Michael H. Barker Partner

Michael represents high net worth individuals and families with respect to complex tax, estate planning and trust and estate administration matters. Michael also regularly represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries involved in trust or estate litigation and other disputes.

Michael advises individual clients, families, and closely-held businesses on various complex matters involving estate, gift, income, and generation-skipping transfer taxes and also routinely advises family businesses in intricate business succession and planning matters.

As a member of McGuireWoods’ fiduciary advisory services practice group, Michael also frequently advises corporate and individual fiduciaries regarding tax and administration matters related to the fiduciary’s diverse duties and broad-ranging discretionary decisions.

Michael also regularly represents public charities, private foundations, and charitable trusts in obtaining tax exemption and advises exempt organizations in various governance, tax, and compliance matters. His work also includes charitable gift planning, including through the use of charitable trusts and other instruments.

While earning his law degree at the Georgetown University Law Center, Michael also earned a master’s degree in Public Policy from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute and served as a Senior Editor of the Georgetown Public Policy Review.


Provided comprehensive estate, trust, tax and closely-held business planning advice to high net worth individuals and families.

Advised clients on international estate planning matters, including the operation of various estate and gift tax treaties.

Advised executors and trustees of substantial estates and trusts regarding matters of administration and fiduciary responsibilities.

  • Georgetown Public Policy Institute, MPP, 2008
  • Georgetown University Law Center, JD, cum laude, 2008
  • California Lutheran University, BA, summa cum laude, 2003

Council Member, Wills, Trusts & Estates Section of the Virginia Bar Association, and a member of its Legislative Committee

Fellow, The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, 2019-present

Co-Chair, Estate Planning and Administration for Business Owners, Farmers and Ranchers Committee, Business Planning Group, Real Property Trust & Estate Law Section, American Bar Association

Member, Estate Planning and Fiduciary Law Section, North Carolina Bar Association

Former Convener (President), Richmond Private Business Study Group

Former Member, Board of Directors, Maymont Foundation

  • Speaker, "So You Want a New Trustee? (Best Practices and Considerations for Removal and Replacement of Fiduciaries)," 57th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning, Orlando, FL, January 11, 2023
  • Speaker, "An IRS Scouting Report: Areas of Audit Focus in the Estate Planning Arena," University of Texas Estate Planning Workshop, Austin, TX, December 2, 2022
  • Speaker, "Fiduciary Litigation Update," Wealth Planning Scouting Report: Uncovering Tax and Fiduciary Trends to Better Plan and Prepare, Charlotte, NC, October 20, 2022
  • Speaker, "The Year in Review: An Estate Planner’s Perspective of Recent Tax Developments," 41st Annual Trusts and Estates Seminar, Virginia CLE, Williamsburg, VA, October 27, 2022
  • Speaker, "Paying and Reducing Estate Tax with a Graegin Loan," ACTEC Trust and Estate Talk Podcast, August 24, 2022
  • Speaker, "Advising the Personal Representative in the Administration of the Estate," The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) 2022 Summer Meeting, Banff, AB, Canada, June 22, 2022
  • Speaker, Perennial Problems Facing Corporate Fiduciaries, May 24, 2022
  • Speaker, "Recent Developments: Scouting Report of Fiduciary Litigation," Baker Tilly Annual Meeting, May 17, 2022
  • Speaker, "Areas of IRS Audit Focus," Delaware Estate Planning Council, Wilmington, DE, February 2, 2022
  • Speaker, "Paying for College: A Tax Planning Primer," American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) Family Estate Planning Guide, January 19, 2022
  • Speaker, "Valuation of Closely Held Businesses in a Changing Regulatory Environment," Virginia CLE, November 16, 2021
  • Speaker, Estate Planning Strategies with Special Considerations, Richmond, VA, October 14, 2021
  • Speaker, "Estate Planning Update," 72nd Annual Virginia Conference on Federal Taxation, June 4, 2021
  • Speaker, Estate Planning Strategies, Richmond, VA, February 11, 2021
  • Speaker, "Adequate Disclosure: Strategies and Best Practices for Reporting Gifts," Virginia ACTEC Fellows Meeting, January 29, 2021
  • Speaker, "IRS Scouting Report: Tax Proposals and Hot Topics," Virginia Peninsula Estate Planning Council, December 1, 2020
  • Speaker, "State Income Taxation of Trusts," 79th Annual NYU Institute on Federal Taxation, November 20, 2020
  • Speaker, "Current Developments: An IRS Scouting Report," Hampton Roads Estate Planning Council, September 15, 2020
  • Speaker, Estate Planning Fundamentals, Richmond, VA, July 15, 2020
  • Speaker, "What's Going to Happen to the Estate Tax and What Can We Do about it Now?," Richmond, VA, June 25, 2020
  • Speaker, "A Scouting Report: Recent Developments in Federal Wealth Transfer Tax," Baker Tilly Annual Meeting, June 1, 2020
  • Speaker, "Back to the Future – Or Looking Forward to the Past? Estate Planning in an Age of Ever-Changing Tax Law," Central Florida Estate Planning Council, Orlando, FL, January 16, 2020
  • Speaker, "Estate Planning Fundamentals," McGuireWoods CLE, Richmond, VA, October 8, 2019
  • Speaker, "Dealing with Business Interests in Trusts," 14th Annual Fiduciary Advisory Services Seminar, Wednesday, October 2, 2019
  • Speaker, "Litigation Lessons to Lessen Lamenting," NCBA 2019 Estate Planning and Probate Law Survey Course, NCBA Bar Center, Cary NC, September 27, 2019
  • Speaker, "Dealing with Business Interests in Estates and Trusts," New Developments in Tax and Wealth Planning, September 12, 2019
  • Speaker, "A Vacation Home Is All I Ever Wanted – Until I Didn’t: Advising Clients Through the Thrills and Agonies of Legacy Property Ownership," The Conner-Zaritsky 40th Annual Advanced Estate Planning and Administration Seminar, Williamsburg, Virginia, May 4, 2019
  • Speaker, Recent Federal Tax Developments: An IRS Scouting Report, New York, NY, May 1, 2019
  • Speaker, "Fiduciary Case Law Update: What Planners (and Clients) Need to Know," 37th Annual Trusts and Estates Seminar, Virginia CLE, October 30, 2018
  • Speaker, "Recent Developments in Estate Planning," Baker Tilly Estate and Trust Conference, May 31, 2018
  • Speaker, "Cabins and Compounds – Boats and Biplanes: Planning for Vacation and Recreation Assets," 30th Annual RPTE Spring Symposia, ABA Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law, May 11, 2018
  • Speaker, "Fiduciary Litigation Update," New Developments in Tax and Wealth Planning, April 24, 2018
  • Speaker, How to Advise Your Clients: Impact of the 2017 Tax Act on Estate, Income Tax, and Business Planning, January 16, 2018
  • Speaker, "Succession Planning Environment: Issues and Opportunities for Closely-Held Family Businesses," Wells Fargo Thought Forum, November 15, 2017
  • Speaker, "Don’t Discount Discounts: Valuation of Closely Held Businesses in a Changing Regulatory Environment," 63rd Annual William and Mary Law School – 2017 Tax Conference, Tax Planning in an Era of Uncertainty, November 9, 2017
  • Speaker, "Portability: 7 Years Later," 36th Annual Trusts and Estates Seminar, October 31, 2017
  • Speaker, "Estate and Trust Update: Planning in an Era of Change," Richmond Private Business Study Group, October 17, 2017
  • Speaker, "Update on Uniform Acts," 12th Annual Fiduciary Advisory Services Seminar: Issues Confronting Institutional Fiduciaries, October 4, 2017
  • Speaker, "Asset Protection Devices in a World of Creditors and Predators," Virginia Bar Association 127th Annual Meeting, January 20, 2017
  • Speaker, "Lessons from Virginia Fiduciary Litigation Cases," 35th Annual Trusts and Estates Seminar, October 20 and 27, 2016
  • Speaker, "2704 Proposed Regs - Gone are the Good Old Days?," Richmond Private Business Study Group, October 18, 2016
  • Speaker, "Primer on Key Tax Elections: Business Succession Planning," ABA RPTE/Tax Section Joint Fall Meeting, September 30, 2016
  • Speaker, New Developments in Tax and Wealth Planning, McGuireWoods LLP Seminar, April 19, 2016
  • Faculty, "Estate Planning in a World of Creditors and Predators: Asset Protection for Every Estate Planning Client," 34th Annual Trusts and Estates Seminar, October 20, 2015
  • Speaker, "Charitable Remainder and Charitable Lead Trusts: A Primer," 13th Annual Nonprofit Seminar – Staying Current and Avoiding Trouble: What Nonprofits Need to Know, September 15, 2015
  • Speaker, Federal Fiduciary Income Tax Workshop, Foxmoor Continuing Education, November 21, 2014
  • Speaker, "Silver Lining of ATRA: Choice of Entity in Light of Changes in Tax Law," 26th Annual RPTE Spring Symposia, ABA Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law, May 1, 2014
  • Speaker, "Federal Legislative Outlook," Virginia Bankers Association Trust and Wealth Management Conference, May 31, 2013
  • Speaker, "A Primer on Decanting and Directed Trustees,", September 19, 2012
  • Speaker, "Trustees: Duties and Discretion in Two Parts," Virginia CLE, August 16, 2012
  • North Carolina
  • Virginia

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Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Trusts and Estates, Woodward/White, Inc., 2022, 2023

Selected for inclusion, Private Wealth Law, "Up and Coming," Virginia, 2020; Band 3, Virginia 2021, 2022, Chambers HNW Guide

Selected for Inclusion in "Virginia's Legal Elite," Taxes/Estates/Trusts/Elder Law, Virginia Business, 2017, 2018, 2020

Named to "Virginia Rising Stars," Estate Planning and Probate, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2015-2018

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