McCandlish Lillard, PC

Melinda MerkMelinda provides holistic multi-generational income and wealth transfer tax planning advice and estate and trust services to individuals, families, and business owners. She has over two decades of experience in the estates and trusts area, and brings a unique and diverse perspective from her work in private law practice, Big Four accounting firms, and private banking/trust services.

With her focus on advising clients in the areas of estate planning, estate and trust administration, asset protection, business formation and succession planning, tax planning and tax controversy, Melinda pursues her passion for helping clients and their families successfully navigate the planning process to protect and preserve their wealth.

Melinda started her career at a boutique trusts and estates firm in Montgomery County, Maryland, where she developed a strong foundation in estate planning and estate and trust administration. After completing her LL.M. in Taxation at the Georgetown University Law Center, Melinda joined a Big Four accounting firm’s National Tax Department in the Personal Financial Services group in Washington, DC, where she consulted with clients on a nationwide and global basis as a Subject Matter Specialist in the areas of income and wealth transfer tax planning.

Melinda then returned to the practice of law as a Senior Counsel in the Private Wealth Services group at a national law firm in its Northern Virginia office, with a primary focus on pre-sale planning for business owners, income and estate tax planning for international clients, and asset protection planning. She later joined another Big Four accounting firm as a Tax Director in the Personal Financial Services group, working closely with business owners and private equity firm partners on their individual income tax and estate planning.

Most recently, she was a Senior Vice President and Regional Trust Advisor at a large bank’s Private Wealth Management group for the Greater Washington Region, where she served as a resource to clients on trust and estate planning, and handled the administration and risk management of trust accounts over $5 million.

Melinda is listed among the Washingtonian’s Top Trusts and Estates Lawyers, and is a frequent speaker and writer on estate and trust planning. She is active in the estate planning community on a local and national level, including being a current and former Board member of the Northern Virginia Estate Planning Council and the Washington DC Estate Planning Council, respectively. Melinda was also recently appointed to the Wills, Trusts & Estates Legislative Committee for the Virginia Bar Association.

On a personal level, Melinda is a strong supporter of local philanthropy and the arts in Northern Virginia, and is a current Board member of the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia and a long-time supporter and serial adopter of Lab Rescue and other animal welfare organizations. Melinda is originally from Pittsburgh, and is an avid Steelers fan. She currently resides in Reston, Virginia.