Stephen W. Murphy Associate

Steve's practice concentrates primarily on estate planning and trust and estate administration.

He advises individuals on complex estate plans and the transfer and management of real estate and closely-held businesses.  He also advises individual fiduciaries, banks, and trust companies on the administration of trusts and estates, including issues related to investments, distributions, allocations of income and principal, and tax matters.

He regularly lectures and publishes on a variety of legal topics relating to estate planning and trust and estate administration, including the modification of irrevocable trusts, investments and the Prudent Investor Rule, the use of arbitration clauses in wills and trusts, estate planning for owners of closely-held businesses, and issues related to income tax, estate tax, and generation-skipping transfer tax.

He is an editor or contributor for a number of textbooks or other resources on the law of trusts and estates, including fiduciary income tax, trust and estate administration, Virginia trust and estate law, and domestic asset protection trusts.

Steve is a lecturer in law at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he teaches “Trust & Estate Administration” and the advanced seminar, “Estate Planning: Principles & Practice.”  He has also served as an adjunct professor at the Washington & Lee University School of Law.

He received his J.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Virginia, where he was an editor of the Virginia Law Review and received the Ritter Award for “honor, character, and integrity.”

  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • Presenter, "Modifying, Restructuring, and Terminating Irrevocable Trusts," Roanoke Valley Estate Planning Council, December 5, 2018
  • Co-presenter, "Fixing the Broken Trust: Modifying, Restructuring and Terminating Irrevocable Trusts," Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association CLE, November 14, 2018
  • Speaker, "What Every Estate Planner Should Know about Asset Protection," Continuing Legal Education Seminar, DC Bar, Washington, DC, DC Bar, Washington, DC, September 24, 2018
  • Speaker, "Recent Developments in Trusts and Estates," Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Law Alumni Weekend, University of Virginia School of Law, May 11, 2018
  • Co-presenter, "Estate Planning with Portability: Opportunities and Strategies," Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association CLE, November 29, 2017
  • Co-presenter, "Avoiding Fiduciary Litigation," In-House Continuing Education Webinar for Bank and Corporate Trustees, August 17, 2017
  • Co-presenter, "Repairing Broken Trusts," Webcredenza, June 21, 2017
  • Speaker, "Recent Developments in Trusts and Estates," Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Law Alumni Weekend, University of Virginia School of Law, May 12, 2017
  • Speaker, "Lessons from Virginia Fiduciary Litigation Cases," 35th Annual Trusts and Estates Seminar, October 18, 2016
  • Co-presenter, "Trust Decanting," In-House Continuing Education Webinar for Bank and Corporate Trustees, September 1, 2016
  • Presenter, "Charitable Trusts," National Business Institution Seminar, August 18, 2016
  • Presenter, "Generating-Skipping Transfer Taxes and Dynasty Trusts," National Business Institution Seminar, August 18, 2016
  • Co-presenter, "Trust Distributions: Planning and Navigating Discretionary Standards and Distributions," Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association CLE, April 27, 2016
  • Co-presenter, "Asset Protection in Estate Planning and Trust and Estate Administration," Charlottesville-Albemarle Bar Association CLE, November 18, 2015
  • Faculty, "The Probate Process from Start to Finish: Probate Disputes and Litigation, and Handling Claims Against the Estate," National Business Institute Continuing Legal Education Seminar, October 27, 2015
  • Faculty, "Estate Planning in a World of Creditors and Predators: Asset Protection for Every Estate Planning Client," 34th Annual Trusts and Estates Seminar, October 22, 2015
  • Co-presenter, "Uniform Prudent Investor Act: What Fiduciaries and Planners Should Know," In-House Continuing Education Webinar for Bank and Corporate Trustees, October 15, 2015
  • Co-presenter, "Uniform Prudent Investor Act, Uniform Principal and Income Act, Third Restatement Trusts: What All Estate Planners Need to Know," National Business Institute National Teleconference, June 19, 2015
  • Co-presenter, "Uniform Principal and Income Act: What Fiduciaries and Planners Should Know," In-House Continuing Education Webinar for Bank and Corporate Trustees, June 16, 2015
  • Speaker, Federal Fiduciary Income Tax Workshop, Foxmoor Continuing Education, November 21, 2014
  • Speaker, "Recent Developments in Trusts and Estates," Continuing Legal Education Seminar, Law Alumni Weekend, University of Virginia School of Law, May 9, 2014
  • University of Virginia School of Law, JD, Order of the Coif, Editorial Board Member, Virginia Law Review, 2010
  • University of Virginia, PhD, Religious Studies, 2008
  • University of Cambridge, MPhil, Theological Studies, 2002
  • University of Maryland, BA, History and Classics, with Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, 2001

Named to "Virginia Rising Stars," Estate & Probate, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2012, 2013, 2018

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