A professional calling, driven by personal experience
It was the death of her special-needs daughter at just 15 months that made Lindsay Pickral understand how decisions made today can have implications in the future. “When you’re in crisis mode, it is impossible to think about the long term,” says Lindsay. “I am here to help people in those situations.”
Lindsay honors Laura Grace’s memory each day at ThompsonMcMullan, where she serves families seeking to get their legal and financial lives in order through estate planning, estate and trust administration, long-term care planning, and guardianship and conservatorship proceedings. She has a special emphasis on special-needs clients and disability planning, offering guidance and access to families and caregivers who are often living under challenging circumstances and managing complex healthcare conditions.
“This is an emotional field of law, and over time I have become comfortable with the uncomfortable topics of disability and death. I offer confident, practical guidance and recommendations to people who may not see a light at the end of the tunnel,” she says. “I have walked in their shoes, and I am here to guide them.”
Lindsay is a magna cum laude graduate of the University of Richmond School of Law, where she served as president of the McNeill Law Society and as annual survey editor of the Law Review. She is also an alumna of the University of Virginia, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in government and edited the sports page of The Cavalier Daily. Prior to attending law school, Lindsay served as district representative for an area member of the house of representatives.
Operating out of the Firm’s Midlothian office*, as well as a native and current resident of Midlothian, Lindsay is active in community organizations and her church — in particular MOPS International, a group supporting and encouraging mothers of young children. Her own three young kids keep her and her husband, George, on their toes – and laughing until their sides hurt. And it is her late daughter who keeps her motivated to help our clients every day.
“After my daughter died, I had to find a way to continue caring for her, even if she was gone,” Lindsay says. “My work at this firm fulfills that purpose and gives me time in my life to set aside, just for her, to make something of a life cut too short.”
*While Lindsay operates her practice primarily from the Midlothian office, she is available to meet with clients at either the Midlothian or Shockoe location.
Elder Law and Estate Planning
- Assisting a young woman who suffered a stroke with executing power of attorney and advance medical directive so her mother can assist her with her financial and medical circumstances and decisions; drafting a special needs trust to be funded with GoFundMe assets donated by friends to help her pay her medical bills; advising the mother on possible appeal of Medicaid and Supplemental Security Insurance benefits, possible appeal of insurance denial of in-network coverage, and application for and coverage through Virginia Medicaid while client is in inpatient rehab in another state.
- Estate planning for family with one typically developing child and one special needs child, who wanted to make sure their healthy daughter has full control over her own assets at age 25 if her parents die before that time. They also wanted their son’s inheritance to be protected and controlled by a trustee so that any assets he receives as a result of his parents’ deaths will not make him financially ineligible for public benefits.
- Overseeing the guardianship and conservatorship petition on behalf of a man whose brother suffered a traumatic brain injury and today cannot make his own medical decisions — and requires additional brain surgery. Guardianship allows the healthy brother to make that medical decision on behalf of his injured sibling. Conservatorship allows the healthy brother to sell the injured brother’s real estate so that proceeds can be used to help care for his brother in long-term at an assisted-living facility.
- Medicaid planning and guardianship-conservatorship planning for client whose mother has Alzheimer’s disease. Advising the client on how, practically, to protect and stop mother from giving away her own assets to a needy family member who was taking advantage of the mother. Medicaid penalizes for gifts of assets, and gift-giving was extremely out of character for the mother. Also advising on the Medicaid application process—such as which asset transfers are permissible, and which are not. Advising on seeking guardianship and conservatorship so that the daughter could more fully protect the mother from the mother’s own decisions as well as make proper living arrangements for when the mother is no longer agreeable to receiving assistance.
- Estate planning for a critically ill hospital patient so that his family members can handle his financial and medical decisions while he is incapacitated. After the death of the client, she assisted his family members in administering his estate (he declined to have a will prepared). This included determining heirs, qualifying as estate administrator, preparing disclaimer for sole heir so that heir’s sons receive inheritance instead, advising on closing and opening bank accounts, paying bills of estate, and making distributions of assets.
- John C. Kenny Pro Bono Award (2021)
- Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© “Ones to Watch,” in the field of Elder Law and Trusts and Estates (2021-2022)
- The Allison Held Volunteer Award, 2011, LINC (Legal Information Network for Cancer)
- Virginia Business Magazine’s “Legal Elite,” Young Lawyer (Under 40) (2019-2021); Elder Law category (2019)
- University of Richmond, J.D., magna cum laude, 2009
- Annual Survey Editor, University of Richmond Law Review
- President, McNeill Law Society
- Moot Court Board
- CALI Book Award, Corporations
- Richmond Law Book Award, Lawyering Skills
- Publication: Close to Crucial: The H-2B Visa Program Must Evolve, but Must Endure, 42 U. RICH. L. REV. 1011 (2008)
- University of Virginia, B.A., Government, 2002
- All Virginia courts including the Supreme Court of Virginia
- Member, Virginia Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (VAELA)
- Member, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA)
- Virginia State Bar
- Virginia Bar Association
- Metro Richmond Women’s Bar Association
- Meritas Women’s Leadership Congress
- Huguenot Road Baptist Church
- MOPS International
- University of Virginia Alumni Association
- Gamma Phi Beta