Carrell Blanton Ferris & Associates

Carrell Blanton Ferris & Associates

Our practice is problem solving, our passion is planning, and our goal is your peace of mind.

Firm Overview

At Carrell Blanton Ferris & Associates, PLC we are dedicated to serving all our clients individuals, families, businesses, churches and other organizations with a high level of quality, effort and creativity. By planning for the expected and unexpected, we work to give our clients a sense of well-being and control over their lives, business affairs and assets.

We specialitize in the following practice areas:

-Estate Planning
-Trust & Estate Administration
-Elder Law
-Special Needs Planning
-Veteran's Pension and Medicaid Asset Protection Trust Planning
-Guardianships, Conservatorships & Fiduciary Litigation
-Legacy Fiduciary Services, PLC
-Business Law
-Business Succession Planning
-Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Main Office
Main Office
7275 Glen Forest Drive, Suite 310
Richmond   VA  23226
Phone
  • (804) 285-7900
Websites
Estate Planning
Our practice is problem solving, our passion is planning, and our goal is your peace of mind.
Our firm's size helps foster innovative strategies and a service-intensive approach, which means you receive powerful, timely, and cost-effective solutions. Out team of attorneys understands the value of collaborative effort and often works together to provide you with the full benefit of their experiences and perspectives. Whether you need an estate plan, assistance protecting assets from the ravages of long-term care, a prenuptial agreement, a plan to pass your business to the next generation, or assist with a litigation matter, our attorneys will provide you with quality legal service.

M. Eldridge Blanton, III, Principal

M. Eldridge Blanton, III focuses his practice in the areas of estate planning and retirement planning, including wealth preservationor asset protectionin all its facets. His special niche is the preparation of comprehensive estate and/or retirement plans for clients interested in asset protection, charitable giving, and other specialized goals, such as the transfer of family assets in a manner which is sensitive to income, estate, gift and generation-skipping taxes. His retirement planning services focus on optimum use of qualified retirement plans and individual retirement accounts.

Eldridge also practices in the field of elder law, advising clients of options for their senior years, including the purchase of long term care insurance with Medicaid as an ultimate safety net.

Eldridge was born in Richmond and raised in Cumberland County, Virginia. He is a civil engineering graduate of VMI and a former officer in the U.S. Army (artillery). He worked 29 years for C & P telephone Co. and Bell Atlantic (now Verizon), retiring as the Assistant to the President for Virginia Operations.

Embarking on a second career, Eldridge entered the University of Richmond's School of Law, where he served as Editor-in Chief of the University of Richmond Law Review.

Upon graduating from law school in 1994, Eldridge worked in the Richmond office of the District Counsel for the IRS and earned a Master of Laws degree in taxation from the College of William and Mary's School of Law.

The author and co-author of several published articles in the field of tax and estate planning, his objective is to assist families with their tax and estate planning as part of their overall financial planning.

Eldridge is a member of Wealth Counsel, a national organization of estate planning attorneys with members in all fifty states. Membership in Wealth Counsel permits Carrell Blanton Ferris to offer legal services nationwide, as part of a virtual law firm of over 1500 attorneys.

Daniel A. Carrell, Principal

Dan Carrell is a Principal with Carrell Blanton Ferris & Associates, PLC with over forty years of experience practicing law in such areas as civil litigation, Constitutional law, appellate law, trade regulation and general business matters. Dan has extensive experience in federal and state courts in Virginia with a wide variety of litigation matters, including matters as diverse as contract disputes, commercial transactions, trust-related disputes, real estate and employment matters, church-related disputes, and civil rights. He also serves as a hearing officer in state administrative hearings and as a mediator in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.

With a strong commitment to the rule of law, Dan has long believed the attorney-client relationship is one of mutual trust and confidence. His objective, then, is to provide legal services of the highest quality at a fair and reasonable cost. And throughout his long career, he has at times provided his services pro bono.

Dan and his wife, Janis, have been married for over 38 years. They have two grown, married daughters and two grandchildren.

Career Recognition:
-AV Ratings in Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
-Who's Who in America
-Who's Who in American Law
-"Virginia Super Lawyers," Richmond Magazine
-"Virginia's Top Rated Lawyers"

James W. Garrett, Principal

Jim Garrett is a Principal of Carrell Blanton Ferris & Associates, PLC. and has practiced law for over twenty years. Before narrowing his practice to estate planning, his practice areas included real estate, business law and consumer protection. Today Jim uses his knowledge and experience in real estate and business in the estate planning context, especially in the areas of business succession planning, charitable giving and asset protection strategies.

Jim believes that estate planning is not just for the benefit of the client, but also for the client's surviving loved ones, valued charities and later generations of the client's family. That is why he takes time to get to know the client's desires regarding the various members of his family, business or charitable beneficiaries. Jim also believes that estate planning is not just for the wealthy and that a current estate plan represents good stewardship regardless of how much wealth a client may possess.

Jim is a member of Wealth Counsel, a national organization of estate planning attorneys with members in all fifty states. Membership in Wealth Counsel permits Carrell Blanton Ferris & Associates, PLC to offer legal services nationwide, as part of a virtual law firm of over 1500 attorneys.

Jeremy L. Pryor, Principal

Jeremy Pryor is a Principal at Carrell Blanton Ferris practicing in the areas of elder law, estate planning, estate administration, and incapacity-related litigation. He focuses his representation on protecting assets from the costs of long term care and advising clients seeking qualification for Medicaid benefits or the Veterans Affairs "Aid and Attendance" benefit. In addition to working with seniors and these programs, Jeremy spends a significant portion of his practice in court, representing clients in becoming guardians and conservators, litigating the use or alleged misuse of powers of attorney documents, and serving as a guardian ad litem for incapacitated adults. Because of his familiarity with government programs for seniors and long term care, Jeremy also represents clients in the establishment of special needs trusts for family members with disabilities or in the administration of existing special needs trusts.

In addition to practicing in these areas, Jeremy is a frequent lecturer on these topics. He has spoken to local civic organizations, served as an experienced panelist, presented to professional organizations, and taught courses for educational credit for lawyers and certified public accountants. When he finds a spare moment, he also enjoys writing on these issues (click here to read a primer on estate planning he wrote for rvanews.com).

As someone who grew up with a grandparent in the home, Jeremy personally understands the issues that families face as they care for their parents and grandparents. He knows how important it is that these loved ones' interests be protected, and he considers it a privilege to be their advocate.

Bennie A. Wall, Associate

Bennie moved to Richmond for law school, but stayed for the people. Coming from the rural farming town of Buffalo Junction, Virginia, Bennie quickly fell in love with Richmond; the big city with a small town feel. Bennie actively embraces all the city has to offer. On any given weekend, you may find Bennie catching a show at the Altria, cheering on the Kickers at City Stadium, or floating down the James. Bennie is an avid fisherman and a diehard Spiders fan.

At the University of Richmond, Bennie focused his coursework on advanced estate, business, and tax planning. Earning distinction in both his studies and his community service as the 2015 recipient of the CALI Center Award for Excellence for the Future in Estate Planning and the Harry L. Carrico Center's Pro Bono & Public Service Certificate. It is this passion for the practice that drove Bennie to join Carrell Blanton Ferris & Associates. Here, Bennie focuses his practice on Trusts and Estates. He works in both planning and administration because he believes sound planning simplifies administration, but the key to sound planning is a practical knowledge of the administration process.

With this holistic view, Bennie works with his clients to help them see that there is more to estate planning than a simple set of documents. Without the proper alignment of your personal assets to your estate plan, the plan will likely encounter unnecessary expenses and complications. His professional goal is to match your wishes with the best plan to achieve them at the lowest administrative cost.

Stephen M. Watson, Attorney

Stephen M. Watson is an attorney at Carrell Blanton Ferris & Associates, PLC. Before embarking on an entrepreneurial role as President for Viatical Settlement Professionals, a life settlement brokerage firm, he was a partner at Coates & Davenport Law Firm. His interest in writing led to a collaboration on the New York Times Best Seller, The Takeover, and as Editor of Rocks Across the Pond, a book by Richard and Kathy Verlander, proud parents of Detroit Tigers' ace Justin Verlander, and scholar and student athlete Ben Verlander.

At Carrell Blanton Ferris, he practices in the area of Estate Planning and Estate Administration. Steve has been an active member of the Virginia Bar for over twenty-five years, has served as chairman of the Real Estate Section of the Richmond Bar Association, and has been published in the Trusts and Estates Newsletter of the Virginia State Bar.

John D. Dutton, Attorney

John Dutton joined the firm in 2014 after practicing as a sole practitioner in Chester, Virginia for eleven years. His primary areas of practice are in estate planning, estate and trust administration. He also assists many clients and their families with Medicaid and Veterans Aid and Attendance matters, while managing an active real estate practice and assisting business clients with the organization and sale of their businesses.

His focus in these areas comes from many years' experience assisting individuals, couples and families with their need to develop investment portfolios for their retirement years, to set out plans for their children's use of their assets following death, and to work with those whose investment plans include operating their own businesses.

Prior to entering private practice, John was a senior vice president and senior trust officer for First Virginia Bank and oversaw its business development and trust administration functions for a wide area of the state from southwest Virginia to the Eastern Shore. Prior to that experience he was Assistant General Counsel for Life Insurance Company of Virginia where he worked with the insurer's investment team and helped develop policies for the Company's human resources programs.

He has served on the boards of a non-profit company that provides prescription medications for those unable to afford them, and of a trust that manages special needs trusts and provides other assistance for those in need of these services.

He is a Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC).

Practice Areas
-Retirement and Estate Planning Trust and Estate Administration Elder Law
-Planning for Special Needs

John Practice in our Chester VA location.


11800 Chester Village Drive, Suite C
Chester, VA 23831
Phone Number: 804 681-2060, Ext 502

Kenneth A. Dodl, Principal

Ken's practice at Carrell Blanton Ferris is focused on trust and estate planning and business formation and succession planning. He serves clients in our Virginia Beach office. Ken specializes in helping families and business owners preserve, and pass on their wealth and values with special attention to the individual needs of each client, such as inheritance and asset protection, estate and gift tax planning, multi-generational planning, and the unique needs of blended families and business owners.

Ken has been practicing law in Hampton Roads for seventeen years. He received his law degree and a master's degree in public policy from Regent University in 1995 and served as a prosecutor in Virginia Beach before entering private practice in 2004. In addition to his experience in estate and business planning, Ken has an extensive background in residential and commercial real estate and dispute resolution. Ken is a member of the Trusts and Estates Section of the Virginia State Bar, the Virginia Beach Bar Association, and Wealth Counsel, LLC.

He lives in Virginia Beach with his wife of nineteen years and their three children.

Practice Areas
-Estate & Trust Adminstration
-Estate Planning
-Business Planning

Richard L. Ferris, Principal

I am often asked "Why don't people seriously plan their estates?" I've heard many different reasons over 40 years as an Estate and Trust Planning attorney. The most common reason, I believe, is at one time or another, we tend to PROCRASTINATE. Why? Because we think that acting doing something now will produce more pain (and cost) than not doing anything.

As I explain to clients, look at estate planning as LIVING PLANNING just as you would plan a vacation, retirement or wedding. In fact, it is your attempt to use your creative ideas and your resources to develop an environment (and a plan) for yourself and family that will extend far beyond your life. It is your opportunity to share your values, guiding principles, spiritual beliefs with your family and make sure your wealth is left to YOUR loves ones, at the RIGHT time, in the RIGHT way; minimizing administration costs and avoiding death taxes.

Dick has authored many articles on Estate Planning, including publication in the Virginia State Bar's Trusts and Estates. In addition, Dick is a frequent speaker before civic, social, and professional groups. He has co-authored three books on Estate and Trust Planning: LEGACY--Plan, Protect and Preserve Your Estate, GENERATIONS--Planning Your Legacy and LOVE, MONEY, CONTROL--Reinventing Estate Planning. Dick also serves as Chairman of the Board of Principals for the firm and in this role gives guidance and direction for the firm and its' attorneys.

Practice Areas
-Estate Planning
-Estate & Trust Adminstration
-Tax Planning
-Business Formations
-Charitable Giving
-Special Needs Trust

Rhiannon M. Hartman, Attorney

Rhiannon Hartman focuses her practice on estate and business planning . She enjoys assisting clients in the event of life changes of every kind, including for their children's or grandchildren's futures, or upon the death of incapacity of a loved one.

She received her undergraduate degree from the College of William and Mary, and graduated cum laude from the University of Richmond School of Law. While in law school, Rhiannon was a member of the Trial Advocacy Board and the Career Services Advisory Board. She also served as a Manuscripts Editor of the Richmond Journal of Law and the Public Interest.

Practice Area:
-Estate Planning Elder Law

Michael G. Montgomery, Principal

Michael G. Montgomery is a Principal at Carrell Blanton Ferris & Associates, PLC who has practiced law in Virginia since 1996. Mike has represented a range of individual and corporate clients in practice areas such as wills and trusts, probate and estate administration, commercial and general business transactions, corporate formation, mergers, acquisitions and sales, dissolutions, commercial and residential real estate transactions and litigation, including landlord-tenant matters and title disputes, civil litigation and administrative (state agency) matters, bankruptcy and other general civil matters. He has been able to bring value to clients by using often overlapping experiences in these areas to recognize clients' needs and concerns and react accordingly.

At Carrell Blanton Ferris, Mike focuses on estate-related matters involving probate of wills, trust and estate administration, trust fiduciary, estate and fiduciary disputes, estate planning and document drafting.

Mike is admitted to practice in, and has appeared before (at hearings and by pleadings and briefs) the following courts and administrative bodies:

-Virginia Supreme Court (including all subordinate courts), admitted 1996
-United States Bankruptcy Court, Eastern District of -Virginia, admitted 1997
-Virginia Dept. of Health and Sewage Handling & Disposal Appeals Review Board
-Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control

Practice Areas
-Estate and Trust Administration
-Probate
-Estate Planning
-Estate and Fiduciary Disputes
-Real Estate Transactions & Litigation
-Commercial & General Business Transactions
-Corporations & Limited Liability Entities

Jonathan Osler, Attorney

Jonathan B. Osler is an Attorney at Carrell Blanton Ferris & Associates, PLC. He counsels individuals and families on matters regarding the preservation, management and transfer of wealth. Jon's practice involves all aspects of the estate planning process, including the designing, preparation, and administration of trusts, wills, and related ancillary documents.

In his practice, Jon works closely with clients to identify their unique personal and financial goals, along the way building personal relationships based on trust, mutual respect, and openness. Jon's hands-on approach to constructing personalized estate planning solutions ensures that each plan is tailor-made to suit the requirements of the client.

That said, no matter the size of an estate or the complexity of the planning involved, Jon's principal concern is that his clients are perfectly satisfied with their estate plansand that they have gained true peace of mind as a result.

Practice Areas
-Estate Planning

Beth Ann R. Lawson, Attorney

Beth Ann R. Lawson is an attorney at Carrell Blanton Ferris & Associates, PLC. She assists seniors, baby boomers and families with estate planning, asset protection, Medicaid and Veteran's Aid and Attendance planning, special needs trusts and estate administration.
Prior to joining Carrell Blanton Ferris, Beth Ann was the principle of the Law Office of Beth Ann R. Lawson, PLLC as well as a co-founder and a former managing partner of the Virginia Beach Law Group. Prior to her legal career, Beth Ann was President of the consulting firm, Strategic Planning and Teamwork.

Beth Ann has published articles on various topics to include "Protecting Loved Ones with an Effective Power of Attorney," "Transferring Wealth in Blended Families," "For Love of a Father" and "Give the Gift of Love: A Prenup" published in Executive Life Style Magazine. Beth Ann participated in a collaborative elder law book with a chapter on "The Financial Exploitation of Vulnerable Seniors." Beth Ann presented Virginia CLE training in "The Probate Process from Start to Finish."

Beth Ann is a vocal advocate for educating seniors and their families on how to age with legal power. Please contact Beth Ann to speak to your community group on how to legally protect the pride, dignity and assets of our Virginia seniors and veterans.

Practice Areas:
-Elder Law
-Estate Planning
-Special Needs Trusts
-Estate Administration

Kevin B. O'Connell, Attorney

Kevin B. O'Donnell is an Associate Attorney at Carrell Blanton Ferris & Associates, PLC. His primary areas of focus are estate planning, estate administration and elder law.

Kevin graduated from University of Richmond School of Law and has been an active member of the Virginia Bar since 2013. Prior to law school, he received his undergraduate degree from Queens University of Charlotte where he was also a member of the men's varsity soccer team.

Prior to joining Carrell Blanton Ferris & Associates, Kevin was an attorney at Old Towne Lawyers, LLP in Petersburg, Virginia where he developed an interest in estate planning and administration. Kevin assists clients in creating estate plans to meet his client's individual goals, including planning for incapacity, transferring wealth, and asset protection.

Practice Areas
-Elder Law
-Estate Planning
-Estate & Trust Administration
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