Stephanie S. Downer
Of Counsel

Stephanie Downer’s practice focuses on estate planning, wealth transfer planning, trust administration and probate law. She has more than 12 years of experience representing families and business owners in all aspects of estate planning including revocable living trust plans, gift and estate tax planning with irrevocable trusts, charitable gift planning, property tax planning and trust administration.  She enjoys counseling clients with care, and ensuring that their planning reflects her clients’ overall goals and legacy. 


Ms. Downer received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara, in 2004. She received her law degree and legal master’s in taxation from the University of San Diego in 2007 and 2011, respectively. She also spent two and a half years studying applied mathematics and computer science at New York University. 

Employment Background

Prior to joining SCMV, Ms. Downer was a partner at Paeske Law, PC, where she focused on estate planning, tax and business planning for the San Diego community.  She also spent over a decade practicing estate planning, business succession planning, trust administration, and probate law in a boutique San Diego law firm. 

Representative Matters

  • Estate planning, including preparation of revocable living trust based plans, wills, advance health care directives, and financial powers of attorney
  • Wealth transfer planning, including gift, estate and property tax planning involving irrevocable grantor or non-grantor trusts, life insurance trusts, split interest trusts, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, outright gifts and issues related to transfers of real estate to family members or transfers to or from entities 
  • Administration of trusts and of a decedent’s estate

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section

Community Affiliations

  • Member, Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation, Estates and Trusts Council
  • Member, The Lawyers Club of San Diego
  • Member, North County Estate Planning Council
  • Volunteer, Feeding San Diego


In her free time, Ms. Downer enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two children, traveling, swimming and surfing, hosting meals with family and friends, and volunteering with local community organizations.