Legal Services

Michele’s practice is limited primarily to adoptions, estate planning, probate, and the preparation of Wills, Powers of Attorney for Health Care, and other personal planning documents. She has been a practicing attorney for almost 40 years, She works very closely with her clients, and is known for her personal service. She works from an office in her home, and often meets with clients in her home, in their homes, or at their places of employment. She arranges to see clients in the evenings and on weekends and is generally available to her clients by telephone after regular business hours.

Her practice is particularly focused on developing legal protections for individuals, couples, and families, including families headed by same-sex couples. She develops long-standing relationships with her clients and acts as their legal counselor for many different types of legal issues. Michele has worked with thousands of clients in her career. Because of her extensive experience and contacts within the Washington metropolitan legal community, Michele also provides clients with appropriate referrals for any legal matter.

Adoptions

Michele has successfully represented clients in thousands of adoptions in Maryland and the District of Columbia. She has represented same-sex couples, individuals, and married opposite sex couples in joint and second-parent adoptions, step-parent adoptions, readoptions from foreign countries, adoptions through foster care systems, adoptions of children born to one member of a couple through a surrogacy arrangement, adoptions of children where the parents no longer live together, direct adoptions for birth parent, adoptions through adoption agencies throughout the country. She also has experience with meeting the requirements of the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children and negotiating subsidy agreements for children adopted through foster care. She was elected a member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys in April of 2005 and a member of the American Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technologies in 2010. She resigned from both organizations because of the requirements of attending conferences.

Assisted Reproductive Technology

Surrogacy and egg/embryo/sperm donor agreements (ART): Michele Zavos is experienced in all legal matters related to assisted reproductive technology (ART), including surrogacy. Michele can also help clients prepare a contract for egg/embryo/sperm donation. Michele regularly consult with clients in the U.S. and France and other European countries on how to bring children into their families through ART.

Personal Planning Documents

Michele assists clients in determining what type of personal planning documents are appropriate for their situations, and prepares those documents, which can include Wills, including testamentary trusts, Powers of Attorney for Health Care, Living Wills, Final Arrangement Designations (for funeral arrangements), HIPAA Authorizations (for the federal law which prohibits the release of medical information without an individual’s consent), Financial Powers of Attorney, Designations of Standby Guardians (for minors), Authorizations of Medical Consents for Minors, and Nominations of Guardians for Minors.

Estate Planning

When Michele meets with clients to prepare their personal planning documents, she does a comprehensive review of clients’ financial circumstances for estate planning purposes. She advises clients on tax planning, reviews their life insurance needs, and counsels couples on how their property can be held to avoid or reduce certain tax consequences, including inheritance tax for unmarried same-sex couples in Maryland. Michele also refers clients to financial planners, accountants, and life insurance brokers during this process.

Probate

Michele practices in the Probate Division of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and in the probate sections of the Circuit Courts of Prince George’s County and Montgomery County.

Parenting

ZAVOS LAW is familiar with the parentage laws of Maryland, the District of Columbia, and Virginia. Michele Zavos also knows how to use these laws to help her clients grow their families or protect their rights as parents.

Family Formation

Michele helps clients grow their families through:

  • Adoption: I have significant experience helping people grow their families through adoption. I offer consultations on adoption to parents throughout the U.S. and represent clients in adoption finalizations in Maryland and the District of Columbia.
  • Surrogacy and egg/embryo/sperm donor agreements (ART): I am experienced in all legal matters related to assisted reproductive technology (ART), including surrogacy. I can also help clients prepare a contract for egg/embryo/sperm donation. I regularly consult with clients on how to bring children into their families through ART.

Referrals for Other Legal Matters

Because of Michele’s extensive legal experience, she can provide referrals for any other legal matter for clients

Talk To an Experienced Family Law Attorney In Washington, D.C. and Maryland Today

Find out how I can help you by contacting me online or calling 202-369-2516 for an initial consultation. From my location in Washington, D.C., I represent clients throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia.