- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
- J.D., cum laude, University of Pittsburgh School of Law, 2010
- B.A., magna cum laude, University of Pittsburgh, 2007
- Universidade Federal do Ceará, Fortaleza, Brazil, 2006
As a Director of the Firm and a member of the Estates & Trusts Group, Melissa specializes in estate planning, estate and trust administration and estate, gift, inheritance, fiduciary and individual taxation.
Melissa provides sophisticated estate planning advice to both U.S. and non-U.S. citizen high-net-worth individuals. Her practice emphasizes wealth preservation and business succession planning, representing corporate fiduciaries and individuals in estate and trust administration matters, and gift, tax, and charitable planning.
Her planning experience includes the use of wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, charitable remainder trusts and grantor trusts.
Melissa was selected to the 2016 and 2017 Pennsylvania Super Lawyers Rising Stars lists.
- Council Member, Pennsylvania Bar Association Real Property, Probate & Trust Law Section
- Estate Planning Council of Pittsburgh
- Pennsylvania Bar Association
- Allegheny County Bar Association
- Women’s Bar Association of Western Pennsylvania
- Board Member, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership
Melissa lectures frequently for the Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s continuing education program and serves as a featured speaker for client and professional groups. Her recent speaking engagements include:
- Lecturer, “Preparing Inheritance Tax Returns,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute 19th Annual Estate & Elder Law Symposium, February 15, 2018
- Lecturer, “An Overview of Recent Probate, Estate and Fiduciary Code Changes,” Annual Meeting of the Allegheny County Bar Association Probate and Trust Law Section, May 18, 2017
- Lecturer, Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminar – “Act 79: Omnibus Changes to the PEF Code,” December 5, 2016 and December 12, 2016
- Lecturer, Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminar – “Common Estate Planning Blunders,” July 19, 2016
- Lecturer, Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminar – “Estate Planning for the Middle Market Client: Federal Transfer Tax Planning,” May 2, 2014, May 15, 2014, April 19, 2016 and April 25, 2016
- Panelist, Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminar – “Estate Planning: Beyond the Basics,” March 26, 2015
- Panelist, Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminar – “Act 95: The New POA Law,” January 14, 2015 and January 21, 2015
- Presenter, “Estate Planning for Royalty Owners,” National Association of Royalty Owners National Convention, October 9-11, 2014
- Author, “Opportunities Created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act for Partially GST-Exempt Trusts,” The Legal Intelligencer Wealth Management/Trusts & Estates Special Section, February 2018
- Author, “Act 103 Finally Clarifies Execution Requirements and Agents’ Duties under PA Commercial Powers of Attorney,” Cohen & Grigsby, P.C. Estates & Trusts Bulletin, December 2016
- Author, “Federal Transfer Tax Planning,” presented at Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminar “Estate Planning for the Middle Market Client,” May 2, 2014, May 15, 2014, April 19, 2016 and April 25, 2016
- Author, “Financial Powers of Attorney,” presented at Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminar “Estate Planning: Beyond the Basics,” March 26, 2015
- Author, “Federal Transfer Tax Planning,” presented at Pennsylvania Bar Institute Seminar “Estate Planning for the Middle Market Client,” May 2, 2014 and May 15, 2014
- Co-Author, “The Planner’s ‘Playbook’ Going Forward Post-Windsor: What issues will confront us when advising our same-sex clients?” presented at an event sponsored by The Pittsburgh Foundation, September 2013
- Author, “Recent Updates in Probate and Trust Law,” Pennsylvania Bar Association Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Newsletter, Winter 2012