Keith Schiller

the Author

Keith Schiller is a nationally known attorney, award-winning author, and lecturer whose advice is sought by other practitioners to aid their clients with estate tax return preparation and defense. The author of more than three dozen published articles and 10 course texts for continuing professional education, Keith has co-taught estate tax return preparation and audit defense with IRS estate tax attorneys, appeals officers and managers since 1997. He received the CalCPA Education Foundation’s award for Outstanding Teaching Materials and has taught continuing education for professionals since 1987. 


Although Estate Planning At The Movies® — Art of the Estate Tax Return is a technical tax textbook to its core, its personality arises from the interjection of motion-picture themes and the lighter touch of the author, Keith Schiller. Connections to the cinema and humor enhance your educational experience by easing recall and remembrance of many issues and rules while simply making the entire subject matter a lot more enjoyable … or dare we say “fun.”If Keith could have cloned himself, his other persona would have been an advertising executive or comic writer for television. As a child, he loved watching Johnny Carson, but could never get the timing right. Estate Planning At The Movies® takes advantage of Keith’s alter ego as well as his professional capabilities. It blends marketing (assisting communication with clients), humor (the book is self-explanatory on this point), and tax law (Estate Planning At The Movies® — Art of the Estate Tax Return is meaty). 

His Background

Keith was born and raised in San Francisco, California, residing in Alamo, California, throughout his adult life. Keith graduated from the University of California, Berkeley (Boalt Hall School of Law) in 1974, during the heyday of estate taxation. At that time, California decedents were faced with an inheritance tax, and the estate tax exclusion was only $60,000. Approximately 7.5 percent of all deaths generated an estate tax return. Boalt Hall offered a three-course curriculum on estate taxation, including a basic course (taught by the renowned Professor Edward C. Halbach, Jr.), advanced estate taxation, and an estate planning workshop. Law schools generally teach estate tax only on an occasional basis. 


Less than three months after becoming an attorney, Keith submitted and prevailed on his first estate tax appeal. Estate planning and related taxation comprised only a part of Keith’s early practice. Closely held business formations, contracts, civil litigation, and real estate rounded out his practice. These experiences proved to be significant to Keith’s later understanding of business transactions, partition litigation, and other state-law principles that underpin estate tax law. Since the mid-1990s, Keith’s practice has become increasingly focused on estate planning, business succession, returns and advocacy relating to transfer tax (estate tax, GST tax and gift tax).


Keith Schiller is the owner of the Schiller Law Group, a Professional Law Corporation, of Alamo, Calif., with an active practice based out of Santa Monica, Calif. In fact, over one-third of Keith’s practice is Southern-California based. In the predominance of these situations, Keith is consulting with accounting or law firms on particular matters. The firm serves state-wide clientele. Keith is a certified specialist in taxation law and estate planning, probate and trust law, with greater than 36 years of experience. He works with wealthy individuals, business owners, and professionals with a client base that spans California. Keith is on the consulting board for two major national tax publications, namely, the Estates, Gifts and Trusts Journal published by Bloomberg Law, Tax Management and the Leimberg Information Services, Inc.® Newsletter. Keith has authored over three dozen nationally published articles on taxation law. 

Learn more about his speaking events

Visit the Schiller Law Group website to view upcoming and past speaking events.