Dave Gaw

EsTATE Planning

Napa, CA


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.

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 former member of the Executive Committee for the State Bar of California - Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Section.

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 of The Gaw System "The Art of High End Estate Planning" and The Gaw System "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"


Jeffrey Stephens


Jeff is a member of the firm’s Wealth Preservation Team and primarily focuses on counseling clients in creating customized “high-end” estate and succession plans. He works closely with the client and their advisors throughout the process to integrate the estate plan with the client’s existing investment and business structure. As the firm’s “numbers guy,” he contributes with the financial modeling, drafting of customized plans, and completing “post-signing” tasks, such as gift tax returns,  to fully implement the plan.

Jeff graduated from UCLA School of Law with a specialization in taxation and from Brigham Young University with a degree in Business Management. Following graduation, he worked in litigation and bankruptcy in Los Angeles, representing creditors and fiduciaries in corporate reorganizations, and volunteered with Public Counsel of Los Angeles, representing underserved clients as part of the Consumer Law Project.

Since transitioning to estate and tax planning, he has enjoyed speaking on the subject of high-end estate planning for the Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB), CalCPA Education Foundation, and “in-house” presentations to law firms, accountants, and financial planners. Jeff is active participant in his profession and community. He is a member of the Estate and Gift Tax Committee for the State Bar of California and is focusing locally by serving on the board for the Napa City-County Library Foundation and assisting Molly’s Angels of Napa with fundraising to provide free transportation to Napa’s seniors. In the past he has helped the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program (VITA), the Napa Valley Writers’ Conference, Napa County Mock Trial, and Public Counsel of Los Angeles.