Helen S. Cheng


Helen is a partner in the private client and tax team.

She is a trusts and estates attorney who focuses on exempt organizations and international tax planning for inbound and outbound transactions. She assists clients in all aspects of estate planning, estate and trust administration and charitable planning.

Helen brings a diversity of experience to her clients. After graduating from Stanford Law School, she practiced international corporate tax law in China and California where she worked with multinational corporations, such as Oracle, Intel and Seagate, on sophisticated international tax planning techniques. Helen is also certified as a specialist in estate planning, trust, and probate law by the State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization.

Previously, Helen worked at the San Diego Zoo to create its licensing and technology transfer program. She was directly responsible for the creation of the San Diego Zoo Global Centre for Bioinspiration and worked with companies such as Procter & Gamble, WD-40, Nike and Qualcomm to develop technologies inspired by nature.

Helen currently serves as chair of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners San Diego Branch (STEP SD) and on the STEP USA board of directors. She is also general counsel for the International Community Foundation and a board member at the Balboa Art Conservation Center. Helen is recognized as a Best Lawyers "One to Watch" for 2022.

Secretary Selina Melendez





State of California, 2000

Considerations for making charitable gifts abroad,’ Daily Journal’s "Wealth with Withers" column - March 29, 2021, co-author

UBTI Proposed Regulations Answer Some Questions but Raise Others,’ Tax Notes - July 13, 2020, co-author

New tax legislation establishes flat tax on investment income of private foundations,’_ Thomson Reuters’ Taxnet Pro - January 30, 2020, co-author

STEP San Diego, Branch Chair

STEP USA, Board of Directors

International Community Foundation, General Counsel

‘Decanting Trusts: What’s New and How To Make It Work for Your Client,’ ALI CLE Program - January 13, 2022, co-presenter

‘Wine Not? California’s Decanting Act,’ ALI CLE Program - November 3, 2021, panelist

‘Wine Not? California’s Decanting Act,’ Estate Planning and Trust Council of Long Beach - June 3, 2021, co-presenter



  • English





Regularly works with...