Legacy

Schneider and Dodsworth provide a full range of trust and estate services to its clients. We are able to handle both general representation and special appearances for primary and ancillary probate proceedings, contested matters, other litigation involving probate, conservatorship and guardianship estates, and any court proceedings that would involve interpretation, administration or distribution of trusts and estates.

In addition, we are equipped to provide assistance in all aspects of estate and gift tax planning, as well as income tax matters involving trusts and estates. The firm also will assist fiduciaries in preparing and submitting accountings to courts and beneficiaries, and transferring assets without formal court administration.

We rely on living trusts as the centerpiece of many of our estate plans. Beyond these devices, the firm also has expertise in implementing family limited partnerships, various charitable trust arrangements, other irrevocable trust devices, as well as wills, powers of attorney, community property agreement, and the like.

We also specialize in working with small businesses and professional clients to provide business succession planning in the acquisition and disposition of small businesses and professional practices, whether or not these transactions are part of the estate planning or administration process.

It’s never too early to establish a will or trust to protect and direct your assets after death. With proper planning, you can avoid delays and unnecessary costs in the settlement of your estate. Additionally, you can ensure that your assets are appropriately distributed to the people and organizations of your choice.

We specialize in wills, trusts and estates and estate administration.

Contact us for more information.

 

 

Our books on the subject

Author Bios

John “Duke” Schneider
John J. Schneider

John J. Schneider, J.D., and Duke Schneider, J.D., father and son, are law partners and family oriented estate-planning attorneys. They maintain current licenses in the real estate, insurance, and investment disciplines to bring the overall expertise necessary to your estate planning team. John is a graduate of the Dickinson School of Law, and Duke earned his J.D. from Widener University School of Law.

John and Duke have concentrated on charitable trust and tax-advantaged planning and have been selected, along with EGA, to represent the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in developing innovative planned giving programs for its local chapters.

Robert A. Esperti
Renno L. Peterson

Robert A. Esperti and Renno L. Peterson are nationally heralded attorneys, educators, and authors. They have written numerous articles and nineteen highly acclaimed books on tax, business, and estate planning for professionals and the public. Their most recent books are McGraw-Hill’s Protect Your Estate and Viking-Penguin’s The Living Trust Workbook, Loving Trust, and The Living Trust Revolution.

They are cochairmen of the Esperti Peterson Institute, the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys, and the National Association of Estate Planning Advisors.

They frequently consult with, and lecture to, leading financial companies and professional associations throughout America.

 

Plan, Protect & Preserve Your Estate

ISBN 0-922943-09-5 $30.00

Introduction

John J. Schneider
Duke Schneider

We are privileged and excited to participate as contributing authors of this book. Not only is it an honor to be collaborating with some of the finest estate planning attorneys in the country; it is also the culmination of a dream as father and son to publish together professionally. Love of family is at the heart of estate planning, and, as a family, we are pleased to share our knowledge and experience with your family.

We would like to give special thanks to the people who have influenced our careers: first, to Bob Esperti and Renno Peterson, mentors who have helped to define our philosophy of estate planning; second, to Steve Purich, Todd Purich, and David Wasserman of EGA Estate Group Associates, Inc., whose philosophy of estate planning has also helped to shape our own vision of estate planning. We could not have achieved our accomplishments in the field of charitable planned giving without the assistance of EGA. We also want to thank Richard Snyder, chairman of the board of directors of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, for his vision and his confidence in working with us to fashion and implement a dynamic and innovative nationwide planned giving program for the society’s chapters. In addition, we thank our clients, who have trusted us with their most important possession-their families’ security. Finally and most importantly, we thank our families, without whose help, love, and inspiration none of this would be possible.

Our careers had taken somewhat different paths before recently coming together. John’s career began as a West Point graduate and military leader. He earned his law degree from the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and began his legal career as a general practitioner and real estate developer. He is a founding partner of the firm Weinstein, Schneider and Kannebecker. Over time, John concentrated more on estate planning, and in 1989, he became a founding member of the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys.

Duke received his B.A. with distinction and his master’s in business administration from Pennsylvania State University. While working as a financial analyst and investment advisor for Chester County, Pennsylvania, Duke graduated cum laude from the evening division of Widener University School of Law. Duke began his practice of law with a large Chester County firm, where he eventually focused his practice on estate planning. Duke recently joined Weinstein, Schneider and Kannebecker as a partner and now dedicates his entire practice to estate planning.

Our diverse backgrounds are complementary, and a shared philosophy toward estate planning binds our practices together. First, we feel it is critical to listen to our clients’ hopes, dreams, fears, and desires and then fashion the legal tools at our disposal into an estate plan that brings our clients’ visions to life. We urge readers and clients to read, learn, and, most importantly, evaluate any estate plan by constantly asking themselves the question, “Does this plan allow me to control my assets during my lifetime; provide for myself and my loved ones in the event of disability; and give what I have to whom I want, how I want, when I want; and can I save every last tax dollar, professional fee, and court cost possible?”

We believe it is important to talk to our clients in plain English.
Our task is to assume the role of educator and counselor, presenting the best strategies to achieve the clients’ goals, then assisting the clients in weighing options, but ultimately allowing the clients to rely on their own wisdom and experience to make reasoned and educated decisions. We believe attorneys need to get out from behind their desks and join their clients at a conference table, on a couch, or even at their kitchen table in earnest conversation about family values. Only in this way does the planning process transcend the dry mechanics of traditional estate planning and become a living process which embodies the values, aspirations, and dreams unique to each family.

Good solutions to the problems faced in estate planning require
sound investment advice, solid financial planning, good insurance products, and competent, understandable legal documentation. We encourage readers to bring together all of their advisors to work as a coordinated team; a plan without input from various disciplines is very likely to be seriously flawed.

Traditional estate planning has focused entirely on the portion of a family’s assets which may be passed from one generation to the next and has ignored that portion of the estate which is lost to taxes. As much as 50 percent of a family’s assets may be lost to estate taxes, which means 100 percent of the planning effort is focused on only 50 percent of the assets. Few people believe that the government is doing a good job of directing how their tax money-their social capital-is being spent. Unfortunately, few people know that it is within their power to control how their taxes will be spent-through creative estate planning. It is possible for people to keep all of their social capital in their own community, to be spent according to their own values, instead of sending it to the IRS. Quite often, by focusing some attention on controlling social capital, we are able to significantly improve a client’s financial well-being and guarantee that 100 percent of the client’s social capital is spent on causes and organizations which the client believes are worthwhile.

We believe that individual estate planning that incorporates planning for social capital is essential to a healthy democratic society. Everyone should have the freedom to contribute to society in a meaningful way, and that means having the ability to direct one’s contribution and see tangible results. Creative estate planning gives that power to virtually every citizen. We conduct seminars and work with national organizations to transform estate planning from merely “planning to pay taxes” into a visionary, empowering process that enriches family and community.

It is said that the four human needs are to live, to love, to learn,
and to leave a lasting legacy. Our hope is that the material in this book will stretch the boundaries of your imagination about what is possible and provide tools and guidance to help satisfy those needs. We hope you will discover that creative estate planning, although hard work, is, at heart, a labor of love.

John J. Schneider,J.D., and Duke Schneider, J.D., are father and son, law partners, and family-oriented estate planning attorneys. They maintain current licenses in the real estate, insurance, and investment disciplines to bring the overall expertise necessary to quarterback your estate planning team. John is a founding member of the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys. His background as a West Point graduate, military leader, general legal practitioner, and real estate developer enables him to draw upon a wealth of experience in analyzing estate-planning opportunities.

Duke’s background as a Penn State M.B.A. and a financial analyst and investment advisor for Chester County, Pennsylvania, enhances his in-depth approach to the numerical analysis essential for consideration of alternative courses of action in the estate planning process. Duke is affiliated with EGA Estate Group Associates, Inc., a firm dedicated to developing creative high-end estate planning and charitable-giving strategies.

John and Duke have concentrated on charitable trust and tax advantaged planning and have been selected, along with EGA, to represent the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in developing an innovative planned giving program for its local chapters.

 

 

Generations: Planning Your Legacy

Introduction

John J. Schneider
Duke Schneider

We are privileged and excited to join our fellow National Network members in contributing to Generations, our second book dedicated to planning, protecting, and preserving your estate. The first publication, Legacy, was so well received by our clients and other professional advisors that we were eager to participate in this new book. We are again excited as father and son to publish together professionally. Love of family is at the heart of estate planning, and as a family we are pleased to share our knowledge and experience with your family.

Our careers had taken somewhat different paths before coming together. John’s career began as a West Point graduate and military leader. He earned his law degree from the Dickinson School of Law in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, and began his legal career as a general practitioner and real estate developer. Over time, John concentrated on estate planning and in 1989 became a founding member of the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys.

Duke received his B.A. with distinction and his master’s in business administration from the Pennsylvania State University. While working as a financial analyst and investment officer for Chester County, Pennsylvania, Duke graduated cum laude from the evening division of Widener University School of Law. Duke dedicates his entire practice to estate planning.

Our diverse backgrounds are complementary, and a shared philosophy toward estate planning binds our practices together. First, we feel it is critical to listen to our clients’ hopes, dreams, and desires and then to fashion the legal tools at our disposal into an estate plan that brings our clients’ visions to life. We urge readers and clients to read, learn, and, most importantly, evaluate any estate plan by constantly asking themselves the question, “Does this plan allow me to control my assets during my lifetime, to provide for myself and my loved ones in the event of disability, and to give what I have to whom I want, how I want, when I want, and save every last tax dollar, professional fee, and court cost possible?”

We believe it is important to talk to our clients on a human level, in plain English, to make understanding all the easier. Our task is to assume the role of educator and counselor, by presenting the best strategies to achieve the client’s goal and then assisting the client in weighing all the options while allowing the client to rely on his or her own wisdom and experience to make reasoned and educated decisions. We believe attorneys need to get out from behind their desks and join their clients at a conference table, on a couch, or even at a kitchen table in earnest conversation about family values. Only then does the planning process transcend the dry mechanics of traditional estate planning and become a living process which embodies the values, aspirations, and dreams unique to each family.

Good solutions to the problems faced in estate planning require sound investment advice, solid financial planning, good insurance products, and competent, understandable legal documentation. We encourage readers to bring together all their advisors to work as a coordinated team. A plan without input from various disciplines is very likely to be seriously flawed.

Traditional estate planning has focused entirely on the portion of one’s assets which may be passed from one generation to the next and ignored that portion of the estate which is lost to taxes. As much as 50 percent of a family’s assets may be lost to estate taxes, which means 100 percent of the planning effort is focused on only 50 percent of the assets. Few people believe the government is doing a good job in directing how our taxes-our social capital-is being spent. Unfortunately, few people know that it is within their power, through creative estate planning, to control how their taxes will be spent. It is possible for people to keep all their social capital in their own community to be spent according to their own values instead of sending it to the IRS. Quite often by focusing some attention on controlling social capital, we are able to significantly improve a client’s financial well being and guarantee that 100 percent of the client’s social capital is spent on causes and organizations which the client believes are worthwhile.

We believe that individual estate planning that incorporates planning for social capital is essential to a healthy democratic society. Everyone should have the freedom to contribute to society in a meaningful way, and that means having the ability to direct one’s contribution and see tangible results. Creative estate planning gives that power to virtually every citizen. We conduct seminars and work with national organizations to transform estate planning from merely “planning to pay taxes” into a visionary, empowering process that enriches family and community.

It is said that the four human needs are to live, to love, to learn, and to leave a lasting legacy. Our hope is that the material in this book will stretch the boundaries of your imagination about what is possible and provide tools and guidance to help satisfy those needs. We hope you will discover that creative estate planning, although hard work, is a labor of love.

Acknowledgments

We would like to give special thanks to our clients who have trusted us with their most important possession, their family’s security. In addition, we would like to thank all the professional advisors with whom we have worked as a team to assist them in planning their clients’ legacies. Finally, and most importantly, very special thanks to our wives, Joan and Kimberly, and the rest of our family, without whose help, love, and inspiration none of this would be possible.

John J. Schneider, J.D., and Duke Schneider, J.D., are father and son, law partners, family-oriented estate planning attorneys, and contributing authors of Legacy. As a West Point graduate, military leader, general legal practitioner, and real estate developer, John has a wealth of experience to draw upon in analyzing estate planning opportunities. Duke’s background as a Penn State M.B.A. and financial analyst provides depth in the analysis essential for consideration of sophisticated estate planning alternatives. The Schneiders have been selected by various nonprofit organizations to assist them in their charitable giving efforts.