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Lisa D. McLaughlin

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Estate Planning & Probate Attorney in Clayton, MO

120 South Central Avenue, Suite 1420
Clayton, MO 63105
Phone: 314-669-2577
Fax: 314-721-6846
Selected to Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2022
Licensed in Missouri Since: 1981
Practice Areas: Estate Planning & Probate, Closely Held Business, Nonprofit Organizations
Attorney Profile

The managing member of MGD Law, LLC, Lisa D. McLaughlin focuses her practice on estate planning and several related areas. Working out of the firm's office in St. Louis, Missouri, she provides dedicated representation to clients throughout the greater metropolitan area. Admitted to practice in Missouri since 1981, Ms. McLaughlin is also admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court.

In her estate planning practice, Ms. McLaughlin regularly prepares and reviews wills, revocable and irrevocable trusts, financial and health care powers of attorney, and advance medical directives. She designs each plan document to take into account the client's particular needs and objectives, and she will take into account estate and gift tax consequences and charitable giving as well as the possibility of avoiding what can be a lengthy probate process. For family members of people who died with a will that has to be probated, Ms. McLaughlin guides them through the proceedings, and her estate administration background has also included furnishing advice and counsel to executors, trustees and personal representatives.

Ms. McLaughlin has extensive federal tax experience as well, including the preparation and review of estate and gift tax returns, and she advises clients on generation-skipping transfer tax issues as well as helps nonprofit organizations that are seeking tax-exempt status. The overall high quality of her work and her superb ethics have earned her a great deal of recognition from her fellow professionals, including an AV Preeminent* peer review-rating through Martindale-Hubbell.

A fellow in both the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and the American Bar Foundation, Ms. McLaughlin is active in several other organizations, including The Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. She attended Vanderbilt University Law School and served on the Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law before being awarded her Juris Doctor in 1981.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas
  • 80%Estate Planning & Probate
  • 10%Closely Held Business
  • 10%Nonprofit Organizations
Focus Areas

Estate Planning, Guardianships & Conservatorships, Living Wills, Power of Attorney, Probate & Estate Administration, Trusts, Wills, Non-profit & Tax-exempt Organizations


18 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2005 - 2022

About Lisa D. McLaughlin

First Admitted: 1981, Missouri

Professional Webpage:

Pro bono/Community Service

  • Great Circle (Formerly Boys & Girls Town of Missouri), Past Board Member
  • Epworth Children’s and Family Services, Past Board Member 
  • Ready Readers, Past Board Member, Advisory Board Member
  • Webster Hills United Methodist Church, Past Chair of Trustees
  • Noonday Club of Saint Louis Past Presiden
  • American Red Cross St. Louis Chapter, Past Treasurer
  • St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts, Past Board Member
  • Missouri Historical Society (Missouri History Museum/Soldiers Memorial Military Museum/MHS Library & Archives Center):  Chair of Board of Trustees (2021-2022), Chair of Executive Search Committee (2022), 2022
  • Mary Institute & Saint Louis Country Day School, Past Executive Committee Member, Chair of Planned Giving Committee
  • Campbell House Foundation/Museum, Past President, Emeritus Board Member
  • Starkloff Disability Institute, Past Board Member
  • Hatebreakers, Board Member
  • Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, Member of Fund Development Committee
  • Youthbridge Community Foundation, Board Member, Chair of Governance Committee
  • Planned Giving Council of St. Louis 
  • Longtime volunteer attorney for, and past board member of, Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (VLAA), St. Louis, Missouri, 2022
  • Missouri United Methodist Foundation, Trustee., 2022
  • Central Institute for the Deaf (CID), St. Louis, MO.  Board Member, Past Chair of Development Committee, Member of Capital Campaign Steering Committee.
  • Chancellor, Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church.
  • Kappa Alpha Theta Fraternity, National Archivist, Past Foundation Trustee., 2022

Bar/Professional Activity

  • U.S. Tax Court, 2008
  • Missouri Bar.  Member, Estate Planning and Probate Administration Committee. Member, Charitable Giving Committee. Member, Fiduciary Litigation Committee.
  • Estate Planning Council of St. Louis, Former President
  • Elected Fellow of The American College of Trust & Estate Counsel (ACTEC), 2003
  • American Bar Association. Member, Real Property, Trust and Estate Section.
  • Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. Former Chair, current Member, Probate and Trust Law Section. Former Chair, Tax-Exempt Organization and Non-Profit Law Committee.

Scholarly Lectures/Writings

  • Instructor, Non-Profit Law and Non-Profit Management Washington University, 2012 – 2014


  • Charles A. Dukes Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service, Duke University, 1995 
  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers – 2005–2018, Top 100 Lawyers ,2014–2017, St. Louis Top 50 Lawyers, 2015–2017, Top 50 Women Lawyers, 2005–2017
  • Fellow of the American Bar Foundation since 2014, American Bar Association
  • Best Lawyers In America, 1995–Present
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Professional Advisor Legacy Award, Saint Louis Planned Giving Council & YouthBridge Community Foundation, 2013
  • Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, elected 2003.  Member, Charitable Planning Committee.  Member, Technology in the Practice Committee.

Educational Background

  • Duke University, AB (History), magna cum laude, 1978

Industry Groups

  • Law Of Religious Organizations
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Office Location for Lisa D. McLaughlin

120 South Central Avenue
Suite 1420
Clayton, MO 63105

Phone: 314-669-2577

Fax: 314-721-6846

Last Updated: 6/6/2022

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