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Virginia A. (“Ginny”) McArthur was in private law practice for more than 35 years, most of that time in the field of trusts and estates law.  “It was a great field for me, because I like people, and you do get to know a lot about your clients in T&E, and because I like numbers, which are inevitably involved when you are dealing with people’s assets and a branch of tax law.”


    Ginny had not always intended to be a lawyer.  Growing up, she knew no lawyers at all.  After majoring in Sociology at college, she taught high school in Ethiopia as a Peace Corps Volunteer.  Once back in the US, she moved to Washington, DC, where she found work doing research in the field of Corrections.  


    A career in research was not for her.  Casting about for her next step, Ginny realized that a law degree could open many doors, and would allow her to exercise her entrepreneurial bent.  She thus went to Georgetown University Law Center’s night program (working during the day to pay for it!), graduating in 1975.  She passed the DC bar exam, and later the Maryland and Virginia bar exams.  


    Ginny says the most helpful characteristic of a T&E lawyer is to be a good listener.  In over 35 years of T&E practice, Ginny noted that some of the same questions came up repeatedly in her practice:  “If you have a Will do you avoid Probate?” (No)  “Why does it take so long to do a beneficiary designation form?” (The company that needs to adjust the form to your particular facts may be resistant and need cajoling.)  “Do I have to have a revocable trust?”  (Sometimes it’s important, sometimes not.)  


    Occasionally, Ginny’s clients made changes to their own assets or their plan documents that undermined the goals of the estate plan.  This is bad.   “If the client does not know how the pieces fit together, she might act on advice that just does not apply in her situation.  I wrote this book to clarify how the pieces of an estate plan fit together,” says Ginny.


    Enter Let’s Talk About Estate Planning.  “So many people leave the lawyer’s office in a mild haze.  This book tries clear that up in a very accessible way.  I hope that after reading this book a person will exclaim ‘NOW I understand my estate plan!’”


    Ginny retired in 2015.  The law firm she founded in 1992, known today as  Franklin, Karibjanian & Law PLLC, is a T&E boutique firm practicing primarily in Washington, DC, Maryland, Virginia and Florida.  Ginny happily spends her retirement with the man she married seven months before retiring, plus his and her families.  They pursue the arts, golf, travel, and a television show they can agree on.

Is Your Plan Current?

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