Karen Clapp, Vice President, Relationship Manager for HearthStone

Karen M. Clapp

Vice President

I’ve enjoyed working in the financial services industry for decades, assisting clients with retirement, estate and philanthropic planning.  At HearthStone | Private Wealth Management I’m primarily involved in financial planning and client services.

Previously I served as a manager and trust specialist with Merrill Lynch Trust Company, working with financial consultants, affluent clients, business owners, legal and tax advisors, and non-profit organizations.  I also worked in the areas of business succession and retirement planning at CIGNA and Shearson. Combined with my law degree, I’ve viewed the financial world from both a micro and macro perspective. I am excited to draw on this extensive background in my work with HearthStone.

My husband, Kyle Cruse, and I are the proud parents of three children: daughters Dana and Haley, and son, Kevin.


JD, University of California at Davis

King Hall School of Law, 1993

Trial Practice Honors Board

BA, Fordham University, College at Lincoln Center, 1988

Graduated Magna Cum Laude

Career Highlights

Vice President, HearthStone | Private Wealth Management

Lead Investigator,
Clapp Legal, 2015-2016

Vice President, Wealth Management Specialist, Regional Trust Manager
Merrill Lynch / Merrill Lynch Trust Company, 1995-2001

Financial Advisor,
CIGNA, 1994-1995

Client Service / Retirement Planning Associate,
Shearson Lehman Hutton, 1988-1990


Team Leader, LEAD4theCure
Walk4ALZ, 2018-present
Fundraising, Corona Angels Organization 2011-2016

Professional Associations

San Diego County Bar Association
Member, San Diego Planned Giving Partnership
Probate Attorneys of San Diego (PASD)
Professional Fiduciary Association of California (PFAC) – Affiliate Member
North County Estate Planning Council