Melinda focuses on providing holistic multi-generational income and wealth transfer tax planning advice and estate and trust services to high net worth individuals, families, and business owners. She brings a unique and diverse perspective from her work in private law practice, Big Four accounting firms, and private banking/trust services.
Melinda has over two decades of experience advising clients with regard to domestic and foreign trusts, family limited partnerships and LLCs, grantor retained annuity trusts, dynasty trusts and other wealth transfer strategies, asset protection planning, business succession and pre-sale planning, and charitable giving. She also advises fiduciaries and beneficiaries on probate and estate and trust administration, and serves as a technical expert working closely with the firm’s Litigation group on estate and trust litigation matters.
As a seasoned tax and estates and trusts attorney, Melinda enjoys working with a wide range of clients to successfully protect and preserve their wealth. She has represented business owners, real estate developers, private equity partners, physicians, executives, young couples, retirees, international/expat clients and their families.
Melinda started her career at a boutique trusts and estates firm in Montgomery County, Maryland, where she developed a strong foundation in estate planning and estate and trust administration.
After completing her LL.M. in Taxation at the Georgetown University Law Center, Melinda joined the National Tax Department (Personal Financial Services group) for a Big Four accounting firm in Washington, DC, where she consulted with clients on a nationwide and global basis as a Subject Matter Specialist in the areas of income and wealth transfer tax planning.
Melinda then returned to the practice of law as a Senior Counsel in the Private Wealth Services group at a national law firm in its Northern Virginia office, with a primary focus on pre-sale planning for business owners, income and estate tax planning for international clients, and asset protection planning.
She later joined another Big Four accounting firm as a Tax Director in the Personal Financial Services group, working closely with business owners and private equity firm partners on their individual income tax and estate planning.
Prior to returning to private practice, Melinda was a Senior Vice President and Regional Trust Advisor at a large bank’s Private Wealth Management group for the Greater Washington Region, where she served as a resource to clients on trust and estate planning, and handled the administration and risk management of trust accounts over $5 million.
Given her diverse background, Melinda is distinctively collaborative when working with her clients and their other advisors, and highly respected among her peers through her involvement in various professional and community organizations. She was awarded the Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®) designation by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils, which distinguishes designees for their dedication to being a collaborative advisor, and is awarded only to estate planning professionals who meet special requirements of education, experience, knowledge, professional reputation, and character.
Melinda often views her role as a “translator” by carefully listening to her clients, analyzing their situation and helping them to understand their planning options and solutions in “plain English” big picture terms. Melinda notes, “I enjoy helping clients to navigate the process and design a customized solution that is flexible, practical and understandable.”
Melinda is listed among the Washingtonian’s and Northern Virginia Magazine’s Top Trusts/Estates/Tax Lawyers, as well as Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite.” She is active in the estate planning community on a local and national level, and has served on the Board of the Northern Virginia Estate Planning Council and the Washington DC Estate Planning Council. Melinda is also a member of the Wills, Trusts & Estates Legislative Committee for the Virginia Bar Association, and is a frequent speaker and writer on estate and trust planning.
On a personal level, Melinda is a strong supporter of local philanthropy and the arts in Northern Virginia, and is a current Board member of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Goodwin Living Foundation, and a long-time supporter and serial adopter of Lab Rescue and other animal welfare organizations.
Melinda is originally from Pittsburgh, and is an avid Steelers fan. She currently resides in Reston, Virginia.
Melinda is listed among the Washingtonian’s and Northern Virginia Magazine’s Top Trusts/Estates/Tax Lawyers, as well as Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite.” She is a frequent speaker and writer on estate and trust planning.
She has attained the Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®) designation by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils.
Melinda was recently featured in the Profiles in Success book series published by Gordon J. Bernhardt, which includes profiles of over 600 successful and inspirational men and women in and around the greater Washington D.C. area.
She was also awarded the John S. Nolan Fellowship by the American Bar Association Section of Taxation (2001), which recognizes tax lawyers who are actively involved in the Section and have demonstrated leadership qualities and a commitment to the Section’s mission.