Elizabeth is a partner in the private client and tax team.She focuses her efforts on estate planning, planned giving and tax-exempt organizations. Elizabeth represents clients in matters related to family wealth transfers for large estates, sophisticated estate and gift tax saving techniques, charitable planned giving, and complex probate and trust administrations, including matters involving digital assets and cryptocurrencies. She also regularly represents tax-exempt organizations in formation, organizational and operational issues. Her practice also includes advising socially minded entrepreneurs and business owners on their options for dedicating their companies to philanthropic causes.
Elizabeth is certified by the California Board of Legal Specialization as a legal specialist in Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Law and a fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). She received the 2019 Distinguished Service Award from the Los Angeles Council of Charitable Gift Planners, where she has served as president and has been a member for 15 years. Elizabeth has been recognized in the Chambers High Net Worth Guide in the area of Private Wealth Law – Southern California since 2021.
Elizabeth is a graduate of Wheaton College (IL) and the UCLA School of Law where she served as Executive Editor of the UCLA Law Review. After law school, she clerked for Judge Wiley Y. Daniel of the Federal District Court in Colorado. Elizabeth is currently adjunct faculty at the UCLA School of Law teaching Estate and Gift Tax and Estate Planning.
Elizabeth serves on the board of the Heifer International Foundation, supporting the work of Heifer International to end hunger and poverty around the world by providing livestock and training to struggling communities.
Elizabeth did a great job of describing the new laws and available charitable giving options, which are complex, in terms that were clear, logical and could be put to use today.
She is a tenacious and skillful problem-solver, has strong personal and professional integrity, is pragmatic and is able to anticipate and mitigate issues before they arise.
She explains complex legal, tax and charitable giving situations in a way that even non-lawyers can comprehend.
In every way, Elizabeth Bawden is a leader and an exemplary representative of the gift planning community.
She is fiercely intelligent, thoughtful, principled, and has a remarkable ability to solve problems and offer effective and elegant solutions.
Elizabeth is very good and listens well.
Elizabeth […] comes up with creative solutions when the complexity of a situation warrants a more nuanced approach.
Me in a minute
Giving back is an important personal value
I drafted my first legal agreement at age seven, a contract to become the first female 3rd baseman for the Los Angeles Dodgers (I may have forged Tommy Lasorda's signature on that contract, but can assure you I am now completely reformed from such behavior). A career in professional baseball did not pan out for me, but a career in the law did.
Prior to law school I worked for a number of lawyers with different legal specialties. Observing their work led me to focus my practice in work with individuals, their families and their philanthropies.
I am grateful to have skills and knowledge to help people in difficult transitions - the incapacity or death of a loved one, the settlement of affairs with siblings, and the understanding of complex tax and trust administration matters.
Teaching law students in the area of estate and gift tax is something that I love. It keeps me in touch with the next generation of lawyers and requires me to constantly expand my knowledge. The ability to explain complex concepts and procedures clearly is a hallmark of my work with clients, and teaching gives me continuing opportunity to further develop this ability.
Giving back is an important personal value. I am able to do this through my direct work with charities and other tax exempt organizations. I also enjoy helping my individual clients realize greater impact with their giving and collaborating to strengthen nonprofits in partnership with them.