Federal Employees & Military Members

Tom Downs has practiced law in the Washington Metropolitan area since 1982.  He has  worked with many members of the armed forces and federal employees concerning their estate plans.  Early in his career, he worked for seven years for a firm located in the Andrews Federal Credit Union building, across the street from Andrews Air Force Base. He came to appreciate the importance of having a working knowledge of military benefits when creating estate plans.

Federal employees, whether in Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS), have significant benefits that should be addressed in estate planning.

What do you want to happen with your retirement benefits, thrift savings account, and federal group life insurance? Although these assets can be directed to beneficiaries without any probate process, simple beneficiary designations may not adequately address eaddress your concerns: If asset protection or divorce protection is important for your beneficiaries, then more controls are possible with careful planning.  Filling in the form or leaving payments to default to next of kin may not be the correct choices for you.

Military members may have wills and related documents prepared by their JAG office.  However, if they want to protect assets, avoid probate, or coordinate retirement and life insurance benefits, a private local law firm may be a better option. When the time comes to implement plans, during disability or after death, finding a local attorney to help will also likely be necessary.

In addition, federal employees and military members have unique benefits available if they have children with special needs.

Our firm has worked with federal employees and military members and their families for many years and can help sort out things to insure your goals are achieved.


Steve Z.

Erik and Wendy were patient and thorough. Great follow up. Made sure that I considered all aspects of estate planning and provided me with peace of mine for my family when I am gone.

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Michael C.

Probate Court “It went better than expected during a year of dealing with paperwork and going to the Courthouse several times. But in the end it worked out better than I could of hoped for. Certainly Recommend to anyone who needs a Lawyer to stop by, their right beside the Post Office on Main Street in Laurel.”

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Michael M.

Fantastic!! I came very confused after my wife‘s death and in a half hour with Tom I felt like I knew what I needed to do and they have been with me every step of the way. Very pleasant, knowledge and a great help in navigating areas with which I have no experience. Thank you very much!

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Keith B.

Tom is an excellent attorney who really knows his business. He won’t guide you wrong. Our kids grew up together & I’ve known him for decades. I know him form more than just his professional work. He is a very good man and someone you can absolutely trust

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Lynn D. C.

We had the Downs Law Firm set up a trust for us years ago and recently made an appointment to review the information and make some changes. Tom was very helpful in expediting the necessary changes. The office staff was very friendly. We have been very satisfied with the Downs Law Firm. We also used Tom’s services to have a will and other necessary documents drawn up for my Dad. We would recommend the Downs Law Firm to others.

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Cynthia F.

Tom Downs has always provided our family with expert and professional estate planning advice and documents. We highly recommended him to anyone living in the State of Maryland to seek out his advice and services for their estate planning needs.

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