• Columnists

Stefan C. Nicholas, Attorney

COLUMN = LAW

Stefan C. Nicholas is a director and chair of Jackson & Campbell’s Estates and Trusts practice group and a member of the Business Law practice group. He has extensive experience in drafting wills, trusts, and all ancillary documents in connection with estate and gift-tax planning, as well as asset-protection planning, including both on- and off-shore asset-protection trusts and the use of corporate entities. Stefan also has extensive experience with sophisticated wealth transfer techniques such as grantor retained interest trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, and defective grantor trusts.

In addition, Stefan specializes in developing exit-planning strategies for business owners, and has counseled clients on estate planning, business succession planning, and asset-protection planning with an emphasis on managing the tax impact that liquidity events have on a client’s personal assets. He has guided clients on completing mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures, and has negotiated partnership, management, shareholder, employment, and confidentiality agreements on behalf of numerous clients.

Stefan earned his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a member of the Moore Society of International Law and the Black Law Students Association. Before that, Stefan earned his master’s in Foreign Affairs from the University of Virginia Wilson School of Foreign Affairs. He received a BA in International Relations from Georgetown University, which he followed with academic stints in Prague in the Czech Republic and Berlin, Germany, where he earned a Certificate of German Language and Culture from the Goethe Institute.

Stefan is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and the State of New York.

Stefan is a member of the American Bar Association and the Estates and Trusts Bar of the District of Columbia. He is a member of the Wealth Counsel and the Business Enterprise Institute, and is currently treasurer and a member of the board of directors for DC Vote and the chairman of the board of the Hilda & Charles Mason Charitable Foundation. Stefan also serves on the advisory board for Eagle Bank and the George Washington Cancer Institute, as well as the Alumni Board for Georgetown Day School.

The quality of your life is directly related to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.”

– Tony Robbins

Don’t follow, lead. Don’t copy, create. Don’t start, finish. Don’t sit still, move. Don’t fit in, stand out. Don’t sit quietly, speak up. (Not all the time, sure, but more often.)”

– Seth Godin

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”

– Alfred Adler

Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.”

– Eckhart Tolle

It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves.”

– William Shakespeare

I’ve come to confirm that one’s title, even that of president, says little about how well one’s life has been led. No matter how much you’ve done, or how successful you’ve been, there’s always more to do, to learn, and to achieve.”

– Barack Obama

They who give have all things. They who withhold have nothing.”

– Hindu Proverb

You only live once. But if you do it right, once is enough.”

– Mae West

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens?
 A terrible thing: no one to blame.”

– Erica Jong

Inspiration and genius — one and the same.”

– Victor Hugo

When a dog runs at you, whistle for him.”

– Henry David Thoreau

We never know how high we are
 till we are called to rise;
 And then, if we are true to plan,
 Our statures touch the skies.”

– Emily Dickinson

A people who mean to be their Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

– James Madison

Ambition is the germ from which all growth of nobleness proceeds.”

– Thomas Dunn

Don’t sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!”

– Madam C.J. Walker

The world I believed in, back in my most innocent, uninformed, childish mind—is real.”

– Martha Beck

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”

– John Quincy Adams

But all the while I was alone, the past was close behind, I seen a lot of women, but she never escaped my mind, and I just grew, tangled up in blue.”

– Bob Dylan

A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”

– Bob Dylan

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”

– Thomas Carlyle

When I was younger I thought success was being a star, driving nice cars, having groupies. But today I think the most important thing is to live your life with integrity.

– Ellen DeGeneres

Spend the afternoon. You can’t take it with you.”

– Annie Dillard

I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”

– Thomas Edison

Sometimes the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had.”

– Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”

– Charles R. Swindoll

At the center of your being you have the answer; you know who you are and you know what you want.”

– Lao Tzu

Never cut what you can untie.”

– Joseph Joubert

It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”

– Charles Darwin

The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. The greatest failure is to not try.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

Change is a math formula. Change happens when the cost of the status quo is greater than the risk of change.”

– Alan Webber, author, "Rules of Thumb"

You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead, pursue the things you love doing.”

– Maya Angelou

If you do not tell the truth about yourself
, you cannot tell it about other people.”

– Virginia Woolf

Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity.”

– Ray Bradbury

Death is to lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

– Thomas Wolfe

If your success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your heart, it is not success at all.”

– Anna Quindlen

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

– Mark Twain

By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

– Sri Aurobindo

The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Chuck E. Cheese's

You must learn to be still in the midst of activity 
and to be vibrantly alive in repose.”

– Indira Ghandi

Women once had the goal of being Superwoman; I think most of us now simply strive to have a super day.”

– Author, Activist Lee Woodruff

If it really was a no-brainer to make it on your own in business there’d be millions of no-brained, harebrained individuals quitting their day jobs.”

– Bill Rancic, "The Apprentice"

There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”

– John Lennon

Entrepreneurs are willing to roll the dice with their money or reputation on the line in support of an idea or enterprise.”

– Victor Kiam

We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

– General Omar Bradley

How do you stay resilient? It’s about momentum. Like riding a bicycle. If you stop you fall over. So I keep pedaling.”

– Diane Lane

When you are asked if you can do a job, tell ‘em, ‘Certainly I can!’ Then get busy and find out how to do it.”

– Theodore Roosevelt

The man who acquires the ability to take full possession of his own mind may take possession of anything else to which he is justly entitled.”

– Andrew Carnegie

What is the point of having free will if one cannot occasionally spit in the eye of destiny?”

– Jim Butcher, White Night

When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

– Jimi Hendrix

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson