Charles Daff

Charles Daff



Charles applies his expertise to preserve, plan, and grow his clients’ wealth by utilizing a variety of estate, tax, and charitable planning strategies, and guides clients through the complexities of trust and estate administration.

Charles is an associate with the firm’s Tax, Trusts & Estates department.  He specializes in estate, tax, and charitable planning as well as trust and estate administration.  Prior to joining Dorsey & Whitney, Charles was an associate at Gaw Van Male LLP in Napa, California, where he handled estate and tax planning and estate administration for many of wine country’s notable estates.  Charles also previously worked at U.S. Trust where he administered a wide variety of trusts and investments for high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals and families.  Drawing from this experience, Charles has co-authored a number of articles for journals and industry practice guides.

During law school, Charles served as a judicial extern for the Honorable Scott C. Clarkson and the Honorable Meredith Jury.  He also interned with the U.S. Department of Justice.  In addition, Charles served as Senior Editor and Lead Article Editor for the UC Irvine Law Review.

In addition to practicing law, Charles is uniquely interested in the intersection between legal practice and technology.  He is a self-taught programmer and enjoys developing and leveraging systems aimed at delivering legal services on a more efficient and consistent basis for clients.

Education & Admissions

University of California, Irvine School of Law (Juris Doctor, 2013),

  • UC Irvine Law Review, Lead Article Editor (2011 - 2012)
  • UC Irvine Law Review, Senior Editor (2012 - 2013)

University of California, Santa Barbara (B.A., Business/Economics with Emphasis in Accounting, 2009)


  • California


  • English


  • Judicial Extern for the, Honorable Meredith A. Jury, 2012-2012
  • Judicial Extern for the, Honorable Scott C. Clarkson, 2012-2012

News & Resources

Legal Writings

  • Update Author, “Ethical Considerations” (Chapter 2), CEB California Estate Planning, Jan. 2019
  • Update Author, “Marital Deduction Planning” (Chapter 17), CEB California Estate Planning, Jan. 2019
  • Update Author, “Bypass Trusts and Disclaimer Trusts” (Chapter 20), CEB California Will Drafting, Aug. 2018
  • Update Author, “Marital Deduction: Overview and Formula Clauses” (Chapter 17), CEB California Will Drafting, Aug. 2018
  • Update Author, “Qualified Terminable Interest Property Trusts and Qualified Domestic Trusts” (Chapter 19), CEB California Will Drafting, Aug. 2018
  • Co-author, “Not in the Family: When to Name a Corporate Trustee,” The Journal of Financial Planning, June 2015

Select Presentations

  • Presenter, “Probate Bootcamp: Marshalling and Valuing Assets,” NBI, June 2019
  • Presenter, “Probate Bootcamp: Handling Debts and Creditors Claims,” NBI, June 2019
  • Co-Presenter, “Top 10 Things Estate Planners Need to Know About Planning for Retirement Assets,” CEB, Feb. 2019

Professional & Civic

Professional Achievements

  • Member, Orange County Bar Association – Trusts & Estates Division
  • Member, State Bar of California – Trusts & Estates Section
  • Member, State Bar of California – Law Practice Management & Technology Section
  • Former Vice President and MCLE Co-Chair, Napa County Bar Association – Young Lawyer’s Division
Charles Daff