Stephanie S. Downer

Stephanie S. Downer is of counsel to Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek. Her 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 2½ 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.

Professional Affiliations & Admissions

  • State Bar of California, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section
  • San Diego County Bar Association, Estate Planning, Trust and Probate Section
  • The Lawyers Club of San Diego
  • North County Estate Planning Council
  • Rady Children’s Hospital Foundation, Estates and Trusts Council

Community Affiliations

  • 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.

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