T 301.656.8850 x471
7735 Old Georgetown Road
Bethesda, MD 20814-6130
J.D., William & Mary School of Law, cum laude
B.A., University of Florida, cum laude
District of Columbia
Brooke is an associate in the Firm’s Family Law Group. She received her J.D. from William & Mary Law School and her B.A. in history and political science from the University of Florida. Prior to joining Pasternak & Fidis, Brooke clerked for Supreme Court of Virginia Justice Stephen R. McCullough and Norfolk Circuit Court judges David W. Lannetti and Michelle J. Atkins.
Originally from Florida, Brooke now lives in Fairfax County with her husband, Brad. In her free time, she enjoys rooting for the Florida Gators, playing board games, reading, biking, and volunteering with Fancy Cats Rescue Team.
The word “service” has special meaning at Pasternak & Fidis – and it applies to community involvement as well as to our clients and to our profession. In recognition of the firm’s commitment to community service, we closed our offices on May 9th for a day of volunteer work at Red Wiggler Community Farm. We (gladly) exchanged our briefcases, law books, and business attire for hoes, shovels, and workwear to spend a day outdoors working alongside – and at the direction of – the wonderful, hardworking staff and growers of Red Wiggler, many of whom are disabled members of our community.
Red Wiggler is a working farm located in Germantown, Maryland, which supports youths and adults with and without disabilities with employment and vocational training… MORE >
Vicki Viramontes-LaFree, partner in the Divorce and Family Law Group, participated in a panel as part of Suburban Hospital’s Estate Planning Journal Club Speaker Series. The subject was “Grey Divorce: From the Legal, Financial and Mental Health Perspectives.” In 2013, a study found that the divorce rate after age 50 doubled and that it more than doubled for those 65 and older. The panel discussion focused on special challenges for divorcing baby boomers as they grapple with children leaving home, anxiety about financial security and the ability to retire, the tension between supporting children in college and the support needs of a spouse, the prospect of a reduced lifestyle after retirement and after assets are split in two, having to sell the family home, and… MORE >
Jan White and Linda Ravdin were named yet again on Washingtonian’s list of Washington’s Top Divorce Lawyers. Congratulations, Linda and Jan!
Partner Alex Tanouye recently presented to attorneys in the Maryland State Bar Association’s Estate and Gift Tax Study Group. Alex’s presentation – entitled “Maryland’s Spousal Elective Share: What’s In, What’s Out, What’s Next?” – took place in Potomac and was televised via simulcast in Baltimore.
Best Lawyers named partner Nancy Fax the Trust and Estates Lawyer of the Year in DC, Maryland and Virginia. Because the publication uses peer nominations to develop its selective list, we are especially proud of this recognition. Congratulations, Nancy!
Additional Pasternak & Fidis attorneys were recognized as best lawyers in Maryland in their respective fields:
For several years running, Pasternak & Fidis has contributed to A Wider Circle’s annual gala event, the Community Ball. Along with their spouses and partners, Alex Tanouye, Stephanie Perry and Nancy Fax attended the ball this year to show their support for the organization and its persistent efforts to eliminate poverty in the Washington Metro region. Alex, a member of AWC’s board, and his wife Daphne are pictured below with AWC’s founder, Mark Bergel. Learn more about the organization here.
Pasternak & Fidis, PC was recently listed in the latest Chambers & Partners High Net Worth publication as a leading firm in the field of Private Wealth in Washington, DC. Anne Coventry and Nancy Fax were singled out as “Notable Practitioners.”
The Treasury Department recently issued proposed federal regulations that could have a dramatic impact on your estate planning options by eliminating valuation discounts. For wealthy people looking to minimize their future estate tax, this development is critical.
Time is of the essence. Once the proposed regulations are effective, which could be as early as year-end 2016, the ability to claim valuation discounts might be substantially reduced or eliminated, thus curtailing your estate tax planning flexibility.
Here is a simple illustration of how valuation discounts have historically reduced estate tax. Henry, a Maryland resident, has a $20M estate, which includes a $10M family business. He gives (or sells) 40% of the business to a trust for the benefit of his family to allow the expected post-transfer… MORE >
Estate Planning & Administration partner Alex Tanouye donated his time to A Wider Circle this weekend. A Wider Circle works to end poverty one family after another with the aim of giving everyone the chance to succeed. In addition to serving on the organization’s Board, Alex also regularly volunteers with the group like he did yesterday, driving trucks or offloading donated and household items into the warehouse, where these items are later inspected, reassembled when necessary, and then taken into the showroom where the organization’s clients come to select what they need to furnish their apartments. It’s just one more example of how Pasternak & Fidis, PC gets involved in its community.
Structuring your estate plan requires you to take account of the assets that will be included in your estate, the various federal and state tax implications of transferring your assets, who will be responsible for administering your estate and the manner in which your estate will be divided among your intended beneficiaries. This article focuses on one of the questions you will need to answer before you execute your estate plan: Should you direct in your estate plan that a beneficiary’s inheritance be held in a trust or should it be transferred directly to the beneficiary, outright and free of trust?
A trust is an ownership arrangement whereby title to property is transferred to one person (the trustee) who manages the property and distributes it… MORE >