Estate Planning Attorney Profiles

Diane K. Kuwamura, Principal

Diane K. Kuwamura, Principal

Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Diane was raised in Montgomery County, Maryland after her family moved from San Antonio, Texas. Diane graduated from the Academy of the Holy Cross in Kensington, Maryland. Presently she serves on the Audit Committee and the Finance Committee at the Academy of the Holy Cross.

Diane attended Boston University where she graduated from the Questrom School of Business, earning a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) in Accounting. She was also an active member and officer of the Eta Chapter of Alpha Phi Sorority.

Diane attended the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law in Washington, DC. While attending law school, she served as the Law Clerk to the Register of Wills for Montgomery County, Maryland.

Diane is licensed to practice law in Maryland and the District of Columbia. She earned an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell and was named among the top twenty-two estate planning attorneys in the area by Bethesda Magazine.

Diane is a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar Association, the United States District Court for the District of Maryland, the Maryland State Bar Association-Estates and Trusts and Taxation Sections, The District of Columbia Bar, the American Bar Association-Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section and Taxation Section and the Montgomery County Bar Association-Estates and Trusts Section. She is also a Fellow of the Maryland State Bar Association. She has been an active member of the Washington, DC Estate Planning Council since 2000. From 2010 to 2011, Diane served as President of the Washington, DC Estate Planning Council. Prior to that, she served on the Council’s Board from 2005-2012 and on various committees within the Council including as Chair of the Membership Committee. Diane is a member of the Montgomery County Estate Planning Council and is serving as a member of its Board of Directors.

Diane volunteers her time with several area charitable organizations. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Montgomery Hospice and as a member of its Major Gifts Committee. She also serves on the Professional Advisors Committee of the Greater Washington Community Foundation for the National Capital Region.


Brian R. Della Rocca, Principal

Brian R. Della Rocca, Principal

Born and raised near Albany, New York, Brian has been practicing law since 2003.  He earned his law degree from the Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.  Brian also earned a Masters of Law (LL.M.) in Taxation and a Certificate in Employee Benefits from the Georgetown University Law Center.  During his undergraduate years at the State University of New York, College at Oneonta, he was a member of the Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity.

Brian is a frequent lecturer on estate planning, including topics such as grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), the portability of the federal estate tax, the transfer for value rule, how to clear title to real property without the need to open multiple generations of estates.  Brian has been quoted in Money Magazine and the Journal of Financial Planning on various estate planning topics.

Brian earned an AV Preeminent rating from Martindale Hubbell and has been named a “Rising Star” and a “Super Lawyer” by Super Lawyers Magazine for the District of Columbia in the field of Estate and Trust Law since 2013 and in Super Lawyers Magazine for the State of Maryland since 2009.

Brian currently serves as the Chair of the Sponsorship Committee of the Estate Planning Council of Montgomery County, Maryland. He is a former Co-Chair of the Maryland Estate and Gift Tax Study Group and a former Member of the Estates & Trusts Section Council for the Maryland State Bar.  Additionally, Brian served as the Co-Chair of the Montgomery/Prince George’s County Tax Study Group.

In his personal time, Brian currently serves as the Co-Chair of President’s Executive Council for the Lido Civic Club of Washington, DC, an Italian-American organization formed over 85 years ago.  Brian served as the President of the Club in 2015 and 2016. He has been a member since 2009.

Brian lives in Montgomery County with his family.

Brian is licensed to practice law in Maryland and the District of Columbia.

 


Carole Gelfeld, Senior Counsel

Carole G. Gelfeld, Senior Counsel

Carole has practiced estate and trust planning and administration in Maryland and the District of Columbia for over thirty years. Born and reared in Norfolk, Virginia, Carole received a Bachelor of Arts degree in history from the College of William and Mary. At William & Mary she was tapped for membership in Mortar Board, a senior women’s academic/leadership honorary society. Carole was also a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority and has retained close ties to William and Mary, serving on her class reunion committee.

Carole earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center where she served as the staff editor of the American Criminal Law Review. At Georgetown, she focused her studies on tax and estate/trust law due to a deep personal connection with the subject. Carole’s father died when she and her four siblings were very young. As a result, Carole “lived an estate plan” that her father established under his will. She experienced first-hand the positive and negative aspects of her father’s and his attorney’s choices. That personal experience inspires and informs her work and engenders her strong commitment to plan appropriately for clients, especially those concerned for the long-term welfare of spouses, children and other family members.

Carole is a member of the Bars of Maryland and the District of Columbia and a frequent lecturer on estate planning. She is a member of the United States Supreme Court Bar, the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. She is also a member of the Maryland State Bar Association (Estates and Trusts Section and Taxation Section); the District of Columbia Bar Association (Estates and Trusts Sections); the Bar Association of Montgomery County and the Montgomery/Prince George’s Counties Tax Study Group.

Carole is an active member of the local community and served as President of the Luxmanor School Parent and Teachers Association (PTA), Chair of the Walter Johnson High School Guidance Advisory Committee and numerous other positions in the Montgomery County PTAs. She has also served as a religious education teacher for children and adults since 1983.

Carole and her husband Douglas live in Rockville. They have three sons.


Susan Oldham, Senior Counsel

Susan S. Oldham, Senior Counsel

Susan Sheehan Oldham has focused exclusively on personalized estate and trust planning and administration for over twenty-five years. Susan has been featured in both Washingtonian Magazine and Bethesda Magazine as one of the area’s foremost estate planning attorneys, has lectured for bar association and numerous professional groups, and has appeared on local television to discuss estate planning topics. Having received the highest AV Preeminent Martindale-Hubble rating, she has been listed in the Bar Registry of Preeminent Women Lawyers since its inception in 2011.

Susan received her J.D. in 1985 from Georgetown Law Center where she served as an Associate Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal and then earned her LL.M. in Taxation, with Distinction. Originally from Indianapolis, she graduated from Indiana University magna cum laude, served as Scholarship Chair while a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority, and was admitted to Phi Beta Kappa.

As a law school student, Susan was a founding member of Women in Law of Georgetown, co-chaired the organization, and was instrumental in establishing the organization’s endowed scholarship fund. She has enjoyed continuing involvement with the Law Center, serving as a member of the National Law Alumni Board, receiving the Outstanding Alumna Award, and presenting estate planning lectures at the university, the law school, and the medical school reunions.

Admitted to the bar in Maryland and in the District of Columbia, Susan is an active member of the Estate and Trust Sections and the Taxation Sections, as well as the Women’s Bar Associations, of both jurisdictions. While serving on the Executive Board of the Montgomery County Women’s Bar Association, she initiated and chaired Leaders and Legends, a multi-faceted program to document the association’s history and honor its founders and leaders.

She and her husband, Roger J. Oldham, M.D., reside in Potomac, Maryland. They have a daughter and two sons.


Susan K. Alderoty, Esquire

Susan K. Alderoty, Esquire

Susan was born in Manhattan, New York and was raised in Longview, Texas after her family moved there from New York.

Susan attended the University of Baltimore, School of Law where she earned her law degree and graduated magna cum laude. Susan was on the Cardozo/BMI Entertainment and Communications Law Moot Court Competition Team and served on the Student Bar Association as the Alumni Relations Representative. While attending law school, Susan served as a Judicial Intern, a Trusts & Estates Intern at a prominent Baltimore law firm and as a Law Clerk at a law firm specializing in Estate Planning located in Howard County.

Susan received her undergraduate degree (B.A.) from the University of Maryland, College Park, where she double majored in Criminology & Criminal Justice and Communication. Susan was an active member of her sorority, Sigma Delta Tau, served as a campus tour guide for prospective students and their families and was a member of both National Honor Societies for her undergraduate majors.

Susan is licensed to practice law in Maryland. She is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association-Estates and Trusts section and the Young Lawyers section, the American Bar Association-Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Division and the Young Lawyers Division and the Montgomery County Bar Association-Estates and Trusts section. Susan also serves as a member of the Young Professional Advisory Committee of the Greater Washington Community Foundation.