Charles D. Fox IV


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  • University of Virginia School of Law, JD, 1980
  • Yale University, MA, 1977
  • Princeton University, AB, Concentration in Russian Studies, with Distinction, 1975
  • Illinois
  • Virginia

President, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, 2018 - present

Member, Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section, American Bar Association

Member; President-Elect, 2017-2018; Secretary, 2014-2015; Treasurer 2015-; Regent, 2006-2012, 2014-; Co-chair, Legal Education Committee, 2002-2005; Editor, ACTEC Journal, 2005-2006; Chair, Editorial Board, 2008-2009; Chair, Communications Committee, 2010-2011; Member, Communications Committee, Estate and Gift Tax Committee, Legal Education Committee and Program Committee, American College of Trust and Estate Counsel

Member, CCH Financial and Estate Planning Advisory Board, 2004-present

Member, Central Virginia Estate Planning Council, 2006-present

Member, Chicago Estate Planning Council, 1990-2005

Member, 1986-present; Chair, 2008-2013; Chair Emeritus, 2013-, Duke University Estate Planning Council

Chair, Economics of the Practice, Subcommittee, 1993-1997; Member, Editorial Board, 1996-2001, Trusts and Estates Magazine

Member, Editorial Board, 2001-2003; Chair, Editorial Board, 2003-2012, Trust and Investments Magazine

Skip, a former chair of McGuireWoods’ Tax & Employee Benefits Department, is an influential voice in shaping U.S. estate tax policy and legislation, having worked for more than 25 years with groups interested in reforming the federal tax system. He serves as president of The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), the nation’s premier association of trust and estate lawyers, and as an adjunct professor at the University of Virginia School of Law. In addition, in Chambers and Partners’ High Net Worth Guide a peer described Skip — former chair of McGuireWoods’ Private Wealth Services Group — as the “voice of authority” in the private wealth community.

Skip’s practice focuses on estate planning, trust and estate administration, and charitable organizations. His clients include families with closely held businesses and the appropriate use of family offices. His experience also includes audits of estate tax returns involving unique assets such as art; trust and estate litigation; and the operation of public and private charities. He has worked extensively with corporate fiduciaries on a variety of issues.

As general counsel for the advocacy organization Policy and Taxation Group, he helped lead research for a study that was instrumental in persuading Congress to enact estate tax reforms in 2001. He also advises and consults with other law firms on substantive estate planning issues and the administration of their practices.

Skip serves on the faculty of the National Trust School and the National Graduate Trust School, where he has taught many of the leaders of trust departments throughout the country for over 30 years. He served on the editorial board of Trusts & Estates magazine and chaired the board of Trust & Investments, two leading industry publications. He has written or co-written seven books and numerous articles for many different publications. He has co-presented the American Bankers Association’s  monthly teleconferences on trusts and estates topics since 2000 and co-wrote a monthly column on tax subjects for the ABA Trust Newsletter for 18 years.

Skip is an emeritus member of the CCH Estate Planning Advisory Committee.

He lectures annually around the country at seminars on estate planning and trust administration for banks, trust associations, estate planning councils, tax institutes, bar associations and other organizations, including the University of Miami Heckerling Estate Planning Institute and the Notre Dame Estate Planning Institute.

Skip served as an adjunct professor at Northwestern University Law School from 1983-2005. He serves or has served on the boards of several charities including the University of Virginia Law School Foundation and the Episcopal High School in Virginia, from which he received the Distinguished Service Award in 2001. He also is chair emeritus of the Duke University Estate Planning Council and serves on the Advisory Committee of the Heckerling Estate Planning Institute.

In the News

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Charles D Fox IV
T: +1 434 977 2597F: +1 434 980 2280Court Square Building
310 Fourth Street, N.E.
Suite 300
Charlottesville, VA 22902-1288

Represented families with assets ranging from less than a million dollars in value to over two billion in value in all aspects of estate planning with a focus on first learning what the family members want and only then determining the most tax efficient way to accomplish the family members’ wishes.

Represented estates of decedents with difficult to value assets in IRS audits when IRS sought to impose millions of dollars in additional tax.

Represented families in the succession of ownership and control from one generation to the next.

Represented numerous public and private charities in all aspects from organization, to obtaining tax exempt status, in dealing with donors, to termination.

Fellow, American Bar Foundation

Named a "Notable Practitioner," Private Wealth Law, Band 1, District of Columbia and Nationwide, 2016, 2017; Eastern U.S., 2018; Chambers HNW Guide

Named a "Divorce, Trusts and Estates Trailblazer," The National Law Journal, 2016

Named "Lawyer of the Year," Trusts and Estates, 2012, 2015, 2017; Tax Law, 2016, 2018, Charlottesville, Best Lawyers in America, Woodward/White, Inc.

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Litigation – Trusts & Estates, Tax Law, Trusts & Estate, Woodward/White, Inc., 2002-2018

Named to "Virginia Super Lawyers," Estate Planning and Probate, Administrative Law, Tax, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2006-2017

Selected for inclusion in America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Wealth Management: Eastern Region, Nationwide, Chambers USA, 2009-2016

Elected to National Association of Estate Planners and Councils Estate Planning Hall of Fame and Given Designation of Distinguished Accredited Estate Planner, 2008

Named to "Illinois Super Lawyers," Estate Planning and Probate, Administrative Law, Tax, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2002-2005

Author, State Death Tax Chart, September 2018 (revised)
Co-author, "IRS Settlement With Carmex Owners Is Surprising," Law360, April 14, 2016
Co-author, Making Sense of the 2010 Estate Tax Legislation, CCH, June 2011
Co-author, "2010 Tax Act Impacts Estate Planning," Trusts and Investments, February 2011
Author, "The Human Side of Succession Planning," Private Wealth Magazine, February 2010
Co-author, "The ACTEC State Death Tax Chart: Still Going Strong After Seven Years," ACTEC Journal, Vol. 35, No. 1, Summer 2009
Author, "Estate Planning in 2009: A New Playing Field," Trust and Investments, February 2009
Author, "The Doctor’s in, School’s in Session," Trust and Investments, June 2008
Author, "Top Ten Ethical Challenges Facing Estate Planners Today and the Best Practices for Addressing Them: 42d Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning," Lexis Nexis, January 2008
Author, "How “Revocable” is “Irrevocable: Obtaining Flexibility in Irrevocable Trusts," 33 Ohio Northern Law Review 943, 2007
Author, "Outright Does Not Always Mean Outright," 32 ACTEC Journal 308, Spring 2007
Author, "International Estate Planning for Trust Professionals," Trust and Investments, February 2007
Speaker, "Ethics Involving Fiduciaries and Closely Held Businesses," 13th Annual Fiduciary Advisory Services Seminar; Opportunities for Fiduciaries in Times of Change, October 3, 2018
Speaker, "Recent Developments/New Tax Laws," 12th Annual Fiduciary Advisory Services Seminar; Issues Confronting Institutional Fiduciaries, October 4, 2017
Speaker, "Recent Tax Developments," 11th Annual Fiduciary Advisory Services Seminar, October 5, 2016
Speaker, "Recent Developments," Be a Road Warrior, Not Road Kill: Issues Confronting Fiduciaries, October 7, 2015
Speaker, Recent Developments, The Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council, July 14, 2015
Speaker, Recent Developments, Ohio State Bar, June 25, 2015
Speaker, Tales from the Crypt, Alabama Tax Institute, June 24, 2015
Speaker, "Critical Concepts in Understanding Community Property vs. Common Law," American Bar Association Teleconference, June 4, 2015
Speaker, Family, Finances, & the Future, Creating a Legacy Through Gift Planning, Charlottesville Area Planned Giving Council, May 29, 2015
Speaker, Recent Developments, Who is A Descendant?, Current Charitable Issues and Ethical Considerations in Acting as a Trustee or Executor or Representing a Trustee or Executor, Parkersburg, May 27, 2015
Speaker, Recent Developments; Advanced Planning; Fiduciary Income Tax; Ethics, Star Bank, May 19, 2015
Speaker, Recent Developments, Fiduciary Litigation, Advanced Estate Planning, West Virginia Bankers, May 14, 2015
Speaker, "Recent Updates, Ethics, and Discretionary Distribution Decisions," Fiduciary Education Foundation Convention, May 13, 2015
Speaker, Being a Philanthropist; Donor Advised Funds vs Private Foundations vs. Outright Gifts, Central Arizona EPC, May 11, 2015
Speaker, Recent Developments, University of Virginia Law School, May 8, 2015
Speaker, Recent Developments, UCLA/CEB Estate Planning Institute, May 1, 2015
Speaker, Recent Developments, Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, April 24, 2015
Speaker, "Recent Developments," Kansas City Estate Planning Symposium, April 23, 2015
Speaker, "Show Me the Money: The Focus of States of Tax Revenues and Its Impact on Estate Planning," American Bar Association Teleconference, April 2, 2015
Speaker, "Ethical Challenges for Trust Professionals," American Bar Association Teleconference, March 5, 2015
Speaker, Ethics, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, March 5, 2015
Speaker, "Ethics in Estate and Trust Administration," Trust Advisors Forum, February 24, 2015
Speaker, "Monticello," Planned Giving, February 16, 2015
Speaker, "Hot Button Tax Issues for the IRS," American Bar Association Teleconference, February 5, 2015
Speaker, "Welcome and Introduction" and "Recent Developments In Tax," What You Do Not Know Can Hurt You, October 7, 2014
Speaker, "Onshore or Offshore: An Update on Asset Protection Strategies," New Developments in Tax and Wealth Planning, Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Speaker, "Recent Tax Developments" and "Planning in Light of the 2012 Tax Act," Surmounting the Current Challenges: Issues Confronting Professional Fiduciaries, October 10, 2013
Speaker, "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall, What Is Happening to the Estate Tax in 2013 – If at All?," 16th Annual Charitable Planning Seminar, The Dallas Foundation, January 25, 2013
Speaker, Who’s on First? Issues Confronting Professional Fiduciaries, The Fiduciary Advisory Services Seminar, co-presented by the Fiduciary Education Center, October 9, 2012
FLPs & LLCs in Recent Cases, September 29, 2009