Based on 9 reviews
Help make it easier for other Avvo users to choose the right lawyer by sharing your experience with this attorney. It's fast, simple, and safe.
Lawyers: Use the Peer Endorsements section to provide input about other attorneys.
I had a horrible experience with this attorney. In short, Mr. Sydney administered my parents trust incorrectly causing me/my family unnecessary expense, negative tax implications, and severely limited our ability to liquidate/use assets in our survivors trust. In plain English, he messed up our trust. BADLY. I question Mr. Sydney's ability to customize a trust for specific needs. I suspect he applies the same cookie cutter approach to every trust he creates & administers - whether or not it suits the family's trust and financial situation. Our wealth manager had even questioned why Mr. Sydney was setting things up the way he was. We should have listened to our wealth manager; instead we assumed Mr. Sydney knew what he was doing. Turns out, he does not.
If you want piece of mind, Jeffrey Sydney is your guy! My wife and I are using Mr. Sydney to do our wills as well as estate planning. This is our second time around with his firm and we have total trust in his ability to expain to us in layman terms exactly what we are planning and signing. He has shown us his expertise in his field and we know our hard earned money is protected for our children and grandchildren with up-to-date tax planning. We recommend Mr. Sydney for anyone like us who want to sleep well knowing our future is planned out and our family members are well protected when we pass on.
Here is my opinion on the practice of this lawyer. I think Jeff Sydney’s top priority is to benefit himself, protecting his clients is secondary to him. Here is my experience: Our assets were under $3.5 million and he should have set up a By-Pass Trust for us to automatically transfer all assets to the surviving spouse with no tax consequences after one spouse passes away. Instead, he set up the AB Trust for us. Of course the fee is higher to set up the AB trust and more fees to come after one spouse passes away. This was exactly what he did for us. After my wife passed away, he split up the AB trust for us with an additional fee. Now I am having a big headache from the way he set up the AB trust. In addition, I have to keep on filing the Estate Tax return for the B Trust and may have to pay higher rate of Estate tax as long as I live. He should have set up the By-Pass Trust for us but he did not because he made more money from me by setting up AB Trust. Where is his professional ethic? I have paid a high price to learn this. He had never returned my phone call nor had he responded to my email inquiries. Also I had to pay him 100% before he distributed our assets between A and B trusts after my wife passed away. Because he is very knowledgeable in trust law in a bed way, I believe that he really took the advantage of us during the days I was mourning the loss of my wife.
Jeff helped me to create a trust for my estate. I feel well protected and confident with the choices I made. Jeff and his staff were very thorough and professional. Thank you for making this experience positive and stress free.
Jeff is an outstanding estate planning attorney that has assisted several of my clients with their estate planning needs, and has recently done the same for me and my wife. He is incredibly thorough and is a true expert in his field. He is highly skilled in explaining complex legal issues in a way that his clients can easily understand so they can make good decisions when structuring their trusts and estate plans. I have the utmost respect for Jeff both personally and professionally.
My husband and I have separate trusts as we each have children from previous marriages. Jeff has updated them satisfactorily as our needs/tax laws have changed & affect us. We also appreciate his annual seminars updating clients on what may affect us. We have referred friends/associates to him and they also have been satisfied to work with him and his staff.
My husband and I needed to update our wills and get our estate in order. We were very fortunate in being referred to the Jeff Sydney Law Firm. We found Jeff and his staff to be efficient, knowledgeable, understanding and helpful in every way. We have already recommended Jeff to several friends.
Jeff set up a trust for my family and was professional and handled delicate issues with thoughtfulness and concideration. He followed up with us and was able to answer questions, offer advise and make changes when needed. I referred him to two other clients and he did a great job for them also.
Jeff has great people skills when meeting one-on-one, but his deficiencies include: responsiveness, delivering on promises, being organized and keeping straight records and action items, and client/project management. Regrettably, my overall rating is impacted by poor client management skills. There are multiple examples to give - but in interest of space, here is one. Our trust administration is still not completed even after over 2 years since my mom's passing due to Jeff's unresponsiveness and unanswered emails. One year ago, I received an angry call from Jeff while I was at work where he proceeded to tell me why I was a bad client. He articulated no purpose for the call. He was emotional and was letting me have it. This call lasted for an hour. Regardless of who was at fault, it is poor form to lose composure and call to 'have it out' with clients. Before dismissing me as being an unreasonable client, it is important to mention I have had a successful track record of leading teams, motivating others to perform their best and strong relationship management skills in the workplace. So I'd like to think I know when I've crossed the line from reasonable to terrible. Even when I escalate matters and create a sense of urgency, it is always done with diplomacy and in a partnership manner. So if you are considering Jeff and his firm, my advice is to tread carefully, set timelines, hold them accountable and have a plan B in the event things do not pan out to your expectations.
It is important to note that Jeff had my original posting removed by claiming I was not his client (at least this is what I gather from an email I received from Avvo). My father and I are in fact his clients. To this end, I'm reposting this review. I'm not sure why Avvo is censoring consumer reviews, especially when no community rules were violated (see community guidelines). But I sincerely do not wish the same stress and aggravation to befall another family, especially during their time of grief.