Michele serves as the chair of the firm's nonprofit and tax-exempt organizations practice team. With more than 25 years of experience, Michele routinely represents many public charities, major colleges and universities, supporting organizations, large private foundations, and charitable trusts on a variety of federal tax and governance matters.
She assists tax-exempt organizations in all aspects of compliance with the federal tax laws, as well as with governance, endowment and investment matters. Her practice includes advice on compliance with the excess benefit transaction rules and the private foundation rules, including self-dealing, excess business holding, and taxable expenditure issues, participation in joint ventures, and consequences of unrelated trade or business activities. She also assists these organizations in dealing with the IRS in tax controversy matters and compliance audits.
Her work also includes structuring planned gifts to charitable organizations, including the use of charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, charitable gift annuities and conservation easements. She also works in the areas of estate planning, and estate and trust administration, handling the administration of large complex estates, fiduciary income tax matters, fiduciary litigation, and risk management for corporate trust departments.
Michele is a Fellow in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and served as the immediate past Virginia State Chair of the organization. She also currently sits on its Charitable Planning & Exempt Organizations Committee. She is also a member of the Fiduciary Income Tax Committee of the Tax Section of the American Bar Association. She is a former chair of the Trusts and Estates Section of the Virginia State Bar.
While earning her law degree at the University of Richmond, Michele was a member of the McNeill Law Society.
Implementation of numerous planned gifts, including charitable remainder trusts, charitable lead trusts, gift annuities, and gifts of remainder interests in personal residences, including related gift documents and plans to meet unique donor objectives.
Establishment of and advice to numerous family and corporate private foundations regarding self-dealing, excess business holding, jeopardy investment, minimum distribution, and taxable expenditure rules. Requests for IRS rulings on tax classification changes, including conversions to private foundation, publicly supported organization, and Type I, II, or III supporting organization.
Advice on unrelated business income tax issues, including affinity card agreements, debt-financed income, and gift shop sales.
Preparation of planned giving forms for a number of educational institutions and corporate fiduciaries.
Legal, tax, and governance compliance audits for several university-affiliated foundations and a large national membership organization.
Excess benefit transaction advice in connection with executive compensation of chief executive and other officers of universities and other public charities and sales transactions involving substantial contributors to public charities.
Planning and implementation of sale and gift of major art collection valued at more than $40 million to museum-affiliated foundation.
Member and Fellow; Virginia State Chair, 2008-2013; Charitable Planning & Exempt Organizations Committee, 2009-2012, American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel
Taxation Section Member, Fiduciary Income Tax Committee, American Bar Association
Member, Real Property, Probate & Trust Section, American Bar Association
Member; Chairman, 1999-2000; Vice Chairman, 1998-1999; Secretary, 1997-1998, Trusts and Estates Section, Virginia State Bar
Member, Richmond Bar Association
Member, Virginia Bar Association
Member, Partnership for Philanthropic Planning
Member, Virginia Gift Planning Council
Member, University of Richmond Estate Planning Advisory Council
Member, National Association of Colleges and University Attorneys
Director, 2001-2009, The Community Foundation, Richmond, Virginia
Director, Missionary Emergency Fund
Director and Chairman, The Steward School Foundation
Director, Vice Chair, Chair, Audit and Governance Committee; Member, Investment Committee, and Member, Personnel Committee, Richmond Memorial Health Foundation
Member, Charitable Advisors, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
Member, Planned Giving Advisory Council, St. Christopher’s School
Member, Nonprofit Advisory Committee, Community Tax Law Project
Named a "Notable Practitioner," Private Wealth Law, Band 1, District of Columbia and Nationwide, 2016, 2017; Band 2, Virginia, 2018; Chambers HNW Guide
Named "Lawyer of the Year," Trusts and Estates, The Best Lawyers in America, 2018
Named a "Divorce, Trusts and Estates Trailblazer," The National Law Journal, 2017
Selected for inclusion in America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Wealth Management: Eastern Region, Nationwide, Chambers USA, 2013-2016
Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Non-Profit/Charities Law, Trusts and Estates, Woodward/White, Inc., 2007-2019
Named to "Virginia Super Lawyers," Non-Profit, Tax, Estate Planning & Probate, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2006, 2012-2013, 2015-2017
McGuireWoods Tax Lawyers Author Expert Analysis on Unrelated Business Income Tax
December 18, 2018
McGuireWoods Earns Nationwide Ranking in Prestigious Chambers High Net Worth Guide
August 7, 2018
McGuireWoods’ Michele McKinnon Honored Among Virginia’s Leaders in the Law
November 3, 2017
McGuireWoods’ Private Wealth Services Group Again Earns Top U.S. Rankings in Chambers High Net Worth Guide
September 19, 2017