Leslie R. 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. She is also certified as an Estate Planning Law Specialist and has been designated an Accredited Estate Planner® by Estate Law Specialist Board, Inc., a subsidiary of the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils, a designation earned by five 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 USC and her MBA degree from UC Irvine. Prior to law school, she was a Financial Analyst and Manager of Financial Planning & Analysis at subsidiaries of the Coca-Cola Company and Baxter Healthcare, respectively.
She received a 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 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.
Leslie has been named a Super Lawyer by Thompson Reuters, a designation granted to no more than 5% of the attorneys in Southern California based on peer recognition and professional achievement. She has also been granted the highest rating of "10/10 Superb" by independent attorney rating service Avvo, and she has earned 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.
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 became Chair of the Commission in 2018.
Leslie is co-author of the Estate Planning Considerations chapter update for the State Bar of California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) book Buy-Sell Agreements and co-author of five chapter updates for the 2022 edition of CEB California Will Drafting. She is also a contributing author to the new CEB publication, CEB Practitioner. 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 has co-authored numerous tax and estate planning articles for The Journal of Financial Planning.
Leslie has been involved with a number of organizations and charities, including the Alumni Board of Directors for USC Marshall School of Business and the Dean’s Leadership Circle of UC Irvine Paul Merage School of Business. She has served on the Board of Directors of the South Orange County Bar Association, as Co-Chair of the Laguna Beach Community Foundation Professional Council, and as a member of the Board of Directors for non-profit organizations, Laguna Beach Seniors, Inc. and Laguna Beach Rotary Club Foundation. She is a Fellow of the Orange County Bar Foundation Society of Fellows. She is also a member of the Orange County Estate Planning Council, the Trusts & Estates Section of the State Bar of California, and the Trusts & Estates Section of the Orange County Bar Association.
Leslie has provided pro bono legal advice and services to seniors at the Susi Q Senior Center on a monthly basis since 2012. She regularly speaks on estate planning topics for a variety of groups and organizations, including the Financial Planning Association, the California Society of Certified Public Accountants, and the National Business Institute.
First Admitted: 2000, California
Professional Webpage: https://estateplaninc.com/lawyer/Leslie-Daff,-JD,-MBA_cp1905...
- Leslie 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: A Roadmap To Estate Planning after Tax Reform; 2018 Tax Planning Opportunities under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act; The Portability Exclusion: Recent Developments Bring Opportunity and Clarifications; How to Use Qualified Charitable Distributions as a Tax-Saving Tool; Recent 529 plan Changes Add to Their Advantages; Near Death Planning and the Zero Basis Rule; New Disclosures Could Lead to Penalties for Executors and Heirs; 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 Accommodate 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 Opportunities 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; and Planning Opportunities in the Government's Response to the Economic Downturn. Leslie regularly speaks on estate planning topics for a variety of groups and organizations, including the Financial Planning Association (FPA), the California Society of Certified Public Accountants (CalCPA), and the National Business Institute (NBI), most recently at the following two-day NBI continuing legal education seminars for attorneys, financial planners, and accountants: Estate Planning from A to Z ; Estate Planning and Administration: The Complete Guide; and Probate Boot Camp.
- Appointed as one of nine commissioners to the Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law Advisory Commission by the State Bar of California Board of Trustees in 2012. Reappointed to a second term in 2015.
- B.S., University of Southern California; MBA, University of California Irvine, JD, Loyola Law School, Los Angeles
- Certified Specialist in Estate Planning, Probate, and Trust Law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization
- Super Lawyers: 2018 - 2024
Certificates and credentials
Estate Planning, Trust & Probate Law