Sarah E. Messersmith

Sarah E. Messersmith

Biography

Sarah is an associate in the Hampton and Newport News offices. Her estate planning and administration work with clients ranges from the initial structuring and implementation of their estate plans to the resulting estate and trust administration. Sarah helps clients create wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, powers of attorney and advance medical directives and assists clients with tax planning and succession planning issues. She also represents clients who are administering an estate or trust after a family member has died, providing assistance through the trust implementation or probate process. Sarah is RESA certified and her real estate practice consists of representation of buyers, sellers and lenders in all aspects of residential and commercial real estate purchase and sale transactions and the associated financing. She represents clients engaging in residential and commercial leasing as well as land use and rezoning. Sarah's practice also includes creation of new business entities and working with owners of existing closely held businesses.

Representative Matters

  • Represented estates involving substantial assets, multiple beneficiaries, issues about advancement of inheritance and complex accounting reports to the Commissioner of Accounts
  • Represented clients with complex tax and estate planning needs, including preparation of and funding revocable living trusts, and preparation of trusts to provide for children upon the death of both parents
  • Represented clients with the preparation of leases and contracts of purchase for residential and commercial properties
  • Represented clients with the creation of new corporations and limited liability companies
  • Assisted with property rezonings in Hampton, Virginia for residential and commercial development

Recognition & Honors

  • Virginia Super Lawyers Rising Stars; Estate & Trust Litigation, 2017
  • LEAD Peninsula, Virginia Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Class of 2016
  • Junior League of Hampton Roads Liz Jones Community Commitment Award, 2014
  • Articles Editor; William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law, 2004-2005

Associations

  • Sarah Bonwell Hudgins Foundation, Board of Trustees, 2008 – Present
     - President, 2014 – Present
     - First Vice President, 2011 – 2014
     - Associate Treasurer, 2010 – 2011
  • Peninsula SPCA, Board of Directors, 2013 – Present
     - Chair Fur Ball Committee, 2014 – Present
     - Strategic Planning Committee, 2014 – Present
     - Development Committee, 2016 – Present
  • Hampton Public Library Foundation, Board of Directors, 2016 – Present
     - Secretary/Treasurer, 2016 – Present
  • Hampton Bar Association, 2005 – Present
  • Newport News Bar Association, 2012 – Present
  • Virginia Bar Association, 2005 – Present
     - Young Lawyers Division Executive Council, 2006 – 2014
  • Peninsula Estate Planning Council, 2011 – Present
  • Urban Land Institute, 2011 – Present
  • Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate, 2012 – Present
  • Junior League of Hampton Roads, 2010 – 2014

Education

  • College of William & Mary; B.S., summa cum laude, 2002
  • College of William & Mary School of Law; J.D., 2005

Press and Publications