Ellen H. Whelan


  • Ellen H. Whelan
  • Phone: +1 619 744 2254

    Import to Address Book

  • Duane Morris LLP
    750 B Street, Suite 2900
    San Diego, CA 92101-4681

Ellen Whelan has over 30 years of experience in estate planning; estate, gift and generation-skipping taxation; family succession planning; stock option gifting; living trust formation and administration; irrevocable trust planning; charitable planning; and life insurance planning.

Ms. Whelan is a graduate of Stanford Law School and a summa cum laude graduate of the University of California, Davis, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.


  • California


  • Stanford Law School, J.D., 1984


  • Duane Morris LLP
    - Partner, 2022-present
  • DLA Piper LLP
    - Partner
    - Associate

Professional Activities

  • San Diego County Bar Association

  • State Bar of California

  • Past President, La Jolla Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section

Civic and Charitable Activities

  • San Diego Museum of Art
    - Co-Chair of Governance Committee
    - Elected Emeritus Trustee in 2020
    - Former Member of Board of Trustees
    - Former Secretary of Executive Committee
  • Jewish Community Foundation
    - Former Member of Board of Directors
    - Former Chair of Estate Tax Planning Committee
  • San Diego Symphony Foundation
    - Member of Board of Directors
  • Rady Children's Hospital Foundation
    - Member of Board of Advisors
  • YMCA
    - Gift Planning Advisors Council

Selected Speaking Engagements

  • Moderator, "Wealth and Estate Planning for the Modern Family," Trusted Charitable Advisor Program of the Jewish Community Foundation, January 2020

  • "Virtual Endowments and Other Flexible Charitable Giving Techniques," Estate Planning Council of San Diego, April 2018

  • "Flexible Giving – Promises, Pledges & Possibilities," Rady Children's Hospital 2017 Professional Symposium, January 2017

  • "Planning for Charitable Gifts of Residential Real Property," Scripps Health Foundation Gift Planning Seminar, March 2014

  • "Emerging Trends in Philanthropy – Structuring Major Gifts and Other Specialized Services," Jewish Community Foundation of San Diego, February 2014

  • "Current Developments in Planned Giving – Split-Interest Gifts," Jewish Community Foundation, May 2011

  • "Charitable Giving and Wealth Preservation," The Old Globe, November 2010

  • "Estate Planning in 2010 – 'The Twilight Zone,'" University of California, San Diego, March 2010

  • "Trust 'B' – What To Do With It? & Estate Planning Update," National Association of Financial Advisors, August 2009


  • "Current Trends in the Museum World – Recovery and Restitution of Museum Objects," Museum Trustee Association, May 2007

  • "Estate Planning and Charitable Giving," Massachusetts Institute of Technology, November 2005

  • "Estate Planning," California Western School of Law, March 2005

  • "What a Long Strange Trip It's Been: The Past, Present and Future of Equity Collateral Split-Dollar," California Trusts and Estates Quarterly, Volume 8, Issue 4, State Bar of California, 2002

  • "Estate and Charitable Planning for the High-Tech Client," Council for Advancement and Support of Education, March 2001

  • "Gifting Stock Options for Family Members – An Overview of Tax Aspects of Incentive Stock Options and Non-Qualified Stock Options," Salk Institute for Biological Studies, November 1998

  • "An Overview of Private Foundations," Jewish Community Foundation, May 1998

  • "Charitable Giving and Wealth Preservation," San Diego Museum of Art, December 1996