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About me

John Laster is a lawyer licensed to practice in Virginia, Maryland, and the District of Columbia. He limits his practice to wealth transfer planning, trusts, wills, powers of attorney, healthcare decision issues, estate administration, estate taxes, elder law, and disability concerns.


An AV® PreeminentTM Peer Review RatedSM attorney by Martindale-Hubbell®, John is listed in The Best Lawyers in America and Virginia Super Lawyers.


He is an adjunct professor in Aging and the Law at Georgetown University Law School. He is also a frequent speaker for both lay and professional groups. A member of the D.C. Estate Planning Council, John has lectured for many institutions, government agencies, civic organizations, and professional associations. He annually teaches lawyers about planning for incapacity at a D.C. Bar Continuing Legal Education program. In addition, he has served as chair of the Committee on Special Needs Trusts and Long Term Care of the American Bar Association Section on Real Property, Trust and Estate Law. He is a founding member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and a charter member of the Academy for Special Needs Planning.


For more than 25 years, his clients have included seniors with grandchildren, "sandwich generation" caregivers, young parents with newborns, couples whose adult child has significant disabilities, individuals in non-traditional relationships, and single people. Some of his clients possess great material wealth; others do not. Some are motivated to preserve assets in a challenging wealth transfer tax environment. Others are primarily concerned with safeguarding the well-being of their dependents. Still others focus their energy on improving life on this planet through charitable means. All of his clients are united in having chosen to improve the future for someone other than themselves.


He participated in the 1994 Fordham University invitational conference to clarify ethical issues that arise in connection with representing seniors and the 2001 Stetson University invitational Wingspan conference to revisit issues of guardianship reform.


John serves on the board of directors of Community Living Alternatives, Inc., a Northern Virginia organization that serves the needs of persons with disabilities.


John graduated from Oberlin College and Catholic University. He is married to Barbara Laster, a reading professor. Together, they live in Northern Virginia with assorted family members—some who live there and some who just come to visit!


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Trusts: 20%
    35 years
  2. Elder Law: 20%
    35 years
  3. Estate Planning: 20%
    35 years
  4. Probate: 20%
    35 years
  5. Guardianship: 20%



Hourly ($350/hour), Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (sometimes)

Payment types:

Check, Credit card

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Contact info

Old Brickhouse Square
103 Rowell Court
Falls Church, VA, 22046


VAAuthorized to practice law199503/31/2016
DCActive 197907/05/2016
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
They Know Money 2012: Top Estate AttorneysWashingtonian Magazine2012
Virginia Super LawyerVirginia Super Lawyers2010
Virginia Super LawyerVirginia Super Lawyers2009
Virginia Super LawyerVirginia Super Lawyers2008
Best Lawyers in AmericaBest Lawyers in AmericaN/A
AV Preeminent 5.0 out of 5 Peer Review RatedMartindale-HubbellN/A
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
Adjunct ProfessorGeorgetown University School Of Law2009 - Present
Principal AttorneyLaw Offices of John L. Laster1995 - Present
Association namePosition nameDuration
Academy of Special Needs PlannersCharter Member2006 - Present
National Academy of Elder Law AttorneysFounding Member1987 - Present
Virginia Academy of Elder Law AttorneysMemberN/A
D.C. Estate Planning CouncilMemberN/A
Publication nameTitleDate
Virginia Lawyers WeeklyInterplay of Spousal Support, Medicaid an Issue to Remember2011
Virginia Lawyers WeeklyA Few of the Challenges in Using Powers of Attorney in an Elder Law Practice2011
Senior LawyerCOBRA Bites Medicaid Qualifying Trusts: Is It Fatal?1987
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Catholic University of America, Columbus School of LawN/AJD - Juris Doctor1979
Oberlin CollegeN/AA.B.1972
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Aging Backward, Moving ForwardChoosing a Fiduciary2013
Trusts 101Trusts Used for Tax Reduction2012
Resolving Legal and Financial Issues in Elder CareEthical Considerations When Representing the Elderly Client2011
Frequent speaker for Continuing Legal Education seminars and retirement planning seminarsEstate Planning, Incapacity Planning, Special Needs Planning, Elder Law2011
Estate Planning and Recovery for Elderly ClientsPlan for Your Client's Incapacity2010