Who We Are
The firm’s four partners average more than thirty years of experience in estate and tax planning and fiduciary matters. Three partners and Pam Schneider are fellows of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. Only a small handful of Pennsylvania law firms can claim to have as many members of this prestigious organization in their ranks. Furthermore, the partners at the firm have been recognized by their peers with leadership roles in various professional organizations and publications, allowing for the broader exchange of ideas with other professionals in the firm’s areas of expertise. For example, Chris is the chair of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (“ACTEC”) Financial Action Task Force Committee. Steve is a co-author of the most highly regarded treatise on the Pennsylvania Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code and a member of the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission Advisory Committee on Decedents’ Estates Laws. Tracy is Co-Vice Group Chair of the Income and Transfer Tax Planning Group of the American Bar Association Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section (“ABA RPTE Section”).
By contrast to a large multi-practice law firm whose strategic focus may be directed to the needs of its larger departments, our firm focuses all of its energies in the areas of estate planning, trust and estate administration and litigation, charitable gift planning and related tax and fiduciary matters. Our lawyers are in regular contact with counterparts throughout the country and they stay abreast of all developments in these practice areas.
Clients of Gadsden Schneider & Woodward LLP work closely with one or more of the partners who are directly responsible for the work. The partner may be assisted by an associate lawyer or paralegal, but the primary contact for the client will be the partner, unless the client requests otherwise.
Most of our clients do not want to be handed a lengthy menu of estate planning techniques. They want their estate planning lawyer to listen carefully to their situation, sift through the available techniques and present to them the strategies that are suitable and appropriate for their needs. We pride ourselves on being good listeners who are not only knowledgeable about both the traditional and “cutting edge” approaches to estate planning but also extremely innovative in customizing those techniques to the particular circumstances of our clients. In short, our objective is to design a tax efficient estate plan for each client that embodies that particular client’s values and accomplishes her or his personal, financial and philanthropic goals.
We provide totally independent legal advice. We do not sell products and we do not profit from referrals to other lawyers or financial service professionals. Our independence assures that our recommendations to clients are based solely on their needs and interests. When our clients need an attorney in another practice area such as real estate or business law, we can provide referrals to highly qualified lawyers we know and trust. We have a broad range of choices for these referrals because we are not aligned with or tied to a specific firm. We are free to refer to those attorneys and other professionals who we deem best suited for our client’s needs in each particular situation.
The bureaucratic wheels of a large organization can sometimes grind slowly. We are not encumbered by a structure that requires excessive delegation or reassignment of tasks. We can act quickly and provide our clients with prompt service. We also emphasize frequent communication with a client about the progress we are making on his or her project.
In a large number of instances we have represented our clients or members of their family for many years. We enjoy these long-term, multi-generational relationships and we believe that our clients benefit from the continuity and familiarity that we can bring to their estate planning.