Trusts, Wills and Estate Planning

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston attorneys have the knowledge and experience to guide you through the complex, and ever changing, area of estate and trust law. You can rest assured that our attorneys will keep you well informed of the best ways to take advantage of the changes at each step along the way. Of course, there is more involved in estate planning than just the estate tax. Our attorneys can make sure that your assets pass to the next generation in the most efficient and cost effective manner. And if you are involved in the administration of the estate of someone who has died, we can guide you through the misunderstood, but often relatively uncomplicated, probate process.

Charitable Planning

There are many reasons to engage in charitable giving -- to provide funds for worthwhile causes, to create a legacy in someone’s memory, or to take advantage of the tax benefits. No matter what your goals, WTP’s charitable planning attorneys provide the expertise to get the most out of your charitable intentions. The limitations on income tax deductions for charitable contributions can be quite perplexing, but our attorneys have the knowledge to guide you through the complexities. Our attorneys also have the experience necessary to provide you with the proper structure for your charitable gift, whether it’s a charitable remainder trust, a pooled income fund, or the creation of your own tax-exempt charitable foundation.

Fiduciary Administration

Our clients often call upon us to serve in fiduciary capacities, such as the personal representative of an estate or a trustee. This indicates the high level of confidence and trust that our clients have in the judgment and abilities of our attorneys. WTP attorneys also provide advice to clients who serve in fiduciary capacities themselves. Our experience in estate and trust administration can provide for a smooth transfer of assets pursuant to a will or trust. And if a dispute arises concerning the validity of a will or trust, we can assist you in pursuing or defending against a challenge.

Estate Planning

WTP’s estate planning attorneys ensure that our clients have the documents necessary to minimize taxes and to transfer assets according to their desires. Whether you need a simple will or you need to engage in sophisticated estate tax planning, our attorneys have the knowledge and experience to provide you with the appropriate advice. WTP estate planning attorneys also work closely with our corporate attorneys to ensure that family-owned businesses pass smoothly from one generation to the next. As a testament to our reputation in the field of estate planning, we have for years had one or more of our attorneys who have earned the distinction of being elected Fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC).

Wills and Trusts

We can guide you through the complex and often confusing area of wills and trusts. Simply understanding the jargon is sometimes difficult. If you don’t know the difference between a QPRT and a QTIP, you’re not alone. Our attorneys can explain what these and other estate-related terms mean and how they apply to you. And we can demystify the misunderstood area of law known as probate. Our attorneys can tell you whether it makes sense to try to avoid probate through the use of a living trust, or whether the costs of doing so would exceed any benefit of probate avoidance.

  • Best Law Firms
  • Chambers and Partners Designation

Articles

2018 Changes to Federal, Maryland and D.C. Estate Tax Laws

The recently enacted federal tax legislation (the “2017 tax law”) significantly changed prior law with respect to the taxation of individuals and corporations, including changes to the estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax provisions.  These sweeping federal law changes also impact the estate tax laws of Maryland and the District of Columbia, which are tied to federal law.  A few of these changes are summarized below for residents of Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.  If you have any questions or are wondering how these changes may impact your particular situation, please do not hesitate to call and we will be happy to discuss the effect these changes may have on your estate plan.

2003 Maryland Legislative Update: Part 2

Personal Representatives – Election for Modified Administration (10/1/03). Increases the availability of modified estate administration, providing a streamlined version of the probate process.

Modified Administration – Final Report and Distribution – Extension (10/1/03). The new Bill is intended to make modified administration more user friendly. Modified administration under prior law required that a final report be filed within 10 months after the appointment of the personal representative and that final distribution of the estate occur within 12 months. The prior law did not permit extensions and failure to meet either of the deadlines revoked modified administration, thereby requiring the filing of an inventory and account. The new Bill provides for a 90-day extension of both time limits if a consent is: (1) signed by the personal representative and by each interested person, and (2) is filed within 10 months after the appointment of the personal representative. This Bill applies to estates of decedents dying on or after October 1, 2003.

Events

Where Will You Retire? - WTP Speaking

As the years pass by and retirement approaches, you may wonder if staying in your home is a good financial plan. Each state has unique laws that may be advantageous or harmful to your retirement. This seminar will discuss factors to consider when moving in retirement.

News

U.S. News Awards Top-Tier Rankings to 46 Whiteford Practices, Including 18 Nationally

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that U.S. News and World Report - Best Lawyers ® “Best Law Firms” has awarded the firm exemplary rankings for 2019.  Eighteen of the firm’s practices are ranked at the national level, including two practices with national Tier 1 rankings:  Litigation and Bankruptcy.  At the state level, an additional forty-six practices have been ranked in Maryland, Washington, D.C., and VA.

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston and 29 Lawyers Honored by Chambers and Partners

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston is pleased to announce that Chambers and Partners has once again ranked the firm highly in its 2017 list of leading firms and business lawyers. This year’s recognition includes a record 29 attorneys in 4 states, the District of Columbia and Afghanistan. 

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Recognized as National Tier 1 by U.S. News and World Report

The 2017 edition of U.S. News and World Report - Best Lawyers ® “Best Law Firms” has awarded Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP exemplary ratings in its seventh annual rankings of law firms.

Twenty of the firm’s practices were ranked at the national level, as well as thirty-seven in Maryland, ten in Washington, D.C., and two in Roanoke, VA.

Band 1 Ranking for Private Wealth Law Practice

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston’s Private Wealth Law practice is newly ranked Band 1 by Chambers and Partners in its 2016 High Net Worth Guide, released on June 24. According to one local lawyer, quoted anonymously in Chambers’ profile of the firm, “If I was a high net worth individual I would be going to Whiteford Taylor.” Ed Fee, also ranked Band 1, is cited as a notable practitioner.  Click here for details.

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston Increases Its Number of Falls Church Attorneys and Expands Its Northern Virginia Location

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP (WTP) has expanded its Falls Church office - by increasing the number of attorneys and enlarging its office space. Glenn R. Bonard, Eileen Morgan Johnson, Thomas Mugavero, Christy Richardson, and Andrew J. Terrell have joined Raymond J. Diaz, Michael Gartner, Christopher A. Jones, Katherine McCarthy, Edward J. O'Connell, and Eric A. Vendt in WTP's offices at 3190 Fairview Park Drive, Suite 300, Falls Church, VA 22042.

Ann M. Garfinkle Named Among Top Washington Lawyers

Whiteford, Taylor & Preston LLP (WTP) is delighted to announce that Ann M. Garfinkle has been chosen by the Washington Business Journal as one of the finalists in the Top Washington Lawyers program.  Garfinkle was nominated in the category of Estates and Trusts Law, and selected from a pool of over 400 applicants.