About James E. Egbert

Estate Planning a & Business Attorney

Jim Egbert is an estate planning attorney and a business attorney.  He has extensive experience working with both individuals and families with their estate planning needs. He represents several businesses and their owners and serves as general counsel to them. As an experienced estate planning lawyer, he has worked with families and individuals in the review and preparation of:

  • Wills
  • Trusts
  • Special Needs Trusts
  • Living Trusts
  • Powers of Attorney
  • Advance Healthcare Directives
  • Living Wills
  • Estate Administration
  • Estate Litigation
  • Will Contests
  • Probate
  • Guardianship
  • Elder Law
  • Asset Protection
  • Medicaid Planning
  • Business Succession Planning

HOW HAS JIM HELPED?

Estate Planning and Administration

Jim has helped individuals and families understand the complexities of their estates and assisted in creating the perfect estate plan to fit their individual needs. Estate Planning is not a “one size fits all” proposition. Couples with small children have unique issues with protecting the money in the event of death by setting up trusts to safeguard the money and selecting the best executor or trustee. Older couples or individuals have different goals. There, Jim helps to plan for the lowest possible inheritance taxes

Estate planning is not just for what happens after one dies. Jim has helped families deal with the stress of learning of a terminal diagnosis and planning both pre- and post-death of a loved one. The loss of a loved one is very sad, but Jim has helped families with complex estate tax issues to save thousands of dollars which are available for those left behind.

Jim is not only passionate about the law: he has a passion for assisting each client and making sure they understand every step of the process, whether it be estate planning, estate administration or the probate process. Job one is to make sure the client is informed and understands the process, which Jim explains in plain, understandable English.

Sometimes, the most important asset is the family business. Business can be owned by one person, family members or those not related, as in a small business. Having a well-planned business succession plan is essential to avoid costly litigation and tearing a family or lifelong friend apart.  

When couples enter second marriages there are often issues where one or both spouses have children from a previous marriage. This raises complex issues as to distribution to the proper party upon the death of one of the spouses.

Although marriage between two adults of the same sex is legal, there are usually no children of that marriage which may create estate planning and inheritance tax issue. Jim has worked with same sex couples in preparing estate plans that pass the legacy to who they desire with the least tax implications as possible

Although common law marriage was abolished in 2005 in Pennsylvania, there are still couple that claim a common law marriage exists. When the spouse in a common law marriage passes away, there are tax issues which must be handled in order to maximize the funds that the remaining spouse receives.  

Many clients come to Jim having attended the free financial planning dinners and have listened to the sales pitches about avoiding probate and the expensive planning that kind of advice entails. Recommendations are often made by these people for very expensive planning documents that are not needed. It is not “the most expensive plan is best.” Jim will take the time to listen to what your goals are and create a plan to fit those goals not sell you an expense plan just to give you a large bill.

The Medicaid laws are complex and not having the proper plan can be costly. Jim has worked with senior citizens and their children in the preservation of precious assets that are necessary to continue living at home or stretching those funds to maintain the standard they are accustomed to without draining the children’s assets and creating anxiety. 

Representative Matters

  • Successfully represented an older couple who were swayed into transferring their house to a third party in a scheme to deprive them of their property and their life savings.
  • Helped the son of a deceased father stop the other relatives from illegally removing several hundred thousand dollars to an out of state bank.  
  • Handled complex estate administration and probate matters as well as will contest matters where there are questions as to the validity of a will or whether the distribution is the actual intent of the deceased person.
  • Worked with families to maintain their standard of living while a spouse is a resident of a long-term care facility saving in excess of two hundred thousand dollars.
  • Worked with couples to assure that their estate plan addresses those challenges and creates a method to transfer assets, often using trusts to preserve and protect the estate for future generations.
  • Worked with married couples in the non-traditional marriage in the estate administration process to prove the marriage.
  • Helped families work through the business law and estate planning aspects of the succession plan where the business is owned by more than one person and the owner wants to transfer the business to one, not all of his or her children.  

Business Law

As a business lawyer, Jim currently serves as counsel to over 12 Delaware Valley Corporations.

  • Worked with a group of clients who started their own businesses.  He helped prepare documents which included organization contract, human resources, succession planning, and financing.  This business has grown to be an industry leader with gross sale more than three million annually.
  • Successfully handled breakup of a closely held business in which the partners did not have a proper succession plan in place. By directing the parties to mediation as opposed to costly litigation he managed to save the parties hundreds of thousands of dollars
  • Helped structure new business entity to protect the family business from creditors where one of the business owners passed away suddenly.  
  • Worked as lead trial counsel of a family private investment group in a claim for the recovery of a debt.  Damages were calculated at approximately 20 million dollars.

PERSONAL

Jim was born in California and raised in New York. He joined the US Army in 1974 and was discharged having served as a sergeant, flight mechanic and door gunner of UH1-H helicopters. He used the GI Bill to finish his education, graduating from Hofstra University BBS (Finance) 1980 and St. John’s University Law School in 1986. Jim has been assisting clients in estate planning and estate administration matters since 1986 in the Delaware Valley, Montgomery and Bucks County areas.

Jim is also ordained in the Christian Universalist Association having received his certificate from the University of the South School of Theology. As an ordained Minister Jim works as an adjunct Chaplain at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania caring for the spiritual needs of the very ill patients and their families. This gives Jim a unique perspective in the family dynamic and the need for proper estate planning and care for the clients he helps in his law practice.

Jim is married to his wife Julie, also an attorney. He has three children, 3 grandchildren and loves sailing boating and anything to do with the water.