Our Team

Alma Maria Dumitru, Esq.

Attorney at Law
Alma Maria Dumitru was born in Romania, but her family escaped while the country was still behind the Iron Curtain. She was raised in Los Angeles, California where she attended Southwestern Law School. While there, she made the Dean’s List, successfully argued in New York City with her Moot Court team, served as the Law Review’s Special Projects Editor, clerked for Federal District Court Judge Otis D. Wright in downtown LA, and spent a summer clerking for Chief Justice Ricardo Lorenzetti of the Supreme Court in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

After law school, Alma relocated to Sedona, Arizona. After passing both the California and Arizona bar exams, she opened a solo estate planning and administration practice in 2013, known previously as Alma Dumitru Law and Holistic Law.

Soon after opening her estate planning practice, Alma teamed up with a seasoned colleague and successfully represented Plaintiffs in medical malpractice and other personal injury cases in and out of court. While she enjoyed these other aspects of law, Alma ultimately returned to a full-time dedication to helping her clients and their families through estate planning, probate, and trust administration. This passion for estate planning is based on Alma’s personal experiences with the many different factors that follow a death in the family (in Alma’s case, the death of her father), which sometimes includes the potential of litigation—and the family turmoil that goes along with it. This burden is too heavy to carry for most people even when they are at their best; during moments of grief, it can feel unbearable. Helping clients avoid this potential is one of the key driving forces of Alma’s practice.

Outside of her professional law practice, Alma’s main passion is her faith and travel. She grew up Romanian Orthodox and is now a chanter in the Greek Orthodox Church and at the Chapel of the Holy Cross in Sedona. Alma is fluent in her native Romanian as well as in Castilian Spanish, which she learned while spending a semester in San Sebastian, Spain while in college. In addition to having visited many countries around the world, her love of travel has also offered opportunities, from time to time, to handle international estate administration.

Brenda Peterson

Paralegal | Licensed Fiduciary
Brenda Peterson has lived in Flagstaff, Arizona since 1987 when she began her studies at Northern Arizona University. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Speech Communications and a minor in Interior Design. Since graduating from NAU, she has worked in the legal community, including the Coconino County Public Defender’s Office and other private practice attorneys in the field of criminal defense. In 2015, she joined Gutterman Law as a paralegal. While assisting clients in all aspects of trust and estate planning and the administration of trusts and probates, Brenda recognized that her paralegal skills and experience were a perfect complement to the role of a licensed fiduciary, and vice versa. She met the qualifications for a fiduciary and was licensed in May of 2021. Brenda joined WesternTrust Law when Joe Gutterman retired at the end of 2023.

Brenda met her husband after moving to Flagstaff and, while taking a break from professional life for a time, they raised their three children in rural Northern Arizona. Her Nebraska farming heritage has largely influenced her lifestyle as she was active with her children in a local 4H club raising an assortment of farm animals. Brenda is an avid gardener, raises chickens, enjoys hiking, and travels to see her children who are now spread across the country.

Joe Gutterman

Attorney at Law, Emeritus
Joe Gutterman has worked as an attorney since receiving a Juris Doctor in Law from ASU and being admitted to the Arizona Bar in 1976. He is a Certified Specialist in Estate and Trust Law and recipient of the American Jurisprudence Award. Joe recently retired – after 48 years! – and now provides periodic guidance and expertise to the rest of the WesternTrust Law team. His career was spent formulating just the right estate plan to creatively accomplish tax, business, personal, and family goals.

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