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Leslie Rubright Daff

Leslie Rubright Daff

also known as Leslie Daff, JD, MBA, Certified Specialist

Practice areas:

Estate Planning, Probate, Trusts, Wills & Living Wills

About Me

Leslie Daff, JD, MBA, is a State Bar Certified Legal Specialist in Estate Planning, Probate and Trust Law, a designation earned by  fewer than 100 of the 15,000 licensed attorneys in the County.  Formerly with 1,000-attorney international law firm Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison LLP and regional law firms Best Best & Krieger LLP and Palmieri, Tyler, Weiner, Wilhelm & Waldron LLP, she founded Estate Plan, Inc., a professional law corporation, in Laguna Beach and Irvine in 2005. 

Leslie received her BS degree in Finance from the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business and her MBA degree from the University of California, Irvine Paul Merage School of Business. Prior to law school, she worked as a Financial Analyst and as Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis at subsidiaries of the Coca-Cola Company and Baxter Healthcare, respectively.

She received her JD degree from Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, where she served as an editor on the Loyola Law School Entertainment Law Review, received the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in Legal Research and Writing, the American Jurisprudence Award for Excellence in Ethical/Practical Lawyering, and was installed as a member of the St. Thomas More Law Honor Society. She also served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Sheila Prell Sonenshine, Associate Justice on the California Court of Appeal.

Named for six consecutive years by OC Register Metro Magazine as one of the region's top lawyers, granted the highest rating of "10/10 Superb" by independent attorney rating service Avvo, and granted the highest designation of "AV Preeminent  5 out of 5" by national legal directory Martindale Hubbell, which signifies her peers rank her at the highest level of professional and ethical excellence, Leslie has also been selected by her peers for inclusion in Southern California Top Rated Lawyers, published by Law.com and the Los Angeles Times every year since its initial publication.  In 2012, the State Bar of California Board of Trustees appointed Leslie to serve as one of nine commissioners on the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Advisory Commission to advise the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization about its program - and to write the exam - that certifies legal specialists in the area of estate planning, trust and probate law.  In 2015, the State Bar of California Board of Trustees reappointed Leslie to a second term on the Commission.  

Leslie is co-author of the Estate Planning Considerations chapter update for the State Bar of California Continuing Education of the Bar book Buy-Sell Agreements.  She is co-author and co-editor of the books The Closing Wealth Transfer Window: Post-Election Steps to Take Immediately to Protect Your Family Legacy and Estate Planning Strategies, Collective Wisdom, Proven Techniques.  She is a regular columnist on tax and estate planning matters for The Journal of Financial Planning.  Recent published articles include:



  • The Coming War Over Deductible Fiduciary Expenses

  • Beneficiaries Misbehavin'

  • Avoiding Post-ATRA Trust Tax Rates

  • The New Estate Planning Dilemma: Simplicity or Asset Protection?

  • Independent Contractor or Employee?

  • The Closing Wealth Transfer Windows

  • Do Your Tax Strategies Accomodate the Affordable Care Act?

  • Defining Incapacity in the Modern Estate Plan

  • Selecting and Maintaining Appropriate Fiduciaries in an Estate Plan

  • The Portable Exclusion and the Vanishing Bypass Trust

  • Protecting Your Child's Inheritance: The Beneficiary-Controlled Trust

  • Tax Ramifications and Opportunties Under the New HealthCare Act

  • Keeping the Vacation Home in the Family - Another Use for Limited Liability Companies

  • Are Your Client Files Clean?

  • Twelve Indicators You Need to Update Your Estate Plan

  • Right Strategies Can Maximize Your Charitable Gifts

  • Planning Opportunities in the Government's Response to the Economic Downturn

  • Many Estate Planning Strategies Provide Benefits in Low-Interest-Rate Environment



Leslie serves on the Board of Directors of the South Orange County Bar Association.  She is also a member of the international Society of Trusts and Estates Practitioners, the Orange County Estate Planning Council, the Real Property, Probate and Trust Section of the American Bar Association, the Trusts & Estates Section of the State Bar of California, and the Trusts & Estates Section of the Orange County Bar Association.

She is involved with the Alumni Board of Directors for the University of Southern California Marshall School of Business, a member of the Dean’s Leadership Circle of the University of California, Irvine Paul Merage School of Business, a Fellow of the Orange County Bar Foundation Society of Fellows, Co-Chair of the Laguna Beach Community Foundation Professional Council, and she serves on the Board of Directors of non-profit organizations, Laguna Beach Seniors, Inc. and the Laguna Beach Rotary Club Foundation.

Leslie provides pro bono legal advice to seniors at the Susi Q Senior Center on a monthly basis.  She regularly speaks on estate planning topics for a variety of groups and organizations, including the Financial Planning Association and the California Society of Certified Public Accountants.

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Photos and Videos

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Practice Areas

Licensed since 2000

  1. Estate Planning: 50%
  2. Probate: 25%
  3. Trusts: 20%
  4. Wills & Living Wills: 5%

Payment

Fees:

Fixed (Sometimes), Free Consultation (45 minutes)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

4 total 

  • Howard Robert Roitman

    I endorse this lawyer.

    More 

    Howard Roitman Car Accidents Attorney
    Relationship: Other

  • Okorie Okorocha

    I generally do NOT like other lawyers, am not friends with other lawyers, but Leslie is one I like and the only estate planning lawyer I would trust my clients with.

    More 

    Okorie Okorocha Sexual Harassment Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

Contact Info

Estate Plan, Inc. - Irvine Office

19200 Von Karman, Suite 600
Irvine, CA, 92612

Estate Plan, Inc. - Laguna Beach Office

352 3rd Street, Suite 301
Laguna Beach, CA, 92651

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Resume

License

StateStatusAcquiredUpdated
CAActive200005/20/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

Avvo Contributions

Legal Answers

Awards

Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Top AttorneysOC Register, OC Metro, Coast Magazine, Avvo2015
Southern California's Top Rated Lawyers - Trusts & EstatesLos Angeles Times2014
O.C.'s Top LawyersOC Register Metro Magazine2014
Certified Specialist - Estate Planning, Trust & Probate LawState Bar of California2014
AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-Hubbell2014
Five Star Top Estate Planning Professional AwardOrange Coast Magazine2014
Los Angeles' Women Leaders in the LawLos Angeles Times2014
Client Distinction AwardMartindale-Hubbell2014
Southern California's Top Rated Lawyers - Trusts & EstatesLos Angeles Times2013
Accredited Estate Planner (AEP)National Association of Estate Planners & Councils2013
O.C.'s Top LawyersOC Register Metro Magazine2013
Top Rated Lawyer in Trusts & EstatesAmerican Lawyer and Corporate Counsel Magazine2013
O.C.'s Top LawyersOC Metro Magazine2012
Southern California's Top Rated Lawyers - Trusts & EstatesLos Angeles Times2012
The Region's Top AttorneysOC Metro Magazine2011
The Region's Top AttorneysOC Metro Magazine2010
O.C.'s Top LawyersOC Metro Magazine2009
Corpus Juris Secundum Award for ContractsCorpus Juris SecundumN/A
Dean's Honor ListLoyola Law SchoolN/A
American Jurisprudence Award for Ethical LawyeringAmerican JurisprudenceN/A
American Jurisprudence Award for Legal Research and WritingAmerican JurisprudenceN/A
St. Thomas More Law Honor SocietySt. Thomas More SocietyN/A

Work Experience

TitleCompany NameDuration
AttorneyEstate Plan, Inc.2005 - Present
AttorneyPalmieri Tyler Weiner Wilhelm & Waldron, LLP2004 - 2005
AttorneyBest Best & Krieger, Attorneys at Law2002 - 2004
Summer Associate and AttorneyBrobeck Phleger & Harrison1999 - 2002
Summer AssociateStradling, Yocca, Carlson & Rauth1999 - 1999
Judicial ExternCalifornia Court of Appeal, 4th Appellate District, Division Three, Honorable Sheila Prell Sonenshine, Associate Justice1998 - 1998
Legal InternCalifornia Department of Justice - Office of the Attorney General1997 - 1997

Associations

Association NamePosition NameDuration
Society of Trust and Estate PractitionersAttorney Member2013 - Present
Wealthcounsel BusinessDocx Business Planning System CommitteeMember2012 - Present
State Bar of CaliforniaEstate Planning, Trust & Probate Law Advisory Commission2012 - Present
Laguna Beach Seniors, Inc.Board of Directors2012 - Present
Orange County Bar FoundationFellow2012 - Present
Susi Q Senior CenterPro Bono Legal Advisor2011 - Present
Laguna Beach Community Foundation Professional CouncilCo-chair2011 - Present
South Orange County Bar AssociationBoard of Directors2009 - Present
Rotary Club FoundationBoard of Directors2009 - Present
Orange County Estate Planning CouncilMember2009 - Present
State Bar of California, Trusts and Estates SectionMember2002 - Present
University of California Irvine Graduate School of Management Alumni BoardBoard of DirectorsN/A
University of Southern California Marshall School of Business Alumni Board - Orange CountyBoard of DirectorsN/A
American Bar Association, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law SectionMemberN/A
Orange County Bar Association, Trusts and Estates SectionMemberN/A
University of California, Irvine Paul Merage School of Business, Dean's Leadership CircleMemberN/A

Legal Cases

Case NameOutcome
Probate - Orange County Superior CourtCourt Approved
Spousal Property Petition - San Diego Superior CourtCourt Approved
Heggstad Petition - Orange County Superior CourtCourt Approved

See all Legal Cases 

Publications

Publication NameTitleDate
Journal of Financial PlanningABLE Accounts: An Option for Families with Disabled Children (Article)2015
Journal of Financial PlanningMaking the Online Estate Planning Process Work (Article)2014
Journal of Financial PlanningBeneficiaries Misbehavin' (Article)2014
Journal of Financial PlanningThe Coming War Over Deductible Fiduciary Expenses (Article)2014
Journal of Financial PlanningThe New Estate Planning Dilemma: Simplicity or Asset Protection? (Article)2013
Journal of Financial PlanningIndependent Contractor or Employee? (Article)2013
Journal of Financial PlanningAvoiding Post-ATRA Trust Tax Rates (Article)2013
Journal of Financial PlanningSelecting and Maintaining Appropriate Fiduciaries in an Estate Plan (Article)2012
Journal of Financial PlanningDefining Incapacity in the Modern Estate Plan (Article)2012
Journal of Financial PlanningThe Closing Wealth Transfer Windows (Article)2012
Journal of Financial PlanningDo Your Tax Strategies Accomodate the Affordable Care Act? (Article)2012
Wall Street JournalYour Money: Year-End Estate Tax Moves (Quoted)2012
WealthCounselThe Closing Wealth Transfer Window: Post-Election Steps to Take Immediately to Protect Your Family Legacy (Book)2012
Journal of Financial PlanningProtecting Your Child's Inheritance: The Beneficiary-Controlled Trust (Article)2011
Transitional Wisdom Workbook: A Guide to Healthy Aging and Completing Life With DignityEstate Planning Basics (Chapter)2011
Journal of Financial PlanningThe Portable Exclusion and the Vanishing Bypass Trust (Article)2011
The Five Levels of Asset Protection in NevadaThe Five Levels of Asset Protection in Nevada (Editor - Book)2011
Journal of Financial PlanningYour Parents' Estate Plan (Article)2011
Journal of Financial PlanningTax Ramifications and Opportunites under the New Healthcare Act (Article)2010
Journal of Financial PlanningKeeping the Vacation Home in the Family - Another Use for Limited Liability Companies (Article)2010
Journal of Financial PlanningAre Your Client Files Clean? (Article)2010
Laguna Beach IndependentKeeping the Beach House (Article)2010
Journal of Financial PlanningBetting the Farm: Estate Planning for Middle-Income Clients (Quoted)2010
Journal of Financial PlanningTwelve Indicators You Need to Update Your Estate Plan (Article)2009
Journal of Financial Planning Consumer WebsiteProtect Your Legacy, Update Your Estate Plan (Article)2009
Ingram's MagazineRight Strategies Can Maximize Your Charitable Gifts (Article)2009
Journal of Financial PlanningPlanning Opportunites in the Government's Response to the Economic Downturn (Article)2009
WealthCounselEstate Planning Strategies: Collective Wisdom, Proven Techniques (Editor - Book)2009
Journal of Financial PlanningMany Estate Planning Strategies Provide Benefits in Low-Interest-Rate Environment (Article)2008
South Coast HealthCharitable Gift Annuities: A Way to Give and Receive (Article)2008
The Business of Law/Ed Poll InterviewThe Business of Law (DVD)2008
The Quarterly CounselorMany Estate Planning Strategies Provide Benefits in the Current Low Interest Rate Environment (Article)2008
Orange County Estate Planning Lawyer BlogOrange County Estate Planning Lawyer Blog (Blog)2008
Laguna Beach IndependentEstate Planning Means Having a Plan (Article)2008
Laguna Beach IndependentTying Up the Loose Ends (Article)2007
State Bar CLE BooksEstate Planning Considerations Chapter of State Bar of California Continuing Education of the Bar Book Buy Sell Agreements (Chapter Update)2003
Los Angeles Daily JournalOnly Legislation Can Resolve Fees Problem in ‘McAdams’ (Article)2003
Journal of Financial PlanningThe Coming War Over Deductible Fiduciary Expenses (Article)N/A

Education

School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
University of California, IrvineBusinessMBAN/A
Univ of Southern CalifFinanceBS - Bachelor of ScienceN/A
Loyola Law School - Los AngelesLawJD - Juris DoctorN/A

Speaking Engagements

Conference NameTitleDate
Laguna Art MuseumThe Art of Planned Giving - Opportunities and Pitfalls (5/5/2015)2015
LA Talk RadioEstate Planning Essentials2015
It's Your EstateLiving Trusts and More - The Use of Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, and Entities in Estate Planning (10/9/2015)2015
It's Your EstateLiving Trusts and More - The Use of Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, and Entities in Estate Planning (4/27/2015)2015
It's Your EstateLiving Trusts and More - The Use of Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, and Entities in Estate Planning (10/9/2014)2014
It's Your EstateLiving Trusts and More - The Use of Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, and Entities in Estate Planning (10/3/2014)2014
Cal Alumni Association, University of California Berkeley Speaker SeriesEstate Planning - Getting Your Affairs in Order Is Easier Than You Think (11/15/2014)2014
WealthCounsel (1-hour webinar for financial advisors)Collaborating to Make the Modern Estate Plan Work2013
WealthCounsel (1-hour webinar for estate planning attorneys)Making the Modern Estate Plan Work: Funding Trusts2013
It's Your EstateEstate Planning Review and Case Studies2013
It's Your EstateLiving Trusts and More - Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, and Asset Protection (4/24/2013)2013
Harvard Business School Association of Orange County Leadership Series, Irvine, CAAmerican Taxpayer Relief Act: Tax and Estate Planning Strategies to Implement Now2013
2013 Planning for the Generations Symposium, Denver, CO (July 24-26, 2013)Building Blocks of Estate Planning2013
University of California Irvine School of LawModern Estate Planning2012
It's Your EstateAdvanced Estate Planning - Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, and Asset Protection (9/28/2012)2012
It's Your EstateAdvanced Estate Planning - Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Trusts, and Asset Protection (4/24/2012)2012
IFAMore on Estate Planning2012
IFADeveloping an Estate Plan2012
IFAThe Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT)2012
IFAThe Future of Gift and Estate Taxes2012
IFAThe Basics of Estate Planning2012
Financial Planning Association Annual National Conference (FPA Experience 2012) , San Antonio, TX (4-hour live presentation)Making the Modern Estate Plan Work2012
Annual Tax and Estate Planning UpdateAnnual Tax and Estate Planning Update2012
It's Your EstateAdvanced Estate Planning2011
Garrett Planning Network 11th Annual Confererence, Denver, CO (October 27-30, 2011)Tax and Estate Planning Update2011
Annual Tax and Estate Planning UpdateAnnual Tax and Estate Planning Update2011
UCLABusiness and Estate Planning, Asset Protection, and Tax Law2010
It's Your EstateAdvanced Estate Planning2010
Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and DevelopmentEstate & Business Succession Planning2010
WealthCounsel Audio ConferenceEstate Planning Strategies2009
UMKCEstate Planning Documents2009
The Bottom Line - News Radio 980Estate Planning - Part III2009
The Bottom Line - News Radio 980Estate Planning - Part I2009
The Bottom Line - News Radio 980Estate Planning - Part II2009
Laguna Beach Business ClubPlanning for the Future Utilizing New Techniques in Estate Planning2009
It's Your EstateEstate Planning Case Studies2009
It's Your EstateAdvanced Estate Planning2009
Team WomenEstate Planning2008
It's Your EstateAdvanced Estate Planning2008
Coastal Business ExchangeEstate Planning2008
California Society of Certified Public Accountants, Los Angeles, CAEstate Planning2007