combination of a satisfying associate position at a law firm that would still allow her time to raise her young daughter, she decided to volunteer at Bay Area Legal Aid. Giving back to the community has always been a priority for Zakiya and Bay Area Legal Aid fits the bill. Little did she know that she’d actually be meeting her future business partner, Somita Basu, during her time at Bay Area Legal Aid and before you know it, the two of them decided to open their own firm.

Zakiya not only has a strong strategic mind set for litigation matters but also a keen eye for the intricacies and potential pitfalls of estate planning. She understands that just because something is possible, it doesn’t mean it’s practical. Zakiya knows that estate planning documents are the ultimate guide for a client’s beneficiaries and therefore must be clear in articulating the client’s wishes while allowing flexibility for unseen circumstances. Zakiya draws on her extensive legal experience when advising her estate planning and probate clients without ever losing her signature sense of compassion, kindness, and her sense of humor.

Zakiya continues to give back even now. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Bay Area non-profit, Cancer CAREpoint, which provides valuable services free of cost to all cancer patients and their families. Zakiya is also a special liason to the California Lawyer’s Association Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Advisory Committee. She is a member of the Silicon Valley Bar Association, the Santa Clara County Black Lawyers Association, the American Bar Association, and Black Women Lawyers of Northern California.

Somita Basu

Somita Basu, Esq.

Founding Principal and Partner

Somita Basu’s life and background are truly representative of America’s diversity and mobility. Somita grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska before moving in her painfully awkward teen years to Silver Spring, Maryland, where she attended high school. After graduating from college in New Jersey with a degree in mathematics (who says all lawyers hate math?), Somita went to work at Prudential Life Insurance Company, providing her with her foundation in financial services and insurance that would serve her well as an estate planning and probate attorney.

Somita’s path to Norton Basu LLP was not straightforward. She lived and worked in Mumbai, India for three years before shifting to Singapore for a decade. It was during her time in Singapore that Somita decided to shift gears and pursue a legal career. She attended law school remotely and flew into California (jet lag and all) to take (and pass) the California bar exam. When Somita finally moved to the Bay Area in 2013, she knew she wanted to immerse herself in her new community and find a way to give back, so she began volunteering with Bay Area Legal Aid. She met Zakiya Norton on the first day of volunteer training and a life-long connection was forged through the two future firm partners working together on multiple complicated cases (and sharing a common sense of humor).

Somita brings a unique cultural perspective to the firm. Having lived and worked abroad and as an immigrant herself, Somita has a deep appreciation for how cultural perspectives can impact decision making for her clients. She also understands the complexities of handling overseas assets.

Somita serves as the Chair-Elect for the Solo and Small Firm Section of the California Lawyers Association, past editor of The Practitioner (the Section’s premier publication), and was on the influential Project 2021 Committee for the CLA to determine the future of the association. She is also the Co-Chair of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Outreach Committee of the California Lawyers Association and a member of the American Bar Association and the Silicon Valley Bar Association. Somita gives back to the community through her role as a board member of the non-profit, Justice At Last, where she a member of the Fundraising Committee.  Somita is a fluent English and Bengali speaker and knows conversational Hindi.