Stephen W. Murphy Partner

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Steve is the chair of the firm’ private wealth services group. He helps his clients develop and administer thoughtful estate plans that navigate complex issues. He is a frequent author and speaker, and he is a lecturer at the University of Virginia School of Law, where he teaches courses on trusts and estates. Steve also is the host of the Legacy Planning, Once Removed podcast on thoughtful estate planning.

Steve helps his clients identify their goals and develop a thoughtful plan. He then helps his clients work towards those goals in an efficient way, considering how best to transfer and manage wealth over generations while preserving settlor intent, protecting assets, providing for charitable goals, and reducing or managing estate tax, income tax, and GST tax. He also works with individuals and families to update and preserve that plan over time.

In advising fiduciaries, Steve works with individuals and corporations in the administration of complex estates and trusts, including trust modifications, management of investments, and avoiding or litigating disputes.

He also advises corporate fiduciaries and financial institutions regarding regulatory issues pertaining to their custody or administration of estate and trust assets.

Steve regularly presents and publishes on a variety of legal topics relating to estate planning and trust and estate administration, including the modification of irrevocable trusts, the GST tax, international (or multi-national) estate and tax planning, investments and the Prudent Investor Rule, the use of arbitration clauses in wills and trusts, and estate planning for owners of closely-held businesses.

At the University of Virginia School of Law, 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.”