John F. DeStefano

Of Counsel

Washington, D.C.
T +1.202.861.1742
F +1.202.861.1783


John DeStefano’s comprehensive approach to legacy management directly benefits his private clients. John draws on his background in law, finance and tax to advise public company executives, emerging growth company founders and wealthy families across the country on implementing financially sustainable, values-based legacy plans focused on multigenerational growth and success.

Lifestyle preservation, thoughtful wealth transfer and purposeful philanthropy are frequent objectives, as are transmitting core values and teaching the next generation to be good stewards of the family heritage. Through Annual Summits, John gathers family members and advisors around the same table to discuss vision, evaluate strategy and move tactically. To promote transparent communication and sound decision-making, the family’s living balance sheet, legacy plan blueprint, capital allocation, tax exposure and more are displayed digitally in real-time using FinClar – a bespoke experience available only to clients of the firm. Summits conclude with action items for the family and advisory team to accomplish in the year ahead. Such a clear and consistent discipline keeps families on track and ahead of the curve over the long term.

John is a tenure-track law professor in North Carolina and teaches Wills & Trusts, Estate Planning & Drafting and Personal Tax Planning. He also co-lectures an advanced estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax planning seminar at Georgetown Law. He is a graduate of the Mid-Atlantic Fellows Institute of the American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and writes and speaks on a range of estate planning topics. Before law school, John worked in portfolio management at a multibillion-dollar endowment and lectured undergraduate business finance. He is a four-time graduate of the University of Florida, with distinction.

Recognitions and Memberships


  • Best Lawyers in America® Tax Law: Ones to Watch (2022)
  • Supreme Court of Florida Pro Bono Service Silver Pin (2017)
  • Supreme Court of Florida Pro Bono Service Bronze Pin (2016)


  • American Bar Association: Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section
  • The Florida Bar: Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section


  • The John Carroll Society (Archdiocese of Washington)

Prior Positions

  • U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Florida, Economic Crimes Section: Law Clerk (2013)
  • U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, Enforcement Division, Asset Management Unit: Law Clerk (2012)


  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida
  • Florida
  • District of Columbia


  • LL.M., Taxation, University of Florida Levin College of Law, 2015; Book Award in Estate Planning
  • J.D., University of Florida Levin College of Law, 2014
  • M.S., Finance, University of Florida, 2009
  • B.S., Finance, University of Florida, 2008; Warrington Finance Scholar