An estate plan is more than a will. It’s a comprehensive strategy for protecting yourself and those you care about.


Provide for your children, avoid estate taxes, or help someone with special needs using this versatile planning tool.


Married gay and lesbian couples now enjoy many legal benefits. Find out which ones may apply to you.

Estate Administration

Settling an estate can be a daunting task. Learn what’s involved and how a probate attorney can help.

Featured Article

Can Your Spouse Disinherit You? How Marriage Protects the Family

It’s the stuff of low-budget movies. The grieving widow, dressed in black with her face veiled, sits in the attorney’s oak-paneled conference room for the reading of the will.

Mystery surrounds the proceedings. Who among the family members present will inherit the patriarch’s vast estate?

The gray-headed attorney breaks the will’s wax seal and begins to read. Dramatic music swells as he utters phrases like “being of sound mind,” “heirs of the body,” and “give, bequeath, and devise.”

The widow’s gaze intensifies as the attorney comes to the words she has been waiting for: “And to my wife of many years, I leave . . . nothing.”

Audible gasps are heard as the widow faints in despair and is carried to a nearby sofa. Had her years of dutiful service meant nothing to the man she loved?

So much fiction. In the real world, there is no reading of the will (the beneficiaries will likely receive a copy by email). Women seldom wear veils. And a would-be disinherited spouse has options.

About Us

Lee Carpenter

Attorney Photo: Lee CarpenterLee Carpenter is a Maryland attorney whose practice focuses on estate planning and administration, trusts, and general business and corporate law. His estate-planning work includes a special emphasis on the unique needs of same-sex couples… More


Niles, Barton & Wilmer, LLP

Niles, Barton & Wilmer, LLP is a full-service mid-Atlantic law firm representing individuals, corporations, developers, and contractors, as well as professional organizations and nonprofits in the following areas of law: estate and trust administration, corporate law, intellectual property, employment, commercial real estate, complex civil… More

Lee CarpenterReviewsout of 15 reviews

"Lee made everything clear and advised me of my options. I now have all the legal documents I need to cover my life events. And, I have great peace of mind. Lee is a terrific person, and I am very glad that I found him."


"Lee has excellent communication skills, both by telephone and email. He provided me with frequent and detailed progress reports, and quickly responded to any questions I submitted. I would highly recommend hiring Lee."


"Excellent Service. Took the time to ask all relevant questions. Was very patient and informative."

"Lee did our wills for us, and it was incredibly easy and efficient. He was full of helpful guidance and was extremely personable and efficient."

"Lee was professional, kind, empathic and met our needs beyond expectations, particularly as this was during the pandemic. We felt safe and secure and are grateful to Lee and his colleagues for their professional service."


"Lee made the process extremely easy and provided wonderful guidance. I felt the pricing was very competitive. We could not be happier with our experience and would not hesitate to recommend him."


"Lee was very professional and thorough but was also very personable and approachable. We accomplished our goals with a minimum of stress and would be happy to work with him on future legal matters."


"Lee listened at our first consultation, so the documents he prepared were exactly what we hoped for. He is thorough, affable, and responsive. His manner and his work inspire confidence."


"Lee makes the will-writing process smooth and efficient, can explain vague legal language in practical terms, and has the experience to suggest options when complicated circumstances exist. Lee also has a fine sense of humor. When the time comes to update our wills, we will continue to work with Lee."

8.8Lee Carpenter

Protect What Matters

Your estate is too important to leave to chance. Choose an attorney who understands your needs on a personal level, and protect the people you care about most.

We have trusted Lee with our estate-planning needs for many years—first as partners and now as a married couple. He’s a great lawyer, and a real pleasure to work with.


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Web Resources

Lamba Legal

A civil rights organization that focuses on the LGBT commnunity.

The Human Rights Campaign

A national LBGT Lobbying and Civil Rights advocacy organization.