Trusts & Estates

MacDonald Illig's Trusts & Estates Group is dedicated to protecting and preserving the assets of our clients in a manner consistent with each individual's dynamic and evolving needs. Our group provides a complete range of estate planning, estate and trust administration, business succession planning, and tax services to clients in Pennsylvania, Florida, New York, and Ohio. We work closely with accountants, brokers, bankers, and other financial service providers to develop comprehensive estate plans that accomplish our clients' objectives and maximize tax savings.

Our group's depth and experience allows our attorneys to provide both technical and practical advice that addresses sensitive and often difficult situations. Our attorneys possess strong technical backgrounds and remain current with emerging developments, trends, and techniques within the practice, especially those relating to ever-changing wealth transfer and tax planning laws. We are committed to providing our clients with confidence that the plan we develop together will address each of their intentions and desires.

Our practice focuses on the following areas:

Wills, Trusts, and Estate Planning

MacDonald Illig's estates and trusts attorneys provide sophisticated estate planning and drafting services for all sizes, types, and complexities of estates. We carefully consider our clients' goals and family situations in light of numerous factors, including: 1) income, estate, gift, generation-skipping transfer, and other tax consequences; 2) charitable intentions; 3) life insurance; 4) retirement and employee benefits developments; 5) property tax implications; and 6) the potential need for long-term nursing or custodial care. We are adept at developing a personalized plan for each client using documents such as wills, revocable trusts, and powers of attorney. If warranted by the circumstances, we use more sophisticated planning techniques involving limited liability entities and grantor trusts. Recognizing that most clients are primarily concerned with the transfer of property to the next generation, we emphasize a comprehensive approach to take full advantage of wealth transfer opportunities and minimize costs, both during and after life.

Estate Administration

We represent fiduciaries in the administration of estates of all types and sizes. Our strengths in this area include tax planning during the estate administration process, valuation and discounting of estate assets for tax purposes where appropriate, preparing and evaluating inventories and appraisements, and monitoring the creditor claim process. We work closely with each estate executor or administrator to ensure that he or she is involved in every facet of the administration, from the initial estate decisions to the final distribution of assets to the beneficiaries. Our goal is to complete the administration as efficiently as possible without jeopardizing the rights of the beneficiaries or subjecting the fiduciary to liability.


Our attorneys are prepared to assist our clients with a wide array of tax matters. We offer seasoned advice regarding tax planning techniques designed to maximize tax savings without creating undesired risk. In addition, our attorneys are skilled in preparing tax returns, including individual income tax, estate tax, gift tax, inheritance tax, and fiduciary tax returns. Our attorneys possess strong backgrounds in accounting and related fields and are adept at handling tax issues of all kinds. Our group also has experience representing clients before the Internal Revenue Service, United States Tax Court, and various state taxing authorities. To enhance the provision of comprehensive estates and trusts-related tax services, many of our attorneys are members of or work in collaboration with MacDonald Illig's distinguished Tax Group.

Charitable Planning

Many clients wish to incorporate planned giving into their estate plans. We are familiar with the various charitable planning tools designed to benefit both the client and the charity, including charitable trusts, private foundations, and other charitable vehicles. Particular emphasis is given to implementing philanthropic objectives in a manner that provides tax benefits for the client.

Elder Care

As America ages, there is a growing need for advice to elders and their families regarding a vast array of health and planning issues associated with the aging process. We typically act as advocates throughout this process, particularly regarding entitlement to government benefits such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and nursing care assistance. We also counsel clients and family members with regard to insurance needs, guardianships, and health care decision making.

Oil and Gas

MacDonald Illig's estate planning lawyers can assist those land owners who have received up front bonus payments to structure their financial affairs to minimize the effects of income, gift and estate taxes. These estate lawyers can recommend a variety of trusts, family limited partnerships and other ownership forms which can be helpful in passing more of the financial benefits of payments received from shale gas drilling to future generations.

The attorneys of the Trusts & Estates Group are proud of the strong relationships we develop with our clients. We strive to provide service that is second to none in helping our clients achieve their objectives.  If we might be of service to you, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We look forward to fulfilling your estate and trust needs.