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Patti S. Spencer

Probate Attorney at Lancaster, PA

  • State Years
    Pennsylvania - PA 44 years
    Massachusetts - MA 45 years
  • Licensed for 44 years
    State PA
    Acquired 1979
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 45 years
    State MA
    Acquired 1978
    Active No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Patti

Learn Patti’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Probate
    Spencer Law Firm applies three decades of experience in providing trust and estate administration services including: • Postmortem estate tax planning • Analyzing existing wills, trusts, disclaimers and tax elections • Strategizing to maximize intended beneficiary distributions • Assisting law firms that wish to reorganize their estate planning practices by offering consulting services to design, organize, and staff a firm’s estate and trust administration department

  2. Estate planning
    Sophisticated estate planning in general falls in two categories: The first involves complicated family situations – a second marriage, a family business, or children with substance abuse or mental health problems. The second is related to federal estate, gift and generation-skipping tax planning for significant assets. Estate planning can be complicated by many variables requiring unique solutions, such as difficult family situations, liquidity needs, and unusual assets.

  3. Trusts
    Trust and Estates Expert Witness Services. Spencer Law Firm in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has provided consultant and expert witness support for fiduciary litigation to other attorneys and firms both locally and nationally for 30 years.

Patti S. Spencer, Esq., is widely recognized as a preeminent estate planning attorney and is the founder and owner of Spencer Law Firm LLC (SLF) in Lancaster, Pa. Over the course of 35 years, Spencer has assisted both clients and peer professionals with estate planning, probate, taxation, expert witness case work, and closely-held business issues such as fiduciary income tax, business succession planning and corporate tax planning.

Spencer graduated summa cum laude from Dickinson College and received her J.D. and LL.M. in Taxation from Boston University School of Law. Prior to opening her own firm in 1996, Spencer managed a regional bank’s Personal Trust Department and was appointed a Lecturer in Law at Boston University School of Law in the Graduate Tax Program. Over eight years, she taught courses including Estate and Gift Taxation, Trusts and Estates, and Estate Planning. An advocate for education, Spencer continued teaching even after relocation to Pennsylvania, where she became an adjunct professor at Franklin and Marshall College where she taught a Federal Income Tax course.

Spencer has published numerous articles on estate planning topics and is the author of a weekly column, “Taxing Matters,” for the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal / Lancaster New Era newspaper serving Lancaster County, Pa. While presently a blogger for Fig Lancaster Magazine online and Willow Valley’s Restart Retirement publication, she is also in the process of publishing her second book, “Your Estate Matters.” Lastly, Data Trace publishes Spencer’s two-volume loose leaf Pennsylvania Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts Library Forms and Practice Manual, which is updated annually with a supplement.

Spencer is a recurrent lecturer for a vast array of organizations including the bar associations of Lancaster, Dauphin, Lehigh, Montgomery and Monroe counties of Pennsylvania, and provides CPAs and lawyers with continuing education through lectures at the Pennsylvania Continuing Legal Education Foundation. Spencer is also invited to speak regularly by nationally recognized organizations such as PICPA, PBI, and NBI.

Spencer is a peer-nominated fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and has been a super lawyer for six years, placing her in the top five percent of state-wide lawyers. As a widely-known advocate for her community, she is also involved with the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce and has participated as a board member of the YWCA.

Spencer most recently received the Martindale’s Hubbell Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers, but was also named one of Pennsylvania’s Best 50 Women in Business in 2000 by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development.

Ms. Spencer has been recognized by the legal profession for her educational commitment and her work with families, individuals, businesses, attorneys and accountants she serves.

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Spencer Law Firm
901 Rohrerstown Rd
Lancaster, PA, 17601

Probate lawyers nearby



  • Hourly Rates $ 235-400 per hour
  • Retainer Sometimes
Payment methods
Cash, Check


AVVO RATING 8.2 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Sole Practitioner
  • Spencer Law Firm LLC
  • 1996 - Present
  • Head of Personal Trust Department
  • Fulton Bank
  • 1991 - 1996
  • Non-equity Partner
  • Deutsch Williams Brooks DeRensis Holland & Drachman, P.C.
  • 1988 - 1991
  • Vacovec Mayotte & Singer
  • 1982 - 1987
View all work experience


  • Boston University School of Law
  • LL.M - Master of Laws in Taxation
  • 1984
  • Boston University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1978
  • Dickinson College
  • B.A. Summa Cum Laude
  • 1975


  • Philadelphia Estate Planning Council
  • Member
  • 2000 - Present
  • Harrisburg Estate PLanning Council
  • Member
  • 1997 - Present
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1991 - Present
  • Lancaster Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1991 - Present
  • Lancaster Estate Planning Council
  • Member
  • 1991 - Present
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Member
  • 1978 - 1991
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Pennsylvania Superlawyers
  • Philadelphia Magazine
  • 2020
  • Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • ACTEC - American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
  • 2003
  • One of Pennsylvania’s “Best 50 Women in Business”
  • Pennsylvania Chamber of Commerce
  • 2000


  • Pennsylvania Estate Planning, Wills and Trusts Library: Forms and Practice Manual
  • 2-volume set published by Data Trace, 2007
  • 2007
  • Your Estate Matters,” AuthorHouse, 2005, 476 pages
  • An authoritative guide to estate planning, tax matters and financial strategies for long-term management of personal, family and closely-held business assets.
  • 2005
  • Philadelphia Estate Planning Council Newsletter
  • "Mediation for Trusts and Estates"
  • 2005
  • Trusts & Estates
  • “Tax Us, Please”
  • 2003
  • Boston University Probate Law Journal
  • “Must Private Property be Inheritable?”
  • 1990
  • “Taxing Matters,” a weekly column on tax and estate planning issues published in the Lancaster Intelligencer Journal, October 1999 to present.
  • published October 1999 to present
  • N/A
View all publications

Speaking Engagements

  • Uniform Trust Act
  • New Notice Requirements
  • 2008
  • Estate Planning Basics
  • Charitable planning
  • 2008

Attorney endorsements

Received (6)
Given (2)
Endorse Patti
Unknown Attorney | Sep 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Patti is preeminent in her field. I highly endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Apr 11
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Top-notch attorney. Highly respected in the legal community."
Estate planning Attorney | Dec 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Patti is both a caring and knowledgeable attorney."
Estate planning Attorney | Aug 15
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Patti is well versed in the broad area of Estate Planning, writes a weekly column for the Lancaster daily newspaper on subjects of general interest to laypersons concerning all aspects of Estate Planning including wills, trusts, retirement issues, and other areas which affect estate planning."
Probate Attorney | Jul 10
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."
Estate planning Attorney | Jun 21
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
View more endorsements
Criminal defense

Avvo Contributions

1 Legal Answers 0 Legal Guides
Lancaster Probate Lawyer Patti S. Spencer
Patti S. Spencer
Probate Attorney
Lancaster, PA
Licensed for 45 years