Professional Advisors

Mother and daughter team up to provide estate planning guidance and more

“People today are more attuned to charitable giving, but you have to approach it gently and mindfully." - Gayle Tarzwell

The legal profession, according to Gayle Tarzwell, “is in our DNA.” Tarzwell & Trubiano Law, LLC, is a small, family firm located in Wakefield. It includes Gayle, her daughter Amanda, and Amanda’s husband, Antonio Trubiano. Gayle’s husband, Tom, recently retired from the firm.

Gayle explains, “My dad (the late Honorable Domenic A. DiSandro, Jr.) was a lawyer in Narragansett for more than 40 years. He and my mom modeled for me being able to balance work with family.”

Gayle earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Rhode Island, a masters in taxation from Bryant University, and her J.D. from the University of Richmond. In addition to private practice, Gayle has taught business law at the University of Rhode Island and served as a probate judge at the North Kingstown Probate Court.

She shares that the work-family balance she learned from her parents included taking Amanda and her sister Allison to work with her throughout their childhoods. Despite being raised in an apartment above her father’s office, Amanda notes, “I never wanted to be a lawyer.” Her early interests ranged from ballet to environmental issues. But after working with a farming organization in Guatemala, she pursued her law degree at New England School of Law, having earlier earned a bachelor’s degree from Goucher College. With an early interest in international law, Amanda spent a semester as a law clerk at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands. She then returned to the States where she says, “I started to embrace a more traditional avenue of law.” She joined her mother’s firm in 2011.

Gayle has concentrated her 45-plus year practice on estate planning. “People today are more attuned to charitable giving, but you have to approach it gently and mindfully,” she acknowledges.

“The idea of being charitable and giving back is something many of us learn through our parents demonstrating it.”

- Amanda Tarzwell

Amanda also works extensively with clients on estate planning, noting, “It’s like a puzzle to put together. I listen for certain key things...whether they have children, their charitable interests, how their assets are held.”

Gayle, Amanda, and Antonio also concentrate in special needs law, an area all three have a personal interest in as Amanda’s 35-year-old sister has Down syndrome. “Amanda and Antonio have developed a great special needs practice,” her mother says proudly. “Amanda can empathize with clients, provide a sibling’s perspective, and serve as a resource for families.”

In their estate planning work, Gayle remarks, “We’re glad to have the Foundation as a resource. The Foundation provides a personal touch and local presence that the commercial firms do not have.”

“People want to have a face, a name, a number to call. And the Foundation has a good reputation. People know of the Foundation, but don’t necessarily know how it fits with their goals,” Amanda explains. “In those cases, we can serve as the conduit between our clients and the Foundation.”

“We’re thrilled when the connection works,” Gayle concludes.