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Thomas S. Word Jr., with four decades experience in tax, wealth management, charitable giving and fiduciary law, was the senior lawyer in these areas with McGuireWoods LLP and founder of Word & Word PLC, a boutique firm. He served for twenty years as an outside director of a large mutual fund family and for nine years as a director of The Community Foundation Inc. and serves as a director of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company, the largest domestic maker of wood furniture in America. He also serves as a Director of the Genan Foundation of Charlottesville, Virginia, philanthropic arm of the Gene and Anne Worrell family.
He previously served as outside general counsel to a large corporate fiduciary and is available to counsel clients with problems with such fiduciaries, both as to their possible resignation or for guidance on improving relations with them.
He has counseled prominent families on combining their charitable interests with family business succession goals by reducing transfer tax burdens through use of split-interest trusts. He has also counseled families contemplating investment liquidity events on reducing tax costs.
He has counseled philanthropic individuals to leverage their influence posthumously by having their giving made known then to encourage philanthropy by others, for example James Frye who was very private about his extensive charitable giving while alive but asked for his giving to be publicized after his death (he was the Community Foundation’s largest on-death donor).
As an avocation, Tom has published a memoir recounting the accomplishments of prominent clients (The Price of Admission, available from Amazon.com and other national booksellers), including Fred D. Durham, founding CEO of Dover Corporation, Elmon T. Gray, philanthropic leader of Grayco, real estate management and investment firm, Clyde Hooker, CEO of Hooker Furniture Corporation and philanthropist, John D. Bassett III, Chairman of the Board of Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Company and hero of the best seller Factory Man by Beth Macy, and Wallace Stettinius, former CEO of Cadmus Corporation and leading coach of Virginia non-profits. He also writes and publishes amusing fictional short stories illustrating human nature and the often corrosive influence of material things on sibling and other family relationships (The Curmudgeons, also available from Amazon.com and other booksellers). These stories often contain lessons in stewardship and instilling worthy values in descendants.
Tom also writes on legal history including The Duel: Montgomery County’s Trial of the Century, telling the first-hand account of a legendary Virginia murder trial in 1960 (https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.vba.org/resource/resmgr/imported/The%20Duel-1.pdf).
Tom is a former President of the Richmond Bar Association, and a member of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the American Law Institute. He received his law degree from the University of Richmond where he earned the Norman Medal for outstanding student of his class. He received a BS in Business Administration from Virginia Tech. While in college and high school he managed a family sheep and cattle farm, and regards this as the most preparative part of his education for life.