David J. McCabe is senior partner and Chair of Willkie’s Nationwide Private Clients Group. He has significant experience in all aspects of estate planning and administration, with emphasis on the development of sophisticated plans for high-net-worth individuals and their families.
Dave's practice includes the preparation of complex wills, trust agreements and related instruments, the representation of clients in estate tax and gift tax audits, and general counseling of clients in all phases of the administration of decedents’ estates and trusts.
For more than 35 years, Dave has taken a holistic approach to his work, and he excels at guiding his clients through the complexities of estate planning and estate and trust administration. At Willkie, he is able to call upon the experience of his colleagues in a myriad of practice areas (alternative investment management, asset management, corporate, litigation, tax, real estate, securities law, executive compensation and intellectual property) to address the many issues confronted by his clients. He works with many single- and multi-family offices to provide comprehensive solutions to the complex issues facing today’s wealthiest families. Dave takes pride in his and his team’s ability to work collaboratively with a family’s other advisers to craft integrated plans that best serve the needs of each family. Dave's approach has been tremendously successful for the firm’s clients. His greatest source of new relationships are referrals from existing clients and their advisers.
Dave also has experience advising clients on international estate planning. The majority of that work relates to advising non-resident and resident aliens on the U.S. tax aspects of their plans. However, he has often worked with counsel from around the world to resolve multi-jurisdictional issues for families.
In addition to representing families, Dave’s clients include banks and trust companies. He advises fiduciaries on their duties and responsibilities in managing estates and trusts. He also advises fiduciaries and beneficiaries in estate and trust litigation matters in Surrogate’s Courts and the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
A growing part of Dave's practice includes the representation of public charities, private foundations and charitable trusts. He has advised directors and trustees of philanthropic organizations on a variety of corporate and tax issues, and has formed numerous private foundations and public charitable entities.
Dave has been consistently ranked by Chambers High Net Worth as a leading lawyer in the area of private wealth. Chambers notes that sources highlight Dave “deploys his vast experience with considerable aplomb” (2021) and “is in the upper echelons of New York practitioners” with “a great combination of in-depth expertise and practical know-how” that makes him “a heavyweight lawyer with some very significant experience handling the big ticket estates” (2020). Dave is also consistently ranked by Best Lawyers in America and Super Lawyers as a leading lawyer in Trusts and Estates.