N. Alfred (Al) Pasternak, Retired

N. Alfred (Al) Pasternak, Retired

Estate Planning

Estate and Trust Administration



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, retired at the beginning of 2020. As a tax lawyer and a certified public accountant, he provided valuable expertise to 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 was 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, 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
  • 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


  • Best Lawyers – Tax Law (Maryland, 2014-2020)
  • Best Lawyers – Trusts & Estates Law (Maryland, 2015-2020)
  • Super Lawyers – Estate Planning & Probate Law (Maryland and DC, 2007-2019)
  • Marquis Who’s Who in American Law
  • Marquis Who’s Who in the World
  • Washingtonian – Top Financial Planners in the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area
  • Bethesda Magazine – Top Wills & Estates Lawyers in Montgomery County
  • Accredited Estate Planner Designee of the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils
  • Maryland State Bar Association Section of Taxation Tax Excellence Award (2004)

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 >