Estate Planning

Brief History of the Santa Cruz County Estate Planning Council

The Santa Cruz County Estate Planning Council was originally formed in the early 90s and was made up a few attorneys, trust officers and insurance persons, all of whom were working in the estate planning area. There were 7 – 10 regular members and they used to meet at various local restaurants, including the DeLaveaga Golf Lodge restaurant.

The early members were Ian McPhail, Bob Brooke, Dennis Book, George Gallucci, Phil Sachs, Mike Corman, Jill Wilson, Al Lambert, Hank Olson, Larry Violante, Wayne Williams, Rick Polse and Larry Russell.

Around 1997, Peter Sanford succeeded to the chair, taking over for Larry Russell. At that time the organizing core was trying to have monthly meetings at the DeLaveaga Restaurant. Notices were sent out by hand with the help of CPA Maureen Fitzpatrick’s office. After a few years, we developed an e-mail list, and now everyone is notified by e-mail.

In January 2016, Emily Buchbinder became the Council chair.

We accept anyone who is interested in expanding their estate planning knowledge. Our members are made up of about 75% attorneys, and the rest a variety of financial disciplines, including paralegals, CPA, trust officers, licensed fiduciaries, insurance brokers, investment advisors, health care professionals; and, persons involved with mortgages.

2021 Meetings

Until further notice, all Estate Planning Council meetings are being held on Zoom. Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of the month from noon to 1:00 p.m. Please check the website Calendar for updates and registration. Meetings are currently scheduled on the following dates:

January 13
February 10
March 10
April 14
May 12

For more information, contact Emily Buchbinder by phone at (831) 750-2724 or by email at

Prop 19 Roundtable

The Estate Planning Section held a roundtable discussion on Prop 19 on January 13, 2021. The handout for that program is available here: Prop 19 Presentation 01-13-21.