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Karen Elligers

Office Location: Norfolk, VA

  • B.A. (High Distinction), University of Virginia
  • J.D., University of Virginia
Jurisdiction Licensed
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
Professional & Community Activities
  • Virginia Beach SPCA, Volunteer

Karen Elligers is an attorney at Vandeventer Black, LLP as part of the firm’s Trusts and Estates and Employee Benefits practices. Karen graduated from the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Psychology. She worked as a teacher and for a non-profit in Washington, D.C., then returned to the University of Virginia School of Law, where she graduated with a J.D. in 2006. After law school, Karen worked as an assistant in-house counsel to a large, Taft-Hartley pension plan (Central Pension Fund of the International Union of Operating Engineers) for several years. During that time, she worked with numerous issues regarding employee and pension benefits and oversaw the processing and review of the Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (“QDRO”) received by the Fund. Karen had significant experience reviewing and qualifying Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO) in her position as assistant fund counsel. She became adept at understanding the complex federal, ERISA, IRC, and state laws governing the QDRO drafting and approval.  

Moving to Virginia Beach in 2012, Karen worked in a small general practice firm in Norfolk, where she practiced family law, estate planning (wills, trusts, medical and financial powers of attorney), adoption, divorce, and personal bankruptcy. She continued her work with Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (“QDRO”) at a firm in Norfolk, where she filed QDROs in Circuit Court. In 2014, Karen established her solo law practice in Town Center in Virginia Beach, focusing on drafting, revising, reviewing, and filing QDRO and related retirement plan division orders, including those for TSP, 401(k), 403(b) accounts, traditional pensions, and military pension benefits. Karen provides estate planning services to her clients, often handling both the QDRO and estate plan.  

Karen currently works preparing complex trusts and estate plans for her estate planning clients with Vandeventer Black through the Trusts and Estates practice group (part of the business practice overall group). She also handles QDRO and related orders for clients entitled to receive their marital share of a pension or retirement account through a divorce or other action. 

In her spare time, Karen loves spending time with her dog, Prince Caspian, with other lawyers and professionals in various business networking groups, and watching UVA basketball (“Go Hoos!”). She enjoyed her time as a volunteer with animal charities like the Virginia Beach SPCA.  

Karen Elligers Joins Vandeventer Black’s ERISA & Employee Benefits and Trust & Estate Planning Team
/ Firm News
Vandeventer Black LLP is pleased to announce that Karen Elligers is joining our firm as Of Counsel. Elligers’s primary focus is on complex trusts and estates. “I am excited to join Vandeventer Black’s interdisciplinary team of attorneys and to continue to serve clients within my areas of experience, as well ...
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QDRO’s From The Plan Administrator’s Perspective
A qualified domestic relations order (“QDRO”) is a state domestic relations order that assigns to an alternate payee (such as a former spouse or a child) the right to receive all or a portion of benefits payable to a plan participant. Specifically, under ERISA Section 206(d)(3)(B) and Internal Revenue Code ...
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