Thoughtful questions.  Discreet advice.  Trusted advocacy.    These are the hallmarks of Smith & Pugh.

With our 30 years of experience and depth of expertise in estate planning and trust and probate administration,  Smith & Pugh, PLC, offers the personal attention, wise counsel, and customized legal documents you need to address the many complex issues surrounding your estate.

Whether you come to us as an individual, couple, family, or business, our goal is to protect your interests and those of your heirs by safeguarding your real and personal property. When necessary, we provide effective dispute resolution.  Increasingly, as advances in medicine lengthen our lives,  we focus on providing you the information and guidance you need to make informed decisions about deeply personal matters concerning end of life. Our mission is to put in place the instruments that ensure your intentions are met and your legacy is fulfilled.

We consider it a privilege to serve you and welcome the opportunity to introduce you to our firm.

 Daniel D. Smith

Daniel D. Smith

 W. Franklin Pugh

W. Franklin Pugh

 Matthew L. Clark

Matthew L. Clark

Current Articles

"Closing a Retirement Income Gap" by Amy and Dan Smith

When you determine how much income you’ll need in retirement, you may base your projection on the type of lifestyle you plan to have and when you want to retire. However, as you grow closer to retirement, you may discover that your income won’t be enough to meet your needs. Continue...

"Trusts for Children" by Amy and Dan Smith

Most parents are aware of the need to appoint a guardian for their children in case of their deaths before the child reaches 18. This is accomplished in a properly executed will. A guardian is responsible for the person of the child: what he/she eats and wears; where the child lives and goes to school. Continue...

"Tax Act Implications for Education Savings" by Amy and Dan Smith

In late December, 2017, the President signed new federal tax legislation that will change how 529 accounts can be used. Individual states may have variations. One of the most impactful changes is that tuition for primary and secondary education is now a qualified expense. Continue...

"Tax Cuts and Jobs Act" by Amy and Dan Smith

The Tax Cuts and Job Act legislation was signed into law on December 22, 2017. The Act makes extensive changes that affect both individuals and businesses. Some key provisions of the Act are discussed below. Most provisions are effective for 2018. Continue...

"Executor, Administrator, Trustee: What's The Difference?" by Amy and Dan Smith

The Executor is the person appointed in a will to administer the estate of the decedent. Typically, after the death of the testator the Executor makes an appointment with the Probate Division of the Circuit Court and, after producing the original of the will and the death certificate, is sworn to uphold his/her responsibilities to administer the estate properly and honestly. Continue...

"Tackle Year-End Deadlines and Look Ahead to 2018" by Amy and Dan Smith

With happy holidays come distracting deadlines. Our gift to you: wrapping them up in this year-end guide. Continue... 

"Funeral Arrangements - Organ Donation - Cremation" by Amy and Dan Smith

Some of the stress of saying goodbye to a loved one can be relieved through advance planning for final wishes. Communication of those wishes is important. The instructions for the funeral service and ceremony for disposal of remains should, if detailed, be reduced to writing.  Continue... 

"Creating the Financial Plan for Those with Dementia" by Amy and Dan Smith

To help guide you through the process, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology AgeLab developed a five-topic framework to discuss financial planning and Alzheimer’s disease.  Continue... 

"You Can't Retire From Taxes" by Amy and Dan Smith

At first (perhaps second and third) glance, everything about Social Security seems complicated. There are myriad ways to determine when to file and how in order to maximize your household benefits. Then you have to calculate what you’ll owe in federal income tax.  Continue... 

"Misconceptions about 529 Plans" by Amy and Dan Smith

Just like the kids you’re saving college funds for, 529 plans are often misunderstood. Read on to learn 529 plans are more flexible than you may think. They can be set up by anyone, for anyone, and used for a variety of education costs at all kinds of institutions, not just typical four-year colleges. Continue... 

"Choosing a Fiduciary" by Amy and Dan Smith

The choice of an executor or trustee is very important and will likely have long range consequences. Family wounds can linger for years from a mistake or unwise conduct of the person in charge of the estate or trust.  Continue... 

"Famous Estate Blunders and How To Avoid Them" by Amy and Dan Smith

These celebrities’ tales are a strong reminder to review your estate plan before it’s too late.There’s a calm comfort that comes with estate planning: a sense that your family will be taken care of after you pass away (hopefully at a ripe old age).  Continue... 

"Five Key Retirement Questions" by Amy and Dan Smith

Beyond asking yourself where you see yourself and even what your lifelong goals are, effective retirement and longevity planning begs some very big questions. Review the points below and consider how housing, transportation and health considerations all play a role in planning for your future.  Continue...

"It's Time to Review Your Estate Planning Basics" by Amy and Dan Smith

Beginners and billionaires alike should refresh their knowledge of these basic estate planning terms and concepts.  The word “estate” tends to conjure up images of billionaires and aristocrats, but estate planning is not just for the wealthy.  Continue... 

"Investing in the Family Stock" by Amy and Dan Smith

Family relationships are usually not considered under the rubric of “investments”.  Yet, the personal gain and loss from family relationships is much more significant than economic return from stocks and bonds. Continue... 

Here on our blog you’ll find Dan Smith’s and Frank Pugh’s insights on estate planning, trust administration, and business law. You’ll also find the column “Planning for Life,” written by Dan and his wife, financial planner Amy V. Smith, CFP, CIMA. It explores how financial and estate planning work together to help you meet your life’s goals. If you’d like to learn more about any topic on the blog, please send us an email


Our Approach to Estate Planning & Administration

FAQ Videos

What is an Advance Medical Directive and do I need one? >>

What do I need to bring to a first meeting? >>

Why do I need an attorney to prepare my will when I can download a form from the internet? >>

What's involved with the administration of an estate? >>

How do you handle disputes in the settlement of an estate? >>