willThe firm’s Estates and Trusts practice provides estate and financial planning, estate, trust and guardianship administration, and Orphans’ Court litigation.

Our attorneys structure estate and financial plans to carry out clients’ wishes concerning the transfer of their assets. We counsel clients on how to minimize the tax costs associated with their plans. Our estate and trust planning services include the following:

Estate Planning

  • Wills for those in all stages of life, marital status, and wealth accumulation
  • Tax planning-federal estate, gift, and generation skipping tax, Pennsylvania inheritance tax, related income tax
  • Planning under the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA)
  • Planning after the repeal of DOMA provisions

Trust Planning

  • How to avoid probate
  • Trusts to protect young, unsophisticated, and incapacitated individuals, for gifting, for saving for education or future generations, and for protecting younger generations and those unable to protect themselves
  • Revocable trusts (living trusts)
  • Irrevocable trusts
  • Education trusts
  • Irrevocable life insurance trusts
  • Dynasty or generation skipping trusts
  • Spousal trusts
  • Asset protection trusts
  • Charitable trusts (charitable lead trusts, charitable remainder trusts,unitrusts)
  • Qualified personal residence trusts (QPRT)
  • Grantor retained annuity trusts (GRAT), grantor retained unitrust (GRUT)

Lifetime Planning (planning for incapacity from accident or illness)

  • Financial powers of attorney
  • Health care proxies (health care powers of attorney)
  • Living wills (advance directives)

Retirement Asset Planning

  • Beneficiary designation planning
  • Trusts for retirement assets
  • Stretch IRA planning
  • Spousal and non-spousal rollovers of IRA’s
  • Options for inherited IRA’s
  • Roth IRA’s
  • Qualified and non-qualified deferred compensation plans
  • Qualifying and maintaining eligibility for public benefits
  • Special needs and supplemental trusts
  • Medicaid and related financial planning
  • Powers of attorney
  • Guardianship
  • Living wills (advance directives)
  • Handling personal injury settlements
  • Fiduciary responsibilities
  • Financial powers of attorney
  • Health care proxies (health care powers of attorney)

Business Succession Planning 

  • Multi-generational planning
  • Planning transfer of ownership and management to younger generations
  • Buy-sell agreements for partnerships, LLC’s and corporations
  • Management succession planning
  • Arrangement of funding for succession plans, including use of life insurance
  • Planning for sale of business
  • Employee Stock Options Plans (ESOPs)
  • Estate and business succession planning required by lenders

The firm’s estates and trusts practice includes elder care and special needs planning. The lawyers who practice in this area handle all aspects of:

Elder Care

  • Financial and medical powers of attorney
  • Guardianships
  • Qualifying and maintaining eligibility for public benefits (Medicaid or Medical Assistance)
  •  Supplemental Social Security Income (Social Security Disability)

Special Needs

  • Guardianships
  • Handling personal injury awards and settlements
  • Special needs trusts
  • Supplemental needs trusts
  • Medicaid (Pennsylvania Medical Assistance) and related financial planning
  • Qualifying and maintaining eligibility for public benefits (Medicaid or Medical Assistance, Social Security Income, Social Security Disability)
  • Gifting strategies
  • Remedying poorly planned bequests

The firm represents many executors, trustees and guardians. We assist in:

Estate Administration

  • Probate of the will
  • Preparation of probate filings (inventory, notices, and others)
  • Preparation of tax returns for income, Pennsylvania inheritance, and federal estate and gift taxes
  • Collection, management, and distribution of assets
  • Compliance with tax, accounting, and other requirements

Trust Administration

  • Duties and responsibilities of the trustee
  • Beneficiary rights
  • Compliance with tax, accounting, and other requirements
  • Preparation and filing of trustee accounts
  • Preparation of fiduciary trust income tax returns
  • Advising on requirements of fiduciary investment
  • Regulatory matters for corporate fiduciaries
  • Preparation of non-judicial settlement agreements
  • Preparation of modification of trust agreements

Orphans’ Court Litigation

  • Initiating and defending will challenges
  • Disputes involving estates and trusts
  • Trustee account filings
  • Guardianship proceedings for minors and incapacitated persons
  • Cemetery trust triennial account filings

The firm’s estate and trust practitioners have broad experience in all aspects of charitable planning, including:

  • Charitable trusts, including charitable lead annuity trusts, charitable lead unitrusts, charitable remainder annuity trusts, charitable remainder unitrusts
  • Charitable annuities
  • Maximizing tax benefits of charitable giving
  • Formation of private foundations