Dave advises high-net-worth individuals and families in all aspects of estate planning, including tax-advantaged transfers of assets, multigenerational planning, the taxation of trusts and estates and charitable giving. As a trusted advisor, he counsels a broad range of clients, including owners of national companies, closely held businesses, and international clients with multijurisdictional contacts. He proudly lists some of California’s leading vineyard owners, wine makers, farmers and ranchers amongst his most significant clients. In his planning practice, he works closely with CPAs, investment advisors and insurance planners to ensure a coordinated approach to his clients’ needs. Dave frequently receives referrals from other estate planning lawyers, for his expertise in high end estate planning.
Dave is the firm’s Managing Partner, and heads its High End Estate Planning Practice. He is a Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust Law, designated by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization. He is a member of the Executive Committee for the State Bar of California – Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Section.
He is also a certified Elder Law Attorney of the National Elder Law Foundation, and a member of the prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.
Dave is a frequent lecturer for the State Bar of California, the Continuing Education of the Bar, the CalCPA Education Foundation, and various private groups throughout California and the nation. He is the creator The Gaw System The Art of High End Estate Planning and The Gaw System of Trust Administration, which are widely used by attorneys and CPAs. He has authored the California Trust Administration (CEB) chapters “Administering the Single-Person Trust After Settlor’s Death” and “Subtrust Allocation and Funding on the Death of the First Spouse”, and co-author of “Administering Moderate Married Settlor Trust on the Death of the First Spouse” and “Further Steps After the Death of the First Spouse”. He is also the author of the CEB Action Guides “Marital Deduction Subtrust Funding” and “Administering a Single-Person Trust After Settlor’s Death”.
Areas of Practice
Wealth Preservation | Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law
University of California, Hastings College of Law, JD, 1971
Order of the Coif, 1971
University of Colorado, Bachelor of Arts, 1967
State Bar of California, Estate Planning, Trust, and Probate Section, member, Executive Committee; Chair, Technology Subcommittee
National Elder Law Foundation, accredited by the American Bar Association, Certified Elder Law Attorney
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Council of Advanced Practitioners, member
LAWPACT, international association of independent business law firms, Vice President
Napa County Bar Association, President (1994), and Chair (1982–1986), Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Section
Solano County Bar Association, member
STEP, Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners, member
Honors & Awards
Northern California Super Lawyer, 2004 – 2013.
Matindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent, 2013
Spirit of CEB Award for contribution to the continuing education of the legal profession, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 2008
California CPA Education Foundation award for “the single all-around most outstanding Education Foundation course author” in 2007
Attorney of the Year, Napa County Legal Secretaries Association, 1998
Outstanding Educator, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 2006, 2005
Publications & Presentations
The Gaw System The Art of High End Estate Planning, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2006 – 2013
The Gaw System of Trust Administration, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2006 – 2013
Gaw on Subtrust Funding, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2006 – 2012
Gaw on Administering the Moderate Single-Settlor and Married Person Trust, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2006 – 2012
Gaw on Trust Administration After the Death of the First Spouse, Continuing Education of the Bar, 2006 – 2012
The Art of High End Estate Planning Workshop, California CPA Education Foundation
A Practical Workshop on Trust Administration of the Living Trust, California CPA Education Foundation
A Practical Workshop Elder Care Income & Estate Planning, California CPA Education Foundation
Joined the Firm