Comments by David B. Gaw, creator of the Gaw System
available only in California Trust Administration.

David B. Gaw  

David B. Gaw is a frequent speaker at CEB programs and the the author of four chapters in California Trust Administration. Here he talks about Chapter 14 and his unique contribution (a CEB Exclusive) to a special area of trust administration.

I created a unique system for subtrust funding where previously there was none [system]. My system is particularly useful in assisting attorneys and CPAs in calculating the dollar amounts to allocate to each particular subtrust. The "Gaw system" is a practical, step-by-step approach to subtrust funding and introduces the practitioner to the use of spreadsheets in the trust administration process.

My belief is that, in the past, parts of allocating the assets between the subtrusts were done properly and parts were done improperly. For example, adjustments between trusts based upon the marital deduction formula were properly done when handled by sophisticated estate planning attorneys; however, other adjustments were frequently ignored. Where to take administrative expense deductions, payment of interest on pecuniary gifts, or determining the value of assets to be divided (based upon prior actions of the surviving spouse from date of death to date of distribution) are just a few things that were previously neglected.

My system improves upon the prior system because it creates a step-by-step process where none existed previously.

The sheer number of trust administration cases is dwarfing probate cases. Trust administration is now the major post-death administration process for most offices rather than probate. Those attorneys that are able to create a system and provide superior services to their clients will be the ones to make the most profit. Those attorneys that do not will flounder. Hopefully, my addition to the California Trust Administration book will assist practitioners in creating their own system.

About David B. Gaw

Partner, Gaw, Van Male, Smith, Myers & Miroglio, Napa; BA, University of Colorado, 1967; JD, Hastings College of Law, 1971 (ranked 6th in his class and awarded Order of the Coif). Certified Specialist in Probate, Estate Planning & Trust law, by the California Board of Legal Specialization of the State Bar of California; Certified Elder Law Attorney, by the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, as approved by the American Bar Association; Advisor, Executive Committee, Trusts and Estates Section of the California State Bar; member of National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys; American Bar Association (Real Property, Probate & Trust Section); Solano County Bar Association; Napa County Bar Association (President, 1994; Chairman of the Estate Planning, Probate & Trust Law Section, 1982-1986). Frequent speaker at seminars and contributor to legal publications. He can be reached at:


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