Northern Virginia Magazine Recognizes SmolenPlevy Attorneys as ‘Top Lawyers’

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Northern Virginia Magazine names SmolenPlevy principals Jason Smolen, Alan Plevy, Daniel Ruttenberg and Kyung (Kathryn) Dickerson to its ‘Top Lawyers’ list for 2016. Nominated by their peers, the award recognizes SmolenPlevy for its excellence in the areas of family law, business organization, and trusts and estates.

Smolen, Plevy, Ruttenberg and Dickerson have previously been named ‘Top Lawyers’ by Northern Virginia Magazine in 2010, 2013 and 2015.

SmolenPlevy Named to 2017 “Best Law Firms”

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SmolenPlevy is honored to announce the firm’s inclusion in the 2017 “Best Law Firms” list, published by U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers. SmolenPlevy is recognized for its outstanding work in the areas of family law, business organizations, and trusts and estates. Firms included in “Best Law Firms” are honored for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers.

The “Best Law Firms” ranking complements the 2017 edition of “The Best Lawyers in America,” where Jason Smolen, Alan Plevy and Daniel Ruttenberg are recognized. Jason Smolen is honored as Best Lawyers® 2017 Business Organizations “Lawyer of the Year” for Washington, D.C., and Alan Plevy and Dan Ruttenberg are named in the Best Lawyers® 2017.

The U.S. News & World Report – Best Lawyers 2017 Best Law Firms rankings are based on an evaluation process that includes the collection of client and lawyer evaluations, peer review from attorneys in the field, and review of additional information provided by law firms as part of the formal submission process.

Jason Smolen Selected as Best Lawyers® 2017 Business Organizations “Lawyer of the Year” for Washington D.C.

SmolenPlevy is pleased to announce that Co-Founding Principal Jason Smolen is honored as Best Lawyers® 2017 Business Organizations “Lawyer of the Year” for Washington, D.C. SmolenPlevy Co-Founder Alan Plevy and Principal Dan Ruttenberg, JD, CPA, LLM are also named in the Best Lawyers® 2017. Plevy and Ruttenberg were selected by other leading lawyers from the Washington, D.C. area in the categories of trusts and estates and family law, respectively.

The Best Lawyers in America© is the oldest peer-review publication in the legal profession. It recognizes attorneys in 128 practice areas from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. For each location and specialty, the individual attorneys with the highest peer-reviews are recognized as “Lawyer of the Year.”

The attorneys will be featured in the 23rd edition of Best Lawyers in America©, which will be published later this year.

On Air: Dan Ruttenberg Shares Estate Planning Tips for the Elderly

Preparing in advance is vital if you want to protect your assets and have a say in how they are passed on. SmolenPlevy Principal Dan Ruttenberg, JD, CPA, LLM shares estate planning tips on local TV show, Senior Living in Alexandria.

“Legal documents are tools to address issues,” Ruttenberg tells Senior Living in Alexandria host Jim Roberts. It is important to have documents that keep you covered in case of death or disability. Particularly in the event of a disability, you want to have confidence in who is making decisions on your behalf.

What happens if you don’t have an estate plan in place? That will depend on the circumstances at the time — Ruttenberg explains important estate planning tips, including how to avoid probate in the complete segment above.

On Air: Daniel Ruttenberg Shares Why You Should Have a Will in Order on ABC 7

A court confirmed that music superstar Prince died without a will, which leaves complicated questions about who inherits his vast fortune. There are at least six siblings, including half siblings, who may inherit, and the confusion is just starting. In an interview on ABC 7, SmolenPlevy Principal Daniel Ruttenberg explained the problems that may occur when you die without a will, and why it’s vital to make sure that doesn’t happen to you.

Ruttenberg explained that without a will, Prince could not direct where his assets should go. “I think that’s a travesty,” said Ruttenberg. Often, people avoid estate planning because they don’t think they have enough assets. But Ruttenberg said you don’t need to own much to learn from Prince’s mistake — plan now and prevent the heartache and need for the court’s intervention after you’re gone.

A will can dictate to whom your money goes, protect your children’s interests in their inheritance and help avoid taxation. News reports predict Prince’s siblings will split the multi-million dollar estate, but Ruttenberg indicates that someone who claims to be Prince’s child could trump all of that.

Ruttenberg told ABC 7’s Kimberly Suiter that whoever does inherit Prince’s estate isn’t necessarily going to be better for it. Sudden wealth has its own set of problems, and many people who inherit a fortune overnight end up blowing it all quickly. They can end up broke, homeless, and in a worse position than they were before getting the money.

Jason Smolen, Alan Plevy and Daniel Ruttenberg Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2016

2016 Best Lawyers

SmolenPlevy is pleased to announce that Jason SmolenAlan Plevy, and Daniel Ruttenberg have been included in the 2016 Best Lawyers in America. The attorneys will be listed in the 2016 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© in November.

Best Lawyers® is the oldest peer-review publication in the legal profession. It recognizes attorneys in 128 practice areas from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Smolen, Plevy and Ruttenberg were selected for this honor by other leading lawyers throughout the United States in the fields of business organizations, family law, and trusts and estates, respectively.

Previously, Smolen, Plevy and Ruttenberg have been recognized as Top Lawyers by Northern Virginia Magazine and Power Players by SmartCEO Magazine.

SmolenPlevy Attorneys Named to 2015 Virginia Super Lawyers

2015 Virginia Super Lawyers

SmolenPlevy is pleased to announce that Principals Alan PlevyDaniel Ruttenberg and Kyung (Kathryn) Dickerson have been named 2015 Virginia Super Lawyers. Additionally, Associate Joshua Isaacs has been recognized as 2015 Virginia Rising Stars. Both honors are awarded to no more than five percent of attorneys in each state.

Super Lawyers is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a multiphase process that includes a statewide survey of lawyers, an independent evaluation of candidates and peer reviews.

Jason Smolen and Daniel Ruttenberg Named ‘Power Players’ by SmartCEO

 

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Co-founding Principal Jason Smolen and Principal Daniel Ruttenberg were honored during the 2014 Power Players Awards, presented by SmartCEO Magazine.

In 2013, Principal Kyung (Kathryn) Dickerson was named Attorney Power Player of the Year for Divorce, Domestic Relations, and Child Custody and Adoptions.

Every year, SmartCEO recognizes the region’s most enterprising attorneys, bankers and accountants for their leadership, accomplishment, innovation and success. Smolen and Ruttenberg are profiled in the September/October issue of SmartCEO magazine.

Alan Plevy and Daniel Ruttenberg Named 2015 Best Lawyers

Alan Plevy and Daniel Ruttenberg Named 2015 Best Lawyers

SmolenPlevy is pleased to announce that Alan Plevy and Daniel Ruttenberg have been selected to the 2015 “Best Lawyers in America” list. Both attorneys will be featured in the 21st edition of The Best Lawyers in America later this year.

The Best Lawyers in America is the oldest peer-review publication in the legal profession. It recognizes attorneys in 128 practice areas from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Plevy and Ruttenberg were selected for this honor by other lawyers throughout the United States in the categories of family law, and trusts and estates, respectively.

Previously, Plevy and Ruttenberg have been recognized as Virginia Super Lawyers, Top Lawyers by Northern Virginia Magazine, Power Players by SmartCEO Magazine.

In the Media: Daniel Ruttenberg Discusses Hillman v. Maretta on Money Matters

SmolenPlevy's Daniel Ruttenberg on Money Matters

Major life events—marriages, birth of children and deaths—should make you re-consider and update your estate plan and change of beneficiary designations. SmolenPlevy Principal Daniel Ruttenberg recently appeared on TV’s Money Matters with Tom Spottiswood to discuss his role in tackling this very issue last year before the U.S. Supreme Court in Hillman v. Maretta. Ruttenberg considers this case a perfect example of how disregarding estate planning over time can gradually build from a minor headache into a full-blown nightmare.

Because laws are constantly being revised and estate planning requirements change as life events happen, it is crucial that documents are kept up-to-date. Ruttenberg emphasizes that estate planning is a process, not a project, therefore it is wise to review an estate plan every three years with a competent attorney.

Warren Hillman named his then-wife Judy Maretta as the beneficiary of his Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Act (FEGLIA). They later divorced and Hillman remarried, but failed to update his beneficiary designations. When he died, his widow Jacqueline Hillman sought to receive the benefits of the life insurance plan but was denied. Instead, his former spouse was paid in full as the designated beneficiary, and Hillman sued Maretta.

At the time Hillman sued Maretta, Virginia had a law that permitted the widow to sue the ex-wife to try to recover money in this type of situation.  However the FEGLIA specifically states that death benefits will be paid out to the designated beneficiaries. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal law preempts the state law, and permitting this type of lawsuit who in essence end-run the FEGLIA.Therefore, Hillman lost the appeal, even though her late husband intended her to have the insurance proceeds.

Watch the full Money Matters interview below to hear about Ruttenberg’s journey to the Supreme Court and learn how to best protect your assets during major life events.