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Ashley B. Sawyer focuses her practice on private client matters for high net worth individuals and families nationwide, cross-border and in-bound wealth transfer planning and succession planning for business owners and executives. She advises clients on all aspects of complex estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax matters and compliance, including preparation and review of gift, estate and GST tax returns and the consequences of certain elections.  Ashley also provides guidance on legacy succession to younger generations and works closely with clients and their allied advisors to implement sophisticated plans with varied types of trusts using estate freeze transactions, life insurance and closely-held or qualified small business stock.

Ashley advises fiduciaries on administration of estates and trusts and modification of defective trusts through nonjudicial settlements, decantings and reformation. She also has expertise in charitable planning techniques involving split-interest trusts and private foundations, and counsels private and public tax-exempt organizations on matters involving tax-exempt status, compliance and navigating governance issues.

  • Strafford Publications Webinar, “Planning for the Sunset of the Estate Tax Exclusion”
  • American Bar Association, “Internal Revenue Code Section 679 – Foreign Grantor Trusts”
  • HalfMoon Education, Inc.: “Current Issues in Estate and Retirement Planning”
  • American Bar Association: “Current Developments in Estate and Gift Tax”
  • ABA Tax Committee Meeting - Recent Developments in Estate & Gift Tax
  • Guest Professor at Washington and Lee University - Estate and Gift Tax and 2702
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  • Catholic University of America, J.D.
  • Guilford College, B.A., cum laude

Court Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Virginia
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals

Bar Admissions

  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia


  • Named to Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch list in Trusts & Estates (2023)


  • Member, American Bar Foundation Fellow (July 2022 - Present)
  • Member, Washington, D.C. Estate Planning Council
  • Member, Class I of the ACTEC Mid-Atlantic Fellows Institute
  • Member, American Bar Association (2011 – Present)
  • Member, Real Property Section, Trusts & Estates Section, Virginia State Bar (2011 – Present)
  • Member, Estates, Trusts and Probate Law Section, District of Columbia Bar (2014 – Present)
  • Member, Society of Financial Service Professionals
  • Co-Chair, Recent Developments Committee, American Bar Association
  • Vice-chair, Committee on Estate and Gift Taxes, Taxation Section, American Bar Association