Sarah H. B. Kahl

Partner
Sarah Kahl

Sarah Kahl focuses her practice on tax and estate planning for individuals and families. Sarah also represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries on the proper administration of a trust or estate. She is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Council (ACTEC). Sarah is the current chair of the Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) Estate and Trust Law Section.

In her work with the MSBA, Sarah successfully advocated for the passage of the Maryland Trust Decanting Act, a law that provides options for the modification of trusts. She met with stakeholders, drafted amendments, and testified before members of the Maryland House of Delegates and Senate.

With her CPA background, she reviews a client's entire financial picture to tailor appropriate tax strategies to the particular client. Her practice includes the administration of foreign trusts and planning for individuals with foreign connections.

Wealth Transfer Strategies

She designs and implements wealth transfer strategies such as spousal lifetime access trusts (SLATs), grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs), sales to grantor trusts, partnership freezes, and private annuities. She particularly enjoys working with families at multiple generation levels and leading family meetings to facilitate frictionless wealth succession.

Charitable Planning

Sarah helps clients leave charitable legacies, for example, through the use of a charitable remainder trust (CRT), charitable lead trust (CLT), conservation easements, or the creation and maintenance of a private foundation. She helps clients reach charitable goals by drafting comprehensive gift agreements with recipient charities.

Trust Administration and Modification

With her trust practice, Sarah advises trustees on how to comply with the terms of the trust document and applicable law. She has significant experience with trust modification, such as through decanting or non-judicial settlement. She is particularly familiar with Maryland’s Trust Decanting Act based on her participation in its drafting and enactment. She also advises trust beneficiaries on their rights with respect to a trust.

Insights

Credentials
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Education

  • J.D. cum laude Georgetown University Law Center 2004
    • Senior writing fellow, Legal Writing Fellow
    • Publications editor, The State and Local Tax Lawyer
    • Member, Editorial Board, The Tax Lawyer
  • B.A. magna cum laude Franklin and Marshall College 1999
    • Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Virginia

Professional Memberships and Activities

  • Chair, Maryland State Bar Association Estate and Trust Section Council
  • Vice-chair, Maryland State Bar Association Laws Committee
  • Past chair, Legislative Committee, Maryland State Bar Association Estate and Trust Law Section
  • Certified Public Accountant (inactive)

Recognition
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  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2021 – 2024
  • Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, Maryland, 2017
  • The Daily Record
    • Estate and Trust Law Power List, 2024
    • Leading Women, Maryland, 2016

Community
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Volunteerism

  • Member, Board of Directors, The Family Tree — an organization that combats child abuse and neglect