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Jeffrey Louis Gaffney

Jeffrey Louis Gaffney

Helping people protect assets and plan their estates in North County San Diego.
  • Estate Planning, Stockbroker & Investment Fraud, Elder Law
  • California
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Paul Hilton
Paul Hilton July 9, 2020
Rating: 10 Lawyer Rating - 10 out of 10
Legal expert, Empathetic advocate Organized professional Vast life experience and legal expertise.
Client Reviews
Narendra S. October 26, 2021
Highly Positive on Professionalism, Quality, Responsiveness, Value He helped us write our Joint Living Trust and Pour-Over Wills. Every time accurate and to the point, excellent advice to make proper corrections. We are extremely pleased that we approached him, and will always want to. Three times he went over every word in my documents, and explained with patience.
Lori L. September 17, 2020
Last Minute Issue Solved I needed an issue resolved, within 24 hours. I was very fortunate to find Jeff. He was professional and pleasant. The fee was reasonable, fair, and well-worth it. I am a former paralegal. It was clear right off that he was an expert. Jeff solved the issue in 12 hours. Yes, he absolutely saved the day : D
Claimed Lawyer ProfileOffers Video ConferencingQ&AResponsive Law

Jeffrey Gaffney is a 27 year attorney and retired Navy Captain. Originally from New York, he moved to San Diego in 1985 and has remained here since, military duties permitting.

An attorney since 1993, Jeff is a graduate of the University of San Diego School of Law. He began as a law clerk in 1991, helping aggrieved investors recover from unscrupulous stockbrokers. A former registered representative ("used stock salesman") and principal (licensed manager of registered representatives), he began his own law firm in the midst of a scandal involving Prudential Securities' sales of limited partnerships. Since then, he has handled over 300 cases against brokerage houses.

Several years ago, Jeff combined trust and estates law into his practice -- a natural extension to the financial and planning advice he had been giving clients for years.

Jeff finished 30 years of active and reserve duty in March 2015. He enjoyed a successful career with eight years of active time, and 22 years of vigorous participation in the reserve. He led two major international exercises, served in the Middle East on several occasions, and had three command tours. His favorite job was a 2.5 year recall to active duty to run the Navy's history programs and museums; sadly this included being on the Navy Yard for the 2013 shooting.

An environmentalist, the Gaffney family has its own nonprofit organization to support sea turtle conservation, of which Jeff is the Treasurer ( He is also active with San Diego Coastkeeper. He enjoys summers in Central America working to preserve marine life.

A 1983 graduate of the State University of New York at Oswego, Jeff was named the outstanding graduate in his major. He graduated USD Law School in 1993. He later received a Masters in Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College in 2004. Jeff is also a graduate of the non-resident (non-degree) programs of the Naval War College.

Practice Areas
    Estate Planning
    Guardianship & Conservatorship Estate Administration, Health Care Directives, Trusts, Wills
    Stockbroker & Investment Fraud
    Elder Law
Video Conferencing
  • Skype
  • Zoom
  • Free Consultation
  • Contingent Fees
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Law Office of Jeffrey Gaffney
- Current
For 25 years I have helped regular people solve their investment and planning problems, I primarily do estate planning, but I am also familiar with conservatorships and stock broker malpractice and fraud. I am proud to have been helping the elde community with all manner of financial issues and look forward to doing it for many years to come.
US Navy
For thirty years I was a Naval Officer, Reserve and Active. I served as a Surface Warfare Officer, leading large groups of sailors in complex situations worldwide.
Clerk, then Attorney
Law Office of John Allen
My first legal job. I began as a clerk while still in Law School and stayed on after I passed the bar. I spent those years learning how to sue a stockbroker and fix their greedy sins.
Registered Representative and Manager
First Investors Corp.
After I left active duty with the Navy I became a "used stock salesman", which I hated. I left there to attend Law School.
SUNY Coll at Oswego
Undergraduate Degree
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Univ of San Diego School of Law
Law Degree
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US Army War College
M.A. (2004) | National Securities Studies
Military graduate school.
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Distinguished Service Award
San Diego Volunteer Lawyer Program
For my work with victims of domestic violence and elder abuse.
Meritorious Service Medal. Numerous and various lesser awards.
US Navy
Wide variety of military awards for superior performance.
National Meritorious Service Award
Operation Homefront
For work in helping to establish a new program for mobilized reservists.
Marion Mahar Award
State University of New York
Named the Outstanding graduate in my major for my undergraduate degree.
Black Belt, First Degree
International Tae Kwon Do Federation
Regents Scholarship
New York State
Academic scholarship granted to pay for my undergraduate tuition based on academic achievement.
Professional Associations
California Bar Association
- Current
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California State Bar
- Current
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Elder Counsel
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Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
143 Questions Answered
Q. my wife and i created a trust, and I'm doing a trust transfer deed for our home and it is asking me for the code# or
A: Not sure what you are looking at. There will be no transfer tax due for a transfer in or out of a trust for your own benefit. You need the deed to state that it is a transfer per Tax and Rev Code 11930 so that the clerk know no tax is due. You will also need a PCOR form from the clerk which is where you also tell the clerk it is just a transfer to a trust. Some counties require a transfer tax affidavit so check the clerk's website; said affidavit just says no transfer tax is due.
Q. My husband is an American citizen and I am a British citizen does that effect a revocable living trust?
A: That depends on his residency status and whether the IRS would look at him as a resident of the US with intent to stay. If you pass the test then he is taxed like a US citizen and no issues arise. If not, then the tax situation is much different (worse).
Q. My father lives in California, n owns 4 acres in Antwerp, New York, He wants to Will it to me. Should he? Or a diff way?
A: Most people will benefit from a Living Trust, coupled with a "pour over" Will (it pours your stuff over into the Trust -- I did NOT invent that name myself). A Trust allows you to plan your estate without it going through the Probate process after your death (even a modest estate without a lawyer's help will cost you $1,000 in court fees; probate fees to attorneys then start at 4% of the gross estate). A trust is also used to plan to keep Medi-Cal from taking back the money they paid on your behalf after you die. Medi-Cal will pay your nursing home if you cannot afford it (maybe), but once you are both deceased (you and your spouse), Medi-Cal wants the money back from your estate rather than letting you leave it to your children. Qualifying for Medi-Cal is a different problem than protecting your assets from payback. Qualifying requires that you have limited assets. That calls for 30 months advance planning, so you cannot wait until someone has a stroke or is already suffering from dementia. To make sure you will qualify for Medi-Cal to pay your nursing care you may need an irrevocable trust instead. I would be happy to do it if you like. My fee for a complete estate plan for Rocket Lawyer clients is $1,500 (that is 25% off my normal fee). Jeff Gaffney (the one on the left in the picture) 760.809.9401
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Contact & Map
7030 Via Cabana
Carlsbad, CA 92009
Telephone: (760) 809-9401
Law Office of Jeffrey Gaffney
1902 Wright Place Suite 200
Carlsbad, CA 92008
Telephone: (760) 809-9401
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