Cheryl Schaffer

Partner Emeritus, Estates & Trusts

Cheryl J. Schaffer is well recognized for her work in tax planning and preparation for high net-worth individuals, estates, trusts, and private foundations.  Cheryl obtained her B.S. from California State Long Beach in 1986 and her Masters in Taxation from Golden Gate University in 1994.

Cheryl began her career with BDO Seidman in 1987, where she trained directly under and was personally mentored by BDO’s International Partner in charge of Estate Planning. In 2003, after practicing in her own firm for 5 years, she joined Wright Ford Young & Company to head the Estate & Trust Team.

Under Cheryl’s leadership, the Estate and Trust Team has saved clients millions of dollars in estate tax.  In addition, she and the Team are especially sensitive to the delicate family issues surrounding loss of a spouse, partner or other loved ones.  The Team strives to treat grieving clients with the compassion they should expect.  She has a special passion for clients who generously include charities as beneficiaries of their estate plans.

Cheryl is a frequent lecturer on estate and income tax issues, has instructed other CPAs for continuing education programs, has taught private foundation taxation at the graduate level and has lectured for the Estate and Trust Section of the Orange County Bar Association in addition to the University of California, Irvine School of Law.  She has also spoken at the International Association of Advisors in Philanthropy Conference. She has provided expert witness testimony in the Orange County and Los Angeles County Probate Courts.

Cheryl is the past chairperson of the California Society of CPAs Estate Planning Committee, past president of the Planned Giving Roundtable of Orange County, past chairperson of the American Heart Association’s Planned Giving Committee, and Former Board Member of Someone Cares Soup Kitchen.  She served on the Board of Orange County Estate Planning Council for 8 years and in 2010 served as the Council’s President.   She is a former Board Member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners.