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About us

The Scharf difference

We only practice estate law.

Our goal is to always provide tailor-made advice, plans, and legal services specific to your unique needs. To keep this promise, we limit the number of individuals and families we serve, ensuring we have time for you. Our work is not done until you have a solution which is unique to you, and complete understanding at every step of the way.

When you choose Scharf Estate Law, you are working with a small team dedicated to providing you with peace of mind.

If you need assistance preparing your Will and powers of attorney (your estate plan), we will take you through small, incremental steps to arrive at a plan that is right for you and your family. Every question you have will be answered as we go.

If you are an estate trustee (executor) appointed to administer the estate of someone who has died, we will assist with as much or as little as you require. We can manage the entire estate on your behalf or, if you prefer, take on only those specific tasks you need assistance with.

If you believe there is something wrong with a Will or you are an estate trustee being accused of negligence or wrong doing, we can represent you to ensure your interests, rights, and integrity are protected. We prefer not to litigate and will always try to find a negotiated settlement to conflicts, but we will fiercely represent you in court when required.

Our vision

You matter

Complete peace of mind for individuals and families when it comes to their mental, physical, and financial health.

Our mission

To provide expert legal advice and services which are always approachable and clear, including estate planning, administration, and dispute resolution. 

Our values

These are the principles which guide us every day

Estate issues should always be resolved with unwavering respect for one another. We listen carefully and are sensitive, both to clients and adversaries. 

Clients trust us to craft tailor-made estate solutions. To honour this trust, we are open about what we will do, when we will do it, and how much it will cost.     

Estate planning, administration, and dispute-resolution services should always be communicated in clear, simple language. We make our services easy to understand. 

Exceptional client relationships depend on openness and trust. We are always open with our clients and provide our best advice based on their unique circumstances and needs.  

Every individual and family is unique. We are inclusive and kind.

About Scharf Estate Law

In the mid-1990s, David Scharf was raising funds to assist a man who was working to bring his niece and nephew from the Democratic Republic of Congo to live with him in Canada — their father had died, and the kids were alone. That man said something to David which resonated then and now: “In Congo, we have a saying. A parent needs to be as strong as an elephant. They need to lift life’s burdens off their children, put them on their own shoulders, and carry them.”

For David, ever since that day, elephants have symbolized strength, loyalty, and family. Preparing to open Scharf Estate Law, David knew that elephants needed to represent his firm. In designing the logo, a mother and baby elephant were chosen as the best representation of older generations nurturing younger generations, which is at the core of most people’s estate planning.

David Scharf has a Bachelor of Arts (philosophy) and Bachelor of Law from the University of Saskatchewan, and a Master of Journalism from Carleton University. He is a member of the Law Society of Ontario, Canadian Bar Association, Ontario Bar Association, and County of Carleton Law Association.

David is informed by his prairie roots. From Saskatoon, he moved to Ottawa in 2011. His interests include fitness, reading, writing, and golf.

He has two adult sons and he is glad he’s their dad.

Head and shoulders photograph of David Scharf with Parliament Hil in the background

I started Scharf Estate Law to assist individuals and families through some of the most important events in their lives, many of which can be deeply personal and emotional. 

For some, making an estate plan is not easy. Who will you provide for after your death? Who will care for your adult dependent child? Who will manage your health and property if you become incapable? Setting aside time to consider the remainder of one’s life and consequences of one’s death is difficult for some.

When a person is called upon to act as an estate trustee (executor) this means someone has died. Often, the deceased was close to the trustee: their parent, sibling, friend, or grandparent. Navigating the administration of a person’s estate while dealing with the emotional impact of that person’s death can be hard.

Conflicts over a Will or the administration of an estate are often between family members: parent v. child or brother v. sister. Resolving these disputes is fraught with emotion.

I look forward to meeting you, discussing your goals, and helping you determine if I am the right lawyer for you. I trust you will find me to be creative, respectful, and patient, with a dash of humour on the side.

With my regards,


We are committed to ensuring our clients know, in advance, what our services will cost. For many matters, including a Will and powers of attorney, we will quote a precise amount before you retain us to start working on your behalf. You will find specific examples in each practice area: estate planning, estate administration, and dispute resolution.

For some services it may not be possible to quote an exact price because the amount of work required cannot be precisely determined. In circumstances like these, we will provide an hourly rate along with an estimate of the hours required. And, in other instances, we may be able to work for a percentage of the amount we may recover on your behalf (called a “contingency fee”).

We know this is not as thorough an answer as you would like. Just know that you do not pay for anything until we have provided you with how much our services will cost, and you have agreed to retain us. Start with a free consultation. After our initial meeting, everyone will understand what you need, how we will provide it, and what it will cost.

Scharf Estate Law is based in Ottawa. We are a virtual firm and team members work from their homes. In our experience, clients prefer to meet virtually using Zoom, saving the inconvenience and cost of travel. For clients who prefer to meet in person, or who are not able to attend an online meeting for any reason, we will come to you in your home or office, or arrange a convenient meeting space for groups of any size.

Mail and courier deliveries can be sent to:

Scharf Estate Law

145 Richmond Road

Ottawa, Ontario, K1Z 6W2

Email inquires can be sent to