Frank Baldino is an estates and trusts attorney who helps people throughout the greater Washington, DC area protect assets for their families and future generations through careful estate tax planning.
If Frank weren’t an attorney, he would have been a professor. While he relishes researching a novel tax issue, he loves translating complicated tax concepts into easy-to-understand options for clients even more.
Frank works closely with accountants and financial advisers to provide comprehensive planning advice to protect the assets his clients have accumulated and also minimizing federal and state tax liability. His calm and friendly demeanor encourages clients to think about the sometimes challenging and emotional aspects of planning an estate – from making end-of-life care decisions, to ensuring a surviving spouse can live comfortably, to providing for children in the event of a parent’s death. With precision and detail, he then prepares wills, trusts, and other estate planning documents that reflect each client’s desires.
In addition, Frank is experienced in the areas of charitable giving, tax planning with respect to retirement plans and stock options, business succession planning, and estate and trust administration. Washingtonian and Bethesda magazines have named Frank a “Top Lawyer” and The Best Lawyers in America directory recognizes him in the field of trusts and estates law. Frank is one of only 18 attorneys in suburban Maryland to be elected a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel based on outstanding reputation, exceptional skill, and substantial contributions to the field.
Outside work, Frank enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter and reading non-fiction works like one of his recent favorites, Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari or Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman.
- New York University School of Law (LL.M. in Taxation, 1990)
- Seton Hall University School of Law (J.D., 1987)
- Muhlenberg College (B.A. in Political Science and Accounting, with honors, 1984)
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- New York
- U.S. Tax Court
Honors and awards
- Washingtonian magazine Top Lawyer for Estates & Trusts (2007-present)
- Named to Top Attorney List by Bethesda Magazine (2019, 2021)
- Washingtonian magazine Top Wealth Advisor (2016)
- Listed in Super Lawyers Maryland, Estate Planning & Probate (2014-present)
- Listed in Super Lawyers Washington, DC, Estate Planning & Probate (2014-present)
- Bethesda magazine Top Estate Lawyer (2011)
- Listed in Best Lawyers in America, Trusts & Estates (2012-present)
- Estate Planning Council of Montgomery County, Maryland (2016-present)
- Maryland State Bar Association (Section Council Member: Estates and Trusts Section 2007-2016; Member: Estates and Trust Section, Elder Law Section, Taxation Section 2004-present)
- District of Columbia Bar Association (Member: Tax Section, Estates, Trusts and Probate Law Section and Estate Planning Committee 1995-present)
- Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland (Member, Estates & Trusts Section; Elder Law Section; Taxation Section 2004-present)
- American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (Fellow, 2015-present)
- Washington, D.C. Estate Planning Council (2001-present)
- Estate Planning Journal Advisory Board (2004-present)
News & insights
Lee v. Commissioner is a collections due process case wherein the United States Tax Court granted summary judgment for the Commissioner in upholding the IRS’s filing of a notice of …
Multiple Lerch Early attorneys have been selected for inclusion in the 2022 Maryland Super Lawyers and “Rising Stars” lists. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than …
Bethesda Magazine surveyed more than 1,700 attorneys who practice in Montgomery County asking them to name the attorneys they would recommend in 29 practice areas. Twenty-five Lerch Early attorneys were …
More than three dozen lawyers from Lerch, Early & Brewer recently were selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2022. Five Lerch Early attorneys have been named to the …
- “Drafting to Provide Flexibility Using Powers of Appointment and Trust Protectors,” presented by the Maryland Advanced Estate Planning Institute (May 2015)
- “Estate, Gift, and Income Tax Consequences of Making Gifts to Irrevocable Trusts,” presented by the George Washington University School of Law (March 2014)
- “Exit Strategies for Affluent Small Business Owners,” presented by RT Wealth Management Group (March 2014)
- “Will Drafting,” presented by the Maryland State Bar Association (January 2014)
- “Asset Protection: Planning for the At-Risk Client from the Estate Planner’s Perspective,” presented by the Maryland State Bar Association (June 2013)
- “The Marital Deduction in Estate Planning,” a section of “Basic Estate Planning,” presented by the Maryland State Bar Association (November 2012)
- Developed an estate plan for two married professionals, a doctor and a lawyer, who were concerned about protecting their assets from potential creditors of the medical practice. Used trusts to shelter assets, thereby protecting their assets from claims and creditors of the business.
- Counseled a couple about guardianship of their minor children if they both died. In this case, thoroughly discussed who was best positioned to provide care for the children and manage their inheritance, and ultimately appointed one relative as the legal guardian and another as the trustee of trusts for the children.
- Created estate plans for a couple where each person had been married previously and had children from their prior marriage. Set up qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trusts, which would provide spousal payments based on income earned by the trust and discretionary payments of trust principal, with the remaining principal transferring to the children from the first marriages after the death of the second spouse.
- Prepared an advance directive for a client newly diagnosed with cancer, discussing her treatment preferences in the event her disease progressed, and designating certain of her children as her health care decision-makers.
- Developed a lifetime gifting plan for a family business owner. Minimized gifts taxes and leveraged the lifetime gift tax exemption through the use of discounts and intergenerational transfer trusts like GRATs and GRUTs, which resulted in tax savings as a result of transferring interests in the family business and interests in a real estate LLC to trusts for the benefit of her children.
- Counseled clients on developing a charitable giving plan, including deciding how much to give, which assets to give, how to determine which organizations should receive the gifts, the way in which the gifts were to be used, and the manner of making the gifts (outright gifts or gifts to trusts for the benefit of the charity versus a family foundation).
- Worked with corporate lawyers to develop both short- and long-term business succession plans for a closely held business in order to achieve the long-term success of the family enterprise.
Disclaimer: Each case is different and past results do not guarantee similar results in future matters.