Beth Shapiro Kaufman is a Member in Caplin & Drysdale's Washington, D.C., office. She was President of the Firm from 2015 to 2018 and continues as an active member of the firm’s Board of Directors. 

Ms. Kaufman rejoined the firm's Private Client Group in 2001 after working for over six years in the Treasury Department's Office of Tax Policy. Serving first as Attorney Advisor and then as Associate Tax Legislative Counsel, Ms. Kaufman had principal responsibility for all tax policy matters affecting trusts and estates, including estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes, as well as income taxation of trusts and estates. She has continued her focus in these areas in private practice.


At Caplin & Drysdale, Ms. Kaufman assists wealthy individuals with their estate planning. She also advises lawyers and other professionals on complex issues regarding estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer taxes. She is frequently retained by counsel to assist in estate and gift tax audits, to advocate a taxpayer's position before the Internal Revenue Service, or to seek a private letter ruling.


While with the government, Ms. Kaufman was the primary Treasury representative involved in the legislative and regulatory developments affecting the taxation of trusts and estates. Legislative projects included the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 and the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001. Regulatory projects included regulations on qualified domestic trusts, generation-skipping transfer tax, charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, adequate disclosure for gift tax purposes, separate share, definition of foreign and domestic trusts, and valuation tables.

Ms. Kaufman is a member of the Adjunct Faculty for the University of Miami School of Law, Heckerling Graduate Program in Estate Planning and Georgetown University Law Center, where she teaches LLM-level courses on the Generation-Skipping Transfer Tax.

Admissions & Education

Bar & Court Admissions
  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • New York
  • Virginia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals
  • Maryland Court of Appeals
  • Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (inactive)

J.D., Harvard Law School, 1984, Notes Editor, Harvard Law Review

B.A., Pomona College, 1981, cum laude

  • Law Clerk, Chief Judge Spottswood W. Robinson, III, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, 1984-1985

Recognitions & Noteworthy

Honors & Recognitions
  • National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, Awarded the Accredited Estate Planner® (Distinguished) designation and inducted into the “Estate Planning Hall of Fame” on November 7, 2019
  • Chambers High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth Law, D.C. and USA: Eastern Region, 2016-Present
  • Chambers USA, 2010-2016
  • The Legal 500, Recommended, 2014, 2015, 2020
  • Best Lawyers in America, Women in the Law, 2016; D.C. Trusts and Estates Lawyer of the Year, 2016 and 2018; Listed 2003-Present
  • Expert Guides' World's Leading Women in Business Law, Leading Practitioner, 2014; Listed, 2013-Present
  • Super Lawyers, Washington, D.C., 2008-Present; Top 50 Women Washington, DC, 2021
  • Northern Virginia Magazine, Top Lawyer, 2016
  • Fortune Magazine, Women Leaders in the Law, 2014
  • The Washingtonian, Top Money Advisers, 2014; Top Wealth Advisers, 2016; Best Financial Advisers, 2019, 2021; Lifetime Achievement Lawyer, 2022; Top Financial Advisers Hall of Fame, 2023; Top Lawyers, 2007-Present
  • The Washington Post, Among the Top Attorneys in D.C., 2014
  • Martindale-Hubbell® AV® Preeminent™
  • Who's Who Legal, Private Client, Recommended, 2021 - Present

Government Service

Attorney, Office of Tax Legislative Counsel, U.S. Department of Treasury, 1995-2001

Professional Activities & Affiliations

Other Professional Affiliations

Member, American Bar Association, Sections of Taxation and Real Property, Trust and Estate Law

Board of Regents, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, 2018-2024

Member, Tax Policy Study Committee, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Former Chair, 2019-2022

Member, Washington Affairs Committee, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, Former Chair, 2016-2019

Chair, Estate and Gift Tax Committee, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, 2022-2025

Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

Member, Washington DC Estate Planning Council

Newsroom & Publications

Speaking Engagements

Ms. Kaufman is a frequent lecturer on topics related to estate planning and has spoken before numerous professional groups, including the University of Miami Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, ALI-ABA, the ABA Tax and Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Sections.  Below is a list of recent speaking engagements.

Publications & Alerts
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