Lena Barnett


Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.

― Peter F. Drucker


People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But, people will not forget how you made them feel.

― Maya Angelou

About Lena

Lena S. Barnett is nationally recognized as a top estate planning attorney, author, & speaker.

Lena received her A.B. degree, cum laude, with Honors in History, from Muhlenberg College and earned her J.D. degree from the University of Maryland School of Law. Before opening her private practice more than thirty years ago, Ms. Barnett was an Associate with the New York based international law firm Fink, Weinberger, Fredman, Berman, Lowell & Fensterheim.

Member Attorney , WealthCounsel. Wealth Counsel is a membership organization of more than 5,000 attorneys in all 50 states who are committed to a client-centric approach to estate planning. The resources and collaborative community of Wealth Counsel are outstanding. A number of us have known each other for more than two decades through WealthCounsel and other professional affiliations & activities. WealthCounsel Members share and learn from each other which makes each of us stronger and better enabled to serve our clients & client families.

Lena has received the prestigious “AV Preeminent 5.0 Peer Review Rated” from Martindale Hubbell which represents recognition by her peers for legal knowledge, analytical capabilities, judgment, communication ability, and legal experience.

Bethesda Magazine in its July/August 2018 issue named Lena Barnett as one of the area’s top estate lawyers. Choosing a lawyer to draft or revise an estate plan is an important decision. So Bethesda Magazine asked dozens of local estate attorneys who they would use to write their wills. Lena is deeply honored that she was among those recommended most often by her peers.

Bethesda Magazine in its May/June 2011 issue named Lena S. Barnett as one of the area’s best estate attorneys, as chosen by her colleagues.

Marquis Who’s Who in the World, March 2018 accepted Lena’s biography into Marquis Who’s Who in the World which is comprised of the top 3% of the professionals in the world.

Lawyer Monthly Women in Law Award in recognition of outstanding legal expertise and contribution within the practice area of Estate Planning.

DC/Metro Top Rated Lawyer, The National Law Journal. As a top AV Preeminent® attorney Legal Leaders is partnering with Martindale-Hubbell® to produce a special section published in The National Law Journal featuring the top 5% lawyers in DC.

Lena Barnett has been the subject of feature stories in Lawyer’s Weekly USA, The Bethesda Gazette, The Rockville Gazette & has been quoted in feature stories in Financial World and in Retire with Money, From the Editors of Money Magazine. Lena Barnett served as a regular columnist in Women Today.

Lena Barnett was invited to serve on Monument Bank’s Bethesda Advisory Board 2011-2016. After Monument Bank became part of Revere Bank, she was invited to serve on Revere Bank’s Lower Montgomery-DC Regional Advisory Board Member from 2016 to 2020 until Revere Bank’s merger into another bank.

Television & Radio Guest

Lena has been a guest on The Retirement Doctor on Business Radio WPGC AM, 1580, Money Talk on WBZS Business Radio 730 AM, & The Rita Foley Show on WMAL Newstalk 630 AM. Lena was among the hosts of The Asset Masters which aired on WBZS AM 570.

Channel 9, WUSA-TV’s Jan Fox came to Lena’s offices to create a video for a special series on estate planning matters, the tape aired May 11, 1999. On October 15, 2001 Ms. Fox came to Lena’s offices to create a tape for a story on clients’ needs and interests in estate planning as a result of the tragic events of September 11, 2001. The story aired on October 15, 2001 and the WUSATV9 website was hyperlinked to the website of Lena Barnett & Associates, L.L.C. In 2002 Lena was part of a story which covered the storage and proper distribution of important papers including estate planning documents. Lena was a regular guest in 2008 and 2009 of the Mind Over Money program which aired on Friday mornings.

In 2011 Lena was a guest on MCTV to discuss the important role of the Montgomery College Foundation in supporting the college, its students, and Montgomery County, MD.

In 2017 WETA TV invited Lena to be taped to help promote the station. She was among a very small group of donors selected for this purpose. It was fun! As someone who grew up with WETA TV, plays WETA Classical Music in her office, has been a longtime supporter (Leadership Circle), and has made a planned gift to WETA (The Elizabeth P. Campbell Legacy Society), Lena was very honored by this. The spots aired in 2018.

Author & Speaker:

Reviewer or Contributing Reviewer for books published by the American Bar Association. The American Bar Association Guide to Wills and Estates, Second Edition, 2004, Random House Reference; Reviewer, The American Bar Association, Family Legal Guide, Third Edition, 2004, Random House Reference, Contributing Reviewer, The American Bar Association Guide To Wills and Estates, 1995, 1999, Times Books/Random House; Reviewer, The American Bar Association Legal Guide to Small Business, 2000,Three Rivers Press; Reviewer, Your Law, an American Bar Association newsletter; Contributing Reviewer, Conspectus Current, Esperti Peterson Publications, LLC.

In 2018 Lena wrote an article “Estate Planning in 2018: Why It’s Important and the New Federal Tax Legislation’s Impacts” for Revere Bank which published it on its website and blog. WETA Public Television & Classical Music for Greater Washington published a shorter version of this article for its “WETA Legacy News” with permission from Lena & Revere Bank.

Lena has conducted seminars for numerous organizations including HP, NASA, Nordstrom, The Retired Officers’ Association, Wealth Counsel, WETA Public Television and Classical Music & The Women Presidents’ Organization

Charitable & Community Activities of Note:

Leadership Montgomery, Rockville, MD, Graduate 2005

Leadership Montgomery “LM” brings together current & emerging leaders to make Montgomery County a better place to live and work. LM’s Core Program, of which Lena is a 2005 Graduate, provides intensive hands-on study & a forum to discuss the issues facing Montgomery County. 

Montgomery College Foundation, Rockville, MD, Former Director 1998 – 2010

Lena served as Chair of the Planned Giving Committee, Chair of the By-Laws Committee & on the Executive Committee.

While Lena no longer serves on the Board (1998-2010), she continues to actively support the Foundation’s efforts to help MC & its students through the Lena S. Barnett Endowed Scholarship. She is also a Member of the Legacy Society & a Member of the 1946 Society through her planned gifts.

Greater Washington Community Foundation, Washington, D.C. Estate Planning Journal Club, Member 2017-Present

The Greater Washington Community Foundation is now the host of this multi-disciplinary professional study group which includes select & experienced estate planning professionals.

Lena has been a longtime supporter of the Community Foundation in Montgomery County which is part of the Greater Washington Community Foundation.

Suburban Hospital Foundation, Bethesda, MD

Estate Planning Journal Club “EPJC” Member 1997 to 2017, Chair 2011 to 2016;

Planned Giving Committee Member 2011 to 2015. Lena is a Member of Suburban Hospital’s Heritage Society through her planned gift. Suburban Hospital has well served Lena’s family, clients and community!

Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad, Bethesda, M, Development Advisory Board Member, MD 2012 – 2015

Established in 1937, the Bethesda Chevy Chase Rescue Squad “B-CCRS” has evolved into one of the nation’s most advanced & best trained rescue squads. B-CCRS does not receive regular appropriated funds from any government. Instead, it raises almost its entire operating budget from individual donors, foundations, businesses, and occasional state and federal grants saving millions of tax dollars! It is a 501(c) (3) organization. Lena supports B-CCRS through gifts & other activities. 

Professional Associations: 

American Bar Association. Reviewer or Contributing Reviewer of 6 books by the ABA, Member Section of Real Property & Probate Law, Former Vice Chair Probate, Trust & Estate Planning Committee of the GP Section, Former Vice Chair Real Property Committee of the GP Section; Maryland State Bar Assn. Member, Sections of Estate & Trust Law & Taxation Law; D.C. Bar Association., Member, Estates, Trusts & Probate Law Section; Bar Association of Montgomery County, MD, Member, Former Chair Estates & Trusts Section, Section Chair of the Year 1995, Montgomery County Bar Foundation Bar Leader 1995 to Present; Graduate & Fellow Esperti Peterson Institute, National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys 1993-2004, Wealth Counsel 2004 to Present.

Other Important Organizations

Greater Bethesda Chamber of Commerce 1988 to 2022, Member, Forum Club Member; Montgomery Women 2011 to Present,

The Word About Lena:

Timothy Hall, I have had the opportunity of knowing Lena both professionally and personally. I first met her as she and I were both very much involved in the local Chambers of Commerce. Lena has done all of my estate planning and has established a family trust. She was thorough and very professional. So professional that I was willing to introduce her to my mother-in-law for estate work. I have also has the opportunity of referring her to several other couples who needed estate planning work. Everyone has been most pleased with Lena’s work.

Howard Lang, Esq. Owner, Estate and Business Law Group, P.C., Libertyville, IL: Lena is an outstanding legal counselor and estate planner. I have worked with Lena over several years and she is knowledgeable, innovative and fully committed to her clients’ goals and objectives. I unreservedly recommend Lena to anyone who wants to have a thorough, technically correct and up to date plan that works when it is supposed to work!

Denny Axman, CLU, ChFC, AEP, CFP, RICP, Orange Park, FL: Lena Barnett is a truly client focused attorney and is very detail oriented in order to make sure her clients obtain that absolute finest in estate and business planning strategies. Lena is truly a very caring person whose number 1 objective is to provide excellent service for her clients. I highly recommend Lena as an advisory collaborative team member for any client. I am truly blessed to know Lena Barnett.

Greg Gotts, CLU, ChFC, CLF, CAS, LUT, CF, RHU, REBC, Beltsville, MD Lena Barnett is a true “professional” when it comes to her estate and business legal advice and making sure her clients’ needs come first and foremost. Lena is one of the most dedicated, focused and “results” oriented attorneys I have ever worked with. I strongly recommend her professional services when it comes to planning for the two most important things in our lives – everything we own and everyone we love.

The Word About Lena’s Publications and Presentations

Rickie Gooch, Bowie, MD “Lena has taken the skill of being an estate attorney to new levels. As a principal at Lena Barnett Associates she provides expert advice, counsel and a wide diverse network of subject matter experts to make estate planning accessible to the general public.

Lena is also an excellent speaker and presenter, on several occasions I have brought her in to speak to community groups, and large corporate audiences she is always clear concise and engaging. I continue to be amazed at the level of expertise and competency Lena exhibits regarding estate planning and ALL of the laws that are associated with effectively managing your estate.

Lena is a woman of integrity and great creativity and know for finding solutions for difficult problems additionally, her proactive approach to managing your estate and monitoring the changes keeps your life’s work safe and available for the use of your love ones, charities or other beneficiaries of your choice.

I highly recommend that everyone have a conversation with her she will ensure that you are protected and that you have a detail plan to manage your estate during critical life events.”

Debbie Eliason, Senior Director, Planned Gifts, WETA, Arlington, VA: December 9, 2018 “Lena,

Thank you so very much for giving your time, energy and talent to helping our donors plan for the 21st Century! Your presentation was terrific, you looked terrific and you changed lives. We truly appreciate you and what you do for WETA!”

Charles White, Senior Editor American Bar Association, Division for Public Education, Chicago, IL
“I’m writing to thank you-as much as words permit-for the invaluable assistance you rendered as we prepared the revised edition of the ABA Guide to Wills and Estates. Many lawyers around the country helped us on this book….

None, however, worked harder or contributed more than you did. We counted on you to be up to date on all the latest estate tax information, to guide us as we dealt with trusts, and to answer specific questions about tax law, trusts, and wealth preservation. You did every task well, and on time.

The book owes a great, great deal to your fine work. Thank you again for giving us your time. It is in the finest traditions of service to the public.”

Shira Oler, Director of Major and Planned Giving Suburban Hospital Foundation, Bethesda, MD

“’Just terrific!’ These were the words I overheard over and over again following your presentation last night at the “Money Matters for SMART Women” seminar…

Your enthusiasm and professionalism ensured the success of this important program.”

Hollis Krotchko, Secretary Planned Giving Committee, Saint Mark Presbyterian Church, Rockville, MD

“….. Your presentation was informative and entertaining. Your participation in the workshop helped the Planned Giving Committee provide essential information to church members and the community.”

Sheri Melvin, Sr. Employee Benefits Representative Gillette Medical Evaluation Laboratories, Gaithersburg, MD”

“I would like to thank you for helping to make our “Pre-Retirement Planning” session a success. A motivational discussion on “Estate Planning” was definitely an eye opener for most of us. Whether we leave a Will or a Trust, the point is to get us to plan for that inevitable event the way we want, when we want, to whom we want, and to save every last tax dollar, professional fee, and court cost possible. If nothing else, you have started us to do just that-Plan.”

Of Counsel Remembrance

SHELTON M. BINSTOCK, (1942-2010) formerly with the Internal Revenue Service’s Estate and Gift Tax Division, practiced as a private attorney for over 40 years. He earned his Masters of Laws in Taxation (LL.M) degree from the National Law Center at George Washington University and B.S. and J.D. degrees from the University of Maryland. Mr. Binstock was a Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.), and a Fellow of the Esperti Peterson Institute.

Top Estate Planning Attorney (Washingtonian Magazine; peer selected) 2009 and prior years; Washington, D.C. Super Lawyers (Super Lawyer Magazine; peer selected; 2009 and prior years); Maryland Super Lawyers (Super Lawyer Magazine; peer selected; 2009 and prior years); Best Lawyers in America (Peer selected; 2009 and prior years)

Lena’s Thoughts & Memories of Shelton Binstock:

It was an honor and privilege to know and work with Shelton Binstock who passed away in January 2010. He was my dear friend and mentor for more than two decades and I am very grateful he was part of my life. I am a better person and attorney because of Shelton. His wisdom, generosity, and kindness will always be remembered.