About Us

The Estate Planning Council of San Diego is an interdisciplinary organization for professionals involved in estate planning.

Since its inception in 1955, the Council's primary objective has been to provide a better understanding of the services performed by attorneys, Certified Public Accountants, financial planners, life insurance agents, appraisers, trust officers, private professional fiduciaries, planned giving professionals, realtors, caregiving agencies and others substantially involved in estate planning and to promote cooperation among them.

Our meetings provide a medium for discussion of various, up-to-date estate planning topics of common interest. In addition to the excellent educational information and technical content, our meetings afford our members the opportunity to network, meet old friends and make new ones within the San Diego professional estate planning community.

The Council welcomes prospective new members and guests to attend our meetings which are held once a month. 


President's Welcome Message 2022-2023


Greetings and welcome to the 2022-2023 Estate Planning Council of San Diego season. This year we have 7 evening dinner speaker events planned to cover all aspects of estate planning to be held again at the Legacy Convention Center in Mission Valley. Events will be on the third Tuesday of the months of October and November 2022, and January, February, April (4th Tuesday), May and June 2023. Numerous professional continuing education credits are available for attendees. 

Additionally, there will be a “kick-off” mixer event September 20, 2022 at the LOT restaurant in Liberty Station from 5pm to 6:30pm, a Holiday social event in December at the newly remodeled KPBS Studios located on the mesa at San Diego State University, and a March 2023 off-site social event at a location TBD. See a full listing of our 2022-2023 event schedule by visiting https://www.epcsd.org/

As we begin our second year of resuming in person meetings, thanks are in order to out-going President Jan McDonough for leading the Council as it navigated the twist and turns of the COVID years. She encouraged our membership to stay committed and focused on our goal of providing an in-person experience to better understand the services performed by financial advisors, trust officers and other professional fiduciaries, planned giving professionals, attorneys and CPAs, realtors, care givers and others involved in the estate planning field. 

I am fortunate to have a dedicated six-person Board and wish to personally thank each fellow Board member for their service to the EPCSD:

Board Members

  1. Tom Gotfredson, Attorney | President 
  2. Rick Brooks, CFP, CFA | Vice President and Speaker Chair
  3. Jan McDonough, Attorney | Past President 
  4. Ronald Greenwald, MBA, SRES | Membership Chair 
  5. Darlene Mera, Banker | Treasurer 
  6. Jenica Bertalan, Financial Advisor | Secretary & Sponsorship Chair 

Thanks also to our committee chairs and members for their support of the EPCSD: 

EPCSD Committees

  1. Speaker Committee Chair: Rick Brooks
    1. Jay Robinson-Duff, Vice-Chair
    2. Ron Greenwald
    3. Daniel Weiner
    4. Janet McDonough
    5. Tom Gotfredson
  2. Membership Committee Chair: Ronald Greenwald
    1. Jay Robinson-Duff, Vice Chair
    2. Ron Greenwald
    3. Dan Weiner
    4. Jan McDonough
    5. Tom Gotfredson
  3. Sponsorship Committee Chair: Jenica Bertalan
    1. Elsie Arredondo - Vice Chair 
    2. Jay Robinson-Duff
    3. Barbara Leinenweber
    4. Jan McDonough
    5. Tom Gotfredson

We are assisted in our efforts by our absolutely amazing administrator Lorin Silva who is returning for her second year assisting the Council.

We are excited to announce that every sponsorship opportunity for the coming season has been sold out. Thanks to Jay Robinson-Duff and Denise Martin with First American Trust for repeating as Gold Sponsor ($2500), and Rosella Saucier with American Cancer Society (returning sponsor), Joe Farrage with RE/MAX Elite Properties, and Daniel Weiner with Weiner Law for signing on as Silver Sponsors ($1250 each).

We still have single event sponsorship opportunities ($350 per event) for the following events: March 21, April 25, May 16, and  June 20. Contact Lorin Silva or any Board member if interested. The event sponsorship provides an invaluable introduction to our membership with prominent billing in notices before and at the event and a 5-minute opportunity to personally introduce themselves at the beginning of the gathering. Thanks to Cheryl Kessler and CBIZ Forensic Consulting Group, LLC for stepping forward to sponsor the September “kick-off” mixerEmily Lippitt with Glen Oaks Escrow for sponsoring the October dinner presentation, Brenda-Lee Smith with Oasis Senior Advisors for sponsoring the November dinner presentation, Valerie Medina with Trust Properties USA for sponsoring the December holiday social event, Buddy Thomas with Superior Planning, Inc for sponsoring the January dinner presentation  and Valerie Medina with Trust Properties USA for sponsoring the February dinner presentation.

Because of the generous support of these sponsors there will be no increase in this year’s dues. Member dues of $425 cover all food at every event and one drink ticket at each dinner presentation. Emeritus members pay $75 per dinner presentation. Guest fees are $90 per dinner presentation. The Gold Sponsor can bring 2 free guests per dinner presentation and Silver Sponsors 1 free guest per dinner presentation. Associate members with less than 5 years’ experience have reduced dues of $350 per year. Social events and mixers are cash bar and guests are encouraged and welcome to accompany a member free of charge.

We are pleased to announce a new category of Corporate Membership. Each Corporate Member designates one individual who will be issued an EPCSD name badge. The Corporate Member may select an alternate attendee in place of the designated individual with no charge for the substitute attendee. If the Corporate Member has more than one attendee at a meeting, the designated individual or substitute attendee is treated as a member and the other attendee(s) are registered as guests and charged $90 each.

The Board has adopted a long-range vision of the Estate Planning Council of San Diego having 250 active, dues paying members by 2025. We plan to meet this goal by focusing on high quality and entertaining presentations from leading estate planning experts in a variety of estate planning fields. We plan to expand the use of panel presentations to increase the breadth and scope of each presentation. The Board has started the new season conducting a member survey asking for recommendations of event topics to cover and will endeavor to bring presentations with the widest interest and relevance. 

Welcome aboard to new members and welcome back for returning members. The Board wishes all of you a successful year ahead. We hope you enjoy your membership in the Estate Planning Council of San Diego and that it proves to be rewarding for you and your business. 

Warm regards,

Thomas L. Gotfredson, President, 2022-2023