Elizabeth A. Bawden

Elizabeth A. Bawden

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Estate Planning & Probate Attorney in Los Angeles, CA

Withers Bergman LLP
 | 1925 Century Park East, Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Phone: 310-277-9901
Fax: 310-277-9935
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2014 - 2020
Selected To Rising Stars: 2009 - 2013
Licensed Since: 2000
Practice Areas:
  • Estate Planning & Probate (70%),
  • Nonprofit Organizations (30%)
Attorney Profile

I focus my practice on estate planning, planned giving and tax-exempt organizations. As part of the US Trust, Estate and Charitable Planning Group at Withers Bergman LLP, I represent clients in matters related to family wealth transfers, sophisticated estate and gift tax saving techniques, charitable planned giving, and complex probate and trust administrations. I also regularly represent tax-exempt organizations in formation, organizational and operational issues. I am certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization as a legal specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law and am a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). 

About Elizabeth Bawden

Admitted: 2000, California

Professional Webpage: http://www.withersworldwide.com/people/elizabeth-a-bawden

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC)
  • Certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization as a legal specialist in Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law.

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Adjunct Professor at the UCLA School of Law teaching estate and gift tax (including generation skipping transfer tax) and estate planning.
  • Served as both consulting and testifying expert witness in matters of estate planning, trust andprobate law.
  • Chair of Los Angeles County Bar Association Exempt Organization Section, 2015
  • Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation Professional Advisory Council, 2010
  • Co-Chair of Executive Committee of Trusts and Estates Section of Beverly Hills Bar Association., 2009
  • President of the Planned Giving Roundtable of Southern California, 2007
  • Chair of the Western Regional Planned Giving Conference, 2005
  • Beverly Hills Bar Association, Member of the Executive Committee of Trusts and Estates Section., 2005

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Board Member, Heifer International Foundation (http://www.heiferfoundation.org/), to support Heifer International's work with communities to end world hunger and poverty and to care for the Earth.
  • Elizabeth Bawden was honored with the 2019 Distinguished Service Award at the Western Regional Planned Giving Conference (WRPGC). Elizabeth is part of the private client and tax team at Withers and focuses her practice on estate planning, planned giving and tax exempt organizations. She has been a member of the Los Angeles Council of Charitable Gift Planners (LACGP) for 15 years and has served in a number of roles at the organization over those years, most notably as president, conference chair and frequent speaker. The award was presented at lunch during the conference by LACGP president, Allyson Simpson. “In every way, Elizabeth Bawden is a leader and an exemplary representative of the gift planning community,” Allyson said in her remarks. Allyson also shared comments from clients about Elizabeth’s work. “She is fiercely intelligent, thoughtful, principled, and has a remarkable ability to solve problems and offer effective and elegant solutions,” one client said about Elizabeth according to Allyson, who emphasized the word elegant and how that stood out to her. Other comments by Elizabeth’s clients that the conference president shared in her presentation of the award highlighted Elizabeth’s “tenacious and skillful” problem solving, her “strong personal and professional integrity,” her ability to “anticipate and mitigate issues before they arise,” and her excellent communication skills, in that “she explains complex legal, tax and charitable giving situations in a way that even non-lawyers can comprehend.” Elizabeth attended the Western Regional Planned Giving Conference with partner Steven Chidester from Wither’s Rancho Santa Fe office. At the conference, she presented at two sessions on the final day, including, “Navigating the Twists and Turns of Testimentary Gift Annuities” and the closing keynote titled, “Lessons Learned from a Collective Century of Planned Giving Experience.”A premier planned giving conference in the US, the WRPGC is attended by financial planners, accountants, gift planning and major gift officers, and vice presidents and directors of development. Elizabeth comments: “Giving back is an important personal value for me. I am greatly appreciative of this honor.”, 2019
  • Advisor to UCLA School of Law Christian Law Students Association
  • Board Member, Give Her Life (http://www.giveherlife.org/), an organization seeking life and dignity for girls everywhere., 2018
  • Board Member, Christian Legal Aid of Los Angeles (http://www.cla-la.org/), an organization pursuing justice for all in Los Angeles County., 2017
  • Recipient of the 2011 CARROT Award from the Climate Action Reserve for for extraordinary work in climate action through pro bono legal services to the Climate Action Reserve, a non-profit organization., 2011

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • Most charitable gift annuities (CGAs) are funded with lifetime gifts made by loyal donors. The processes and procedures associated with these lifetime CGAs are fairly straightforward and familiar to many gift officers. However, there are many opportunities for CGAs to be created upon the passing of a donor. Known as testamentary CGAs, these gifts are made through wills, trusts or IRA beneficiary designations. This article explores common reasons testamentary CGAs are created and the practical and procedural challenges that accompany them. Among them: what is the date of the CGA, when do payments begin and who signs the CGA agreement? Finally, this article explores advance planning opportunities with donors to ensure that testamentary CGAs work well for donors, charities and annuitants alike., Author, Navigating the Twists and Turns of Testamentary Gift Annuities, Planned Giving Today, Nonprofit, Planned Giving, 2019
  • This presentation covered aspects of California Probate practice, including how to inventory, locate, secure, value and manage assets and top problems in probate., Co-Presenter, Probate: Everything You Need to Know, National Business Institute, Probate, 2018
  • Estate planners who focus primarily on domestic planning often eschew international planning strategies and issues, but in a global society, it is of growing importance to be able to issue spot potential cross-border hazards.  Foreign trusts issues, in particular, are complex and require specialized attention, and foreign trust status (and the associated reporting requirements) can easily be triggered inadvertently.  Using case studies from actual practice, this panel (comprised of a domestic estate planner and an international estate planner) covers the basics of foreign trust classification, taxation and reporting, and offer tips on how to avoid hidden traps for the unwary., Co-Presenter, Foreign Trusts: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You, ABA Section of Taxation 2018 Midyear Meeting, Tax Law, 2018
  • This presentation focuses on achieving flexibility through trustee selection, beneficiary definition, distribution provisions and modification, both before trusts are created as well as many years later when a family is adminstering them., Presenter, Flexible Trust Structuring Across Generations, AICPA Family Office Group, Family Office, Private Wealth, 2018
  • A presentation designed to equip development professionals who don't focus in planned giving to understand and address planned giving opportunities when they arise.  , Co-Presenter, Planned Giving when you’re not a Planned Giving Officer, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Los Angeles Regional Philanthropy Conference, Nonprofit, 2018
  • This client alert covers the impact of tax reform on tax-exempt organizations paying compensation in excess of US $1 million, which may affect more organizations than anticipated., Co-Author, Impact of tax reform on tax-exempt organizations paying compensation in excess of US $1 million, Withers Bergman LLP, Nonprofit, Tax-Exempt, 2017
  • This session provided a technical and practical review of California taxation oftrust income, including the accumulations tax; contingent vs. non-contingentinterests; residency; and identifying fiduciaries. Also covered was the viability of ING trusts to avoid California taxation of trust income., Co-Presenter, California: A Taxing Place for Trusts, USC Tax Institute, 2016
  • Co-Author, How Wealthy Individuals Can Strategically Gift Education, Family Wealth Report, 2015
  • Best Practices for Structuring Trusts and Estates provides an authoritative, insider's perspective on creating estate plans that incorporate recent legislative changes and client needs. Experienced partners from law firms across the nation outline the nature of various trusts used by individuals and families and guide the reader through common considerations in applicable tax matters., Author, Aspatore Books, a Thomson Reuters business, 2015
  • From GRATs to DGTs, grantor trusts provide a host of gift and estate planning opportunities. Elizabeth Bawden reviews the pros and cons of powers that make a trust a grantor trust and focuses on strategies and contemporary issues in grantor trust planning, including toggling of grantor trust status, identifying the grantor in situations where more than one person fits the bill, transactions between a grantor and grantor trust and the tax consequences of a grantor’s death., Speaker, Strategies and Contemporary Issues in Planning with Grantor Trusts, 2015
  • Bawden, Elizabeth A. (2012). Planning for Non-Traditional Families. In Mittra, Sid, Sahu, Anandi,and Starn, Jr., Harry (Eds.), Practicing Financial Planning for Professionals (11th ed.). AmericanAcademic Publishing.
  • Bawden, Elizabeth A. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow - Three Common Mistakes Courts MakeWhen Police Lose or Destroy Evidence with Apparent Exculpatory Value, 48 Clev. St. L. Rev. 335(2000).

Representative Clients:

  • Representation of The Henry E. Huntinton Library in connection with a gift of a 320-Year old Magistrate House to be moved from Japan. https://www.huntington.org/news/yokoi-house-marugame-japanese-garden, 2018
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Office Location for Elizabeth A. Bawden

1925 Century Park East
Suite 400
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Elizabeth A. Bawden:

Last Updated: 9/18/2019

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