N. Alfred (Al) Pasternak, Partner

N. Alfred (Al) Pasternak, Partner

Estate Planning

Estate and Trust Administration


T 301.656.8850 Ext. 410

F 301.656.3053

7735 Old Georgetown Road
Suite 1100
Bethesda, MD 20814-6130


B.A., Colgate University

M.B.A., Columbia University Graduate School of Business Administration

J.D., George Washington University National Law Center

Bar Admissions


District of Columbia

N. Alfred Pasternak, a founding shareholder of the firm, is an authority on tax and estate planning. As a tax lawyer and a certified public accountant, he provides valuable expertise for clients seeking to transfer their assets while minimizing state and federal tax burdens.

Al is well-known in the business and legal communities and has received numerous honors for his expertise in tax and in estate planning. He is frequently asked to lecture on business succession planning, and on the special needs of closely held family businesses.

Among other honors and distinctions, Al is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a highly selective national organization that brings together the top trusts and estates lawyers in the nation. He is an Accredited Estate Planner, a fellow of the Maryland Bar Foundation, a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and received the Tax Excellence Award from the Section of Taxation of the Maryland State Bar Association.

Al began his career as a Certified Public Accountant. His first CPA job was with the accounting firm now known as Deloitte. But when he went on audits, he became familiar with the work of lawyers for his audit clients, and he decided that it would be more professionally rewarding to become a lawyer.

After receiving his law degree from the George Washington University Law School, he went to work for the Securities & Exchange Commission. A year later he hung out his shingle as a solo practitioner. In 1980, along with Marcia Fidis and two other attorneys, he formed the law firm now known as Pasternak & Fidis, P.C.

As his practice grew, Al became particularly interested in estate planning. Estate planning was a good fit with his tax background, enabling him to do the sophisticated estate and business planning that his clients needed.

A native Washingtonian, Al enjoys playing golf and tennis, but most of all spending time with his seven grandchildren.

Activities and Affiliations

  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (Fellow)
  • Certified Public Accountant, District of Columbia
  • Certified Public Accountant, Maryland
  • Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Maryland Bar Foundation (Fellow)
  • Maryland State Bar Association (Section of Taxation, Former Chair)
  • American Bar Association (Section of Taxation; Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law)
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • Peer Review Committee of the Attorney Grievance Commission of Maryland
  • District of Columbia Bar


  • “Estate Planning Course,” MICPEL
  • “Planning for the Small and Moderate-Sized Estate,” MICPEL
  • “Common Mistakes in Will Drafting,” Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland


  • Super Lawyers – Estate Planning & Probate Law (Maryland 2007 – 2017)
  • Bethesda Magazine – Top Wills & Estates Lawyers in Montgomery County
  • Washingtonian – Top Financial Planners in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area
  • Marquis Who’s Who in the World
  • Marquis Who’s Who in American Law
  • The Best Lawyers in America – Tax Law, Trusts & Estates
  • Maryland State Bar Association Section of Taxation Tax Excellence Award (2004)
  • Accredited Estate Planner Designee of the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils
  • Best Lawyers – Tax Law (Maryland 2017)
  • Best Lawyers – Trusts & Estates Law (Maryland 2017)



  • Linda J. Ravdin, The Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act: Overview and Background, in Drafting Prenuptial Agreements, Part XI (Gary N. Skoloff et al. eds., 2017)
  • “Premarital and Marital Agreements and the Migratory (Same-Sex) Couple,” Family Advocate, Spring 2016
  • “Community Foundation Donor-Advised Funds: Efficient and Effective Charitable Giving,” Maryland Bar Journal
  • “Practical Drafting Under the Uniform Trust Code,” Wealth Strategies Journal
  • Anne W. Coventry and Linda J. Ravdin, “Premarital Agreements & Trusts,” Family Advocate, Fall 2015
  • “What Family Lawyers Need to Know About the ‘New’ Phased Retirement for Federal Government Employees,” Maryland Family Law Advocate, April 2015
  • “Premarital Agreements and the Migratory Same-Sex Couple,” Family Law Quarterly, Fall 2014
  • “Factor Premarital Agreements and Divorce Into Estate Plans,” Estate Planning Journal (WG&L), July 2014
  • “The Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act,” American Journal of Family Law, Spring 2014
  • “Divorce May Be Hazardous to Your Health: Health Care Issues Affecting Divorcing Spouses,” Family Law News, Maryland State Bar Association, December 2013
  • “Planning, Admin. in a Digital World,” The Maryland Bar Bulletin, September 2013
  • Co-author of Family Law Jurisdictional Comparisons, 2d (Maryland/Washington, DC chapter), European Lawyer/Thomson Reuters
  • “Web of Estate Planning Considerations for Digital Assets,” Estate Planning Journal, May 2013
  • “The New Uniform Premarital and Marital Agreements Act,” Bar Bulletin, Maryland State Bar Association, Inc., September 2012
  • “Premarital Agreements and the Young Couple,” American Journal of Family Law, Summer 2012
  • “Estate Planning in a Digital World,” Wealth Strategies Journal, June 20, 2012
  • “Making Pension Promises in a Prenup: The Impact of ERISA,” Family Advocate Winter 2011
  • “Premarital Agreements: Validity Is Not Enough,” Wealth Strategies Journal Online July 2011
  • “Interlocutory Appeals in Family Law Cases,” Family Law News, Maryland State Bar Association, July 2011
  • “Marital Agreements in Maryland,” Family Law News, Section of Family & Juvenile Law, Maryland State Bar Association, 2011
  • “FAQ about Premarital Agreements,” May 2011
  • “FAQ about Rights of Domestic Partners,” April 2011
  • “FAQ about Postnuptial Agreements,” Lawhelp.org/DC, March 2011
  • “The Collaborative Divorce Option in a Nutshell,” The Maryland Bar Bulletin, November 1, 2010
  • “Divorce Gets Even Hairier: Pets and Marital Dissolution,” Family Law News, Maryland State Bar Association, May 1, 2008
  • “Settlement of Spousal Support Claims When the Payor Is Approaching Retirement,” American Journal of Family Law, Spring 2008
  • “Making Premarital Agreements Litigation Proof,” 2008 Family Law Update, Aspen Publishers
  • “Beyond Traditional: Domestic Partners Can Use Trusts to Fulfill Their Estate-Planning Needs,” Legal Times
  • “No News Is Good News: Validity of Premarital Agreements and Cannon v. Cannon,” Family Law News, Section of Family & Juvenile Law, Maryland State Bar Association, Inc., March 2005
  • “Alimony Drafting Tips,” Family Advocate, Spring 2003
  • Editor, District of Columbia Developments, Washington, DC Estate Planning Council Newsletter, 1995–2003
  • “Prenups to Protect Children,” Family Advocate, Winter 2002
  • “Thirty-Three Ways to Commit Malpractice with Private Retirement Benefits in Divorce,” Co-author, Journal of Asset Protection, May/June 1999
  • “Case Note: Krebs v. Krebs,” Family Law News, Maryland State Bar Association, February 2009

Blog Posts

April 6, 2015

The New ABLE Account for Disabled Persons

The tax laws have long encouraged Americans to save for college for their kids or to save for their retirement, but for families of those with disabilities, there was no tax-advantaged way for them to save for those individuals. The recently enacted Tax Increase Prevention Act of 2014 contains an important new provision which changes that.

The new law, which applies for tax years beginning January 1, 2015, permits States to create “Achieving a Better Life Experience” (ABLE) Programs. Here are some of the key features of ABLE accounts:

  • ABLE accounts can be created by individuals to support themselves or by families to support their dependents.
  • There is no federal taxation on funds held in an ABLE account. Assets can be accumulated, invested, grown… MORE >