Law Offices of Elizabeth L. Gray

Law Offices of Elizabeth L. Gray

Wills, Trusts, Special Needs Trusts, Powers of Attorneys, Advance Medical Directives, protect assets while qualifying individuals for public benefits.

Operating as usual


Hound Dog Day - 6 months from Ground Hog Day! If the hound dog drinks from his water bowl = 6 more weeks of summer!

Breaking Hound Dog Day News!

Wilson, the hound, just lumbered out from under his porch. He looked around his yard and decided he was thirsty. Wilson lapped up his water. So, we will have 6 more weeks of summer and hot weather!

[06/17/21]   New Bill Introduction!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Taylor Harvey (202) 224-4515
June 17, 2021

Bipartisan Bill Ensures American with Disabilities Will Not Lose Social Security Benefits for Working

Washington, D.C. – Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Senator Bill Cassidy, R-La., today introduced legislation to remove a Social Security work disincentive for Americans with disabilities. The Work Without Worry Act would allow Americans with disabilities to work to their full potential without causing them to lose out on higher Social Security benefits.

“All Americans who wish to work should be able to without disadvantaging themselves in the future,” Wyden said. “Americans with disabilities and their families rely on Social Security’s earned benefits. This bill lets families know that working – not matter how long or at what level of earnings – will not mean their child with a disability will lose out on a higher Social Security benefit in the future.”

“Government should encourage work. Americans with disabilities deserve the freedom to work without worry to secure their own financial future,” said Dr. Cassidy.

If an adult has a severe medical condition that began before age 22, they may be eligible for a Social Security benefit called the Disabled Adult Child (DAC) benefit. Their benefits are based on their parent’s Social Security earnings, in the same way that benefits of a child under age 18 would be. However, under current law some of these young adults fear that if they try to work they will lose future DAC benefits, which are often higher than any benefit they may qualify on their own. This fear inhibits the ability of Americans with disabilities to explore their ability to work as they transition to adult life.

The Work Without Worry Act promotes financial security by ensuring that any earnings from work – no matter how much – will not prevent an individual from receiving a Social Security DAC benefit from their parent’s work history if they have an eligible medical condition that began before age 22. This bill treats all individuals with severe medical conditions that began before age 22 the same – no matter when their parents claim Social Security benefits. This change is estimated to increase Social Security benefits by $100 million and improve the lives of nearly 2,000 individuals with disabilities over the next 10 years.

Additional original co-sponsors include Senators Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., Pat Leahy, D-Vt., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Bob Casey, D-Pa. The House of Representatives introduced a companion bill today, led by Congressman John Larson, D-Conn.

A one-page summary of the legislation can be found here.

Legislative text can be found here. 11/28/2020

Amazon Wishlist 2020 — ElderTree Care Management Thank you for supporting our local nursing homes. Amazon Wishlists. Click on a community & choose an item from their Amazon wishlist.Big or small — any amount is helpful!Items will go directly to the nursing home and to those residents in need.Leewood Healthcare, Annandale, VABurke Health and Re.... 11/11/2020

Psychological Hurdles to Thriving | Lifecare Affordability Plan

Great group. When a health crisis occurs, we all want to thrive.  However, there are psychological hurdles that may make us resistant to accepting the help we need in order to achieve our best possible outcomes. Today, Tom West and Arvette Reid discuss common psychological hurdles that keep people … Psycholog...


McCandlish Lillard

“The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people; that public discussion is a political duty; and that this should be a fundamental principle of the American government.” ~ Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (quoting Justice Louis Brandeis, Whitney v. California, 274 U.S. 357 (1927)).


Center for Family Involvement


Individuals with fragile immune systems or complex medical diagnosis will remain in quarantine until the COVID emergency ends.
• Advocate to extend this program
• Contact DMAS and your elected officials

Find more information about how to become an attendant for a family member.

At a recent meeting of the DMAS Advisory Committee, DMAS staff members reported that low usage had them considering ending the program June 30, 2020. Parent advocates gave public comment, made phone calls and sent emails to request an extension.

Some were unaware this program began in April and some had issues with signing up including:
•changing the EOR
•completing the background check
•delays from fiscal agent authorizations

Many of our family members have fragile immune systems on complex medical diagnosis. Some will be unable to attend school or daycare and remain in quarantine until the COVID emergency ends. Bringing non-family member caregivers in the house can be harmful to their health. Additionally some parents and spouses have lost their jobs due to changes in the economy or had to leave their jobs to care for the medicaid recipient in their house.

Here are three ways you can advocate and reach out to officials to ask for a further extension of this program.

Ask Governor Northam to support a further extension - tell your story

Tell DMAS if you’ve had problems signing up and ask the department to extend this program

Find and Contact your Member of Virginia Legislative

How to Advocate:
Don’t exaggerate but tell your story. Explain what’s been happening with your family during COVID and if the ability to pay parents and spouses as caregivers has helped you or your family. If you’ve had problems signing up or are just now becoming aware of this program - let them know. A short personalized email will make a statement. You can refer to “Appendix K”.

Feel free to email me [email protected] Jen Reese Northern Virginia Regional Network Coordinator with questions.

For more information and assistance on this and a wide variety of other resources call our helpline (877) 567-1122 or email [email protected]

The Family to Family Network at the Center for Family Involvement at VCU has a network of volunteer Family Navigators who provide one to one emotional, informational and systems navigational support. 06/18/2020

ML Welcomes Summer Associate

Welcome Joanna! ML is thrilled to welcome Joanna Thomas as a summer associate. Joanna is a rising third-year student at Washington & Lee University School of Law. She graduated from the University of Virginia in 2018 with a double major in public policy and government.


We’re doing it again on 6/3 at 4:00 PM.

ICYMI, McCandlish Lillard Principals Elizabeth Gray, Virginia Haizlip and Melinda Merk will be hosting another live webinar re: "Simple Steps to Estate Planning" on Wed June 3, 2020 from 4-5:30pm EDT. Click here for more info and to register:


McCandlish Lillard

Additional tickets have been added - REGISTER NOW by going to


Congratulations to may partner, Melinda Merk. Well-deserved!

Our Wills Trusts and Estates Group is pleased to announce that Melinda Merk, JD, LLM, CFP®, AEP® has attained the Accredited Estate Planner® (AEP®) designation by the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. The AEP® designation means “I believe in the team concept of estate planning” and distinguishes designees for their dedication to being a collaborative advisor. It is awarded only to estate planning professionals who meet special requirements of education, experience, knowledge, professional reputation, and character.


McCandlish Lillard

To help everyone check on the status of their Economic Impact Payment, the IRS has announced that the "Get My Payment" tool is expected to be available for use by April 17. The tool will provide people with the status of their payment, including the date their payment is scheduled to be deposited into their bank account or mailed to them. Taxpayers can provide their bank account information to receive their payment via direct deposit rather than waiting for a paper check. This feature will be unavailable if the Economic Impact Payment has already been scheduled for delivery.


McCandlish Lillard

The Business Law Group at McCandlish Lillard can assist business owners in navigating COVID-19 related legislation, which could have significant impacts on your business, spanning from imposing new paid time off requirements for your employees to providing you with access to forgivable business loans.

Our team is available to help you steer through these new laws, explore how they affect your current business practices, and assist in analyzing options available to best address your concerns during the COVID-19 impacted economy, so that you have a ready and organized plan of action moving forward.

We are able to consult with you via phone, videoconferencing, and e-mail to provide efficient, high-quality legal services tailored to your specific needs.

For more information, please contact any of the following attorneys of the firm: William J. Walsh at (703) 934-1121; Ralph M. Tener at (703) 934-1170; Stephen C. Price at (703)-934-1134; or Sotia M. Kyriacou at (703) 934-1190, or go to


McCandlish Lillard

#importantreminder #protectyouryoungchildren

Important reminder for parents with young children to execute a Power of Attorney for Minor Children to appoint a standby guardian to care for your children if you are temporarily unavailable due to illness, travel, etc. Our Wills, Trusts and Estates Group can meet with you via telephone or video conference to make sure you have the right estate planning documents in place. For more info, go to


McCandlish Lillard

Many people don’t want to hire a lawyer to create their estate plan or write a will, citing time, expense and indecision. But without proper planning, legal fees will be even higher, resulting in additional time and emotional burdens for your loved ones. Our Wills, Trusts and Estates Group can help create a customized and efficient estate plan to provide peace of mind to you and your family.


McCandlish Lillard

A resident has the right to remain in a nursing home, unless a transfer or discharge “is necessary to meet the resident’s welfare” or “is needed to protect the health and safety of other residents or staff.” The nursing home must give the resident at least 30 days notice, put the reason for the discharge in writing, indicate where the person will be moved and include contact information for the state ombudsman. Residents also have the right to appeal. If the eviction is due to non-payment, the resident has the right to remain in the nursing home if the person has applied for Medicaid assistance and is awaiting a decision. If you need assistance in advocating on your loved one's behalf, our attorneys can help:


McCandlish Lillard

Very important reminder!

Have you reviewed your beneficiary designations to ensure they are coordinated and consistent with your current estate plan, particularly in light of changes in your family situation, assets or tax laws? Our Wills, Trusts and Estates Group can help with an estate plan review. Make this part of your annual financial check-up!


McCandlish Lillard

From our family to yours, have a safe and happy holiday!


McCandlish Lillard

Breaking news on the SECURE Act signed into law on 12/20/19, which offers many benefits to taxpayers such as delaying the start date for RMDs until age 72 and making it easier for small businesses to create and manage retirement plans. As a revenue raiser, the Act eliminates the so-called stretch IRA for most non-spousal beneficiaries with limited exceptions, and instead requires that all funds from the IRA be paid out in 10 years. Naming an accumulation trust as a beneficiary of an IRA will still be advantageous for asset protection purposes, but additional regulations will be needed to clarify application of these new rules to trusts. For the text of the Act, go to page 1532:


McCandlish Lillard

Congratulations to McCandlish Lillard attorneys who have been recognized as Virginia’s “Legal Elite. by Virginia Business magazine. Virginia Business determines the “Legal Elite” designation from a survey conducted with the Virginia Bar Association, which polls thousands of Virginia lawyers to determine who they consider the very best in the Commonwealth in various practice categories. This year’s list appears in the magazine’s December 2019 edition. Read our full press release here:


Law Offices of Elizabeth L. Gray


The Drake Law Firm, P.C.

Fun afternoon cleaning up another Legal Zoom mess. Happy Friday!


What to Do After a Death in the Family The days and weeks after a death are a stressful time, but they can be made a little easier if you understand the financial issues that need to be addressed. 07/19/2019

Should I Sign New Estate Planning Documents When I Move to a New State | ACTEC ACTEC Fellows Jonathan Michael and Anita Sarafa discuss why families need to review estate planning documents such as a Will, Power of Attorney, and Revocabl... 05/04/2019

The Problems With Do-It-Yourself Online Wills These documents could save money, but can lay estate planning traps 03/02/2019

Special Needs Trusts for the Elderly and Individuals with Disabilities to Protect Public Benefits This CLE webinar will prepare elder law practitioners to identify and deal with the crucial issues and pitfalls that arise when drafting special needs trusts. The panel will outline practical solutions to protect public benefits for clients.


McCandlish Lillard

As promised earlier, McCandlish is pleased to announce that today has in fact been Day One of Melinda Merk being a part of the McCandlish firm and family!


McCandlish Lillard

McCandlish Lillard is pleased to announce that on March 1, 2019, Melinda Merk, JD, LLM, will join the firm’s Wills, Trusts & Estates practice as a Principal. Melinda provides holistic multi-generational income and wealth transfer tax planning advice and estate and trust services to high net worth individuals, families, and business owners.

Click here to read more about Melinda's background:


Law Offices of Elizabeth L. Gray's cover photo


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Law Offices of Elizabeth L. Gray


Special Needs Alliance

#TBT Check out this guide for students with learning disabilities who are considering college. 03/08/2017

Nuts & Bolts of Income Tax for Individuals with Disabilities and Their Families | The Arc Blog By Elizabeth L. Gray, CELA, Special Needs Alliance® As we approach tax season, it is important to understand the different tax credits, deductions, and liabilities affecting individuals with disabilities and their families.  This is a complicated subject. This article provides general information



C/O McCandlish Lillard @ 11350 Random Hills Rd. #500
Fairfax, VA

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Monday 9am - 5pm
Tuesday 9am - 5pm
Wednesday 9am - 5pm
Thursday 9am - 5pm
Friday 9am - 5pm
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