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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.

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

– General Omar Bradley

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

– Eckhart Tolle

Education is an admirable thing to have, but it is well to remember that nothing worth knowing can be taught.”

– Oscar Wilde

Anything not worth doing well is not worth doing.”

– Warren Buffett

Success is the necessary misfortune of life, but it is only to the very unfortunate that it comes early.”

– Anthony Trollope

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

– Lao Tzu

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

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

There are children playing in the street who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.”

– J. Robert Oppenheimer

The less effort, the faster and more powerful you will be.”

– Bruce Lee

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"

The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something.”

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

Nothing is a mistake. There’s no win and no fail. There’s only make.”

– Corita Kent

Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.”

– J.K. Rowling

Do you believe it is important to give back some portion of your wealth to support charitable causes?”

– Steven Schussler

Speaking more than one language is no longer just an asset in today’s job market; it is a requirement.”

– Tom Adams, CEO, Rosetta Stone

Why am I whispering when I have something to say?”

– Eve Ensler

Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

– Christopher Robin to Pooh

There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.”

– Christopher Morley

A truly forgiving person is someone who experiences all the anger merited by injustice and still acts with fairness and compassion.”

– Martha Beck

Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.”

– Jack Kerouac

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

– Alfred Adler

The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”

– Muhammad Yunus

The goal of Life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with nature.”

– Joseph Cambell

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

– JFK

A lot of people have ideas, but few decide to do something about them now. Not next week. But today.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Atari

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

– Jim Butcher, White Night

Part of your destiny is to live in the zone of maximum satisfaction.”

– Martha Beck

By your stumbling the world is perfected.”

– Sri Aurobindo

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

– Henry David Thoreau

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

– Charles Dickens

An entrepreneur tends to bite off a little more than he can chew hoping he’ll quickly learn how to chew it.“


– Roy Ash, co-founder of Litton Industries

Never cut what you can untie.”

– Joseph Joubert

Success is about finding a livelihood that brings joy, self-sufficiency, and a sense of contributing.”

– Anita Roddick

The person who makes a success of living is the one who see his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”

– Cecil B. DeMille

No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it”

– Andrew Carnegie

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

The young man knows the rules, but the old man knows the exceptions.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., U.S. Supreme Court justice

A warrior cannot complain or regret anything. His life is an endless challenge, and challenges cannot possibly be good or bad. Challenges are simply challenges.”

– Carlos Castaneda

If you were independently wealthy and never had to work a day in your life, would you still choose to spend your time attempting to become a successful entrepreneur?”

– Steven Schussler

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

– JFK

Traveling is one way of lengthening life, at least in appearance.”

– Benjamin Franklin

Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth. Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.”

– Noela Evans

Entrepreneurs willingly assume responsibility for the success or failure of a venture and are answerable for all its facets.”

– Victor Kiam

Do not be afraid of mistakes, providing you do not make the same one twice.”

– Eleanor Roosevelt

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

– Dalai Lama

As each woman realizes her power, she transforms the world.”

– Patrice Wynne, WomanSpirit Sourcebook

Never never never never give up.”

– Winston Churchill

Confidence is the most important thing you can teach someone… if you can teach them confidence, you don’t have to teach them anything else.”

– Vin Diesel