Brian A. Balenson

Brian is chair of the firm's estates and trusts practice.  For more than 30 years, he has represented clients concerning their estate planning and estates and trusts administration.  Because he handles both the planning and administration of trusts and estates, he understands the impact of planning structures and can position his clients to achieve their goals.


Estate Planning, Trust Planning, and Tax

Brian works regularly with business owners and families throughout the mid-Atlantic.  His clients rely on him to identify estate planning aims, establish a strategy, and execute that strategy with the deep technical understanding of the tax planning issues involved, as well as of the personal and family matters that often need to be addressed.

He has counseled clients in numerous estate matters, including:

  • The use of traditional tax planning vehicles such as bypass trusts and marital trusts;
  • The analysis and establishment of structures such as irrevocable life insurance trusts, family limited partnerships, charitable trusts, personal residence trusts, trusts to receive retirement benefits, and grantor retained annuity trusts;
  • The advantages and disadvantages of fiduciary and individual income, estate tax, gift tax, and charitable planning; and
  • Business succession planning.


Estate and Trust Administration

In the area of estates and trusts administration, Brian has extensive experience in the regular and ongoing handling of:

  • Probate matters;
  • Preparation of federal and Maryland estate tax returns; and
  • Preparation of fiduciary income tax returns.

He is admitted to practice in the State of Maryland and the District of Columbia.  He has represented estates before the Internal Revenue Service in the audit of federal estate tax returns.  A member of the Tax Section of the Maryland State Bar Association, he taught in the Certificate of Financial Planning Program at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

Since 2011, Maryland Super Lawyers has named Brian as one of the top attorneys in Maryland for his estate planning, corporate, and tax practices.  Since 2021, Best Lawyers in America has also recognized him for his estates and trusts practice.  He is AV® Peer Review Rated – the highest possible peer review rating from Martindale-Hubbell.

Attorney Profile
  • University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law (J.D., 1988)
  • University of Maryland - College Park (B.S., 1985)
Bar Admissions
  • State of Maryland
  • District of Columbia
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • Maryland State Bar Association, Tax Section
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • Baltimore Estate Planning Council