Blog covering Will, Trust & Estate Litigation in Virginia

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Serving the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia

Michael S. Whitlow

Michael S. Whitlow

Phone: 540-904-7835
Fax: 866-684-7835


  • J.D., cum laude, University of Richmond, T.C. Williams School of Law, 1995
  • B.A., Virginia Tech, 1990
  • Member, McNeill Law Society


  • Named “Legal Elite” by Virginia Business Magazine in Civil Litigation and Environmental Law
  • Second Place in “Valley Top Lawyers” by Roanoker Magazine in Land Use/Environmental Category

Community/Volunteer Activities:

  • Past Board Member, Roanoke Bar Association
  • Developed "You and the Law" Project, Roanoke Bar Association
  • Past President and Past Board Member, Saint Francis Service Dogs
  • Member, Second Presbyterian Church

Will, Trust, Estate and Fiduciary Litigation    Read more about this area of Practice >>

  • Obtained judgment in two day trial for father defending an alleged oral contract to make
    a will claim.
  • Mediated a settlement for client who claimed undue influence relating to re-titling of
    brokerage accounts by decedent father shortly before his death.
  • Obtained judgment against defendant Executor who could not properly account for the
    disposition of substantial Estate assets.
  • Represented multiple clients in suits for aid and guidance relating to ambiguous or
    problematic provisions in last wills and testaments, including handwritten additions to
    typed wills.
  • Represented children born out of wedlock in enforcing their inheritance rights relating to
    biological parents' estates.
  • Represented clients in multiple cases relating to documents sought to be established as a
    last will and testament despite not complying with the statutory requirements for a last
    will and testament under Virginia law.
  • Represented both executors and beneficiaries under wills and trusts relating to objections
    to accountings filed with the Commissioner of Accounts.
  • Obtained a judgment imposing a constructive trust on assets that should have gone to clients upon their father's death based on an agreement made by their father.
  • Successfully proved an oral contract to make a will at trial.
  • Obtained judgment against administrators of estate for improper distributions and breach of fiduciary duty.
  • Successfully mediated estate dispute involving a will with multiple non-probate assets.
  • Represented beneficiaries of trust and wills in suits against fiduciaries to remove them for beach of fiduciary duties, and to force compliance with fiduciary duties.
  • Successfully defended beneficiary of multi-million dollar estate against claims of undue influence.
  • Obtained significant settlements for plaintiffs challenging wills on the bases of incompetency and undue influence.
  • Terminated irrevocable trusts that had become subject to administrative fees that were excessive and unnecessary.
  • Challenged a will on the basis of mental incompetency and undue influence; defendant ultimately agreed that will was invalid without going to trial.
  • Helped beneficiaries obtain distributions from estate when personal representative refused to make distributions.

Real Estate Litigation  Read more about this area of Practice >>

  • Represented many clients in partition suits involving co-owners of real estate, primarily when property has been inherited.
  • Represented defendant in multiple breach of contract case that was successfully mediated.
  • Defended a prescriptive easement suit that was settled with client’s attorneys fees paid as part of the settlement.
  • Regularly represent landlords in unlawful detainer actions to recover possession and obtain judgment for unpaid rent and costs.
  • Defended homeowner in suit by developer to enforce restrictive covenants of subdivision.
  • Successfully settled a boundary line dispute where part of settlement was client obtaining drain field easement on disputed property.

Environmental Law and Litigation  Read more about this area of Practice >>

  • Assisted multiple clients in obtaining liability comfort letters from Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
  • Successfully defended owner of gasoline/convenience store relating to water well contamination.
  • Represented purchaser of abandoned industrial site as Brownfield site, including successful completion of Virginia Voluntary Remediation Program.
  • Represented owner of industrial site in analyzing liability related to environmental condition of property and potential sale.
  • Reorganized corporate structure of client to maximize benefits under Virginia Petroleum Underground Storage Tank Fund.

Commercial Litigation  Read more about this area of Practice >>

  • Obtained arbitration award for homeowners in suit against construction contractor.
  • Represented large banking institution in collection suits against defaulting borrowers.
  • Represented national hotel chain in dispute with licensee over termination of license agreement and fees due and owing.

Commercial Real Estate  Read more about this area of Practice >>

  • Represented seller of multiple convenience store locations, including advising and negotiating related to environmental issues.
  • Represented national company in the sale of its Salem, Virginia facility.
  • Represented seller in multi-party transaction for construction of a retail facility for large retailer.
  • Negotiated multiple leases for franchise company in shopping malls and related facilities.