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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.
Hourly ($235-400/hour), Fixed (sometimes), Retainer (sometimes)
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|Award name||Grantor||Date granted|
|Pennsylvania Superlawyers||Philadelphia Magazine||2008|
|Pennsylvania Superlawyers||Philadelphia Magazine||2007|
|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|
|Sole Practitioner||Spencer Law Firm||1996 - Present|
|Head of Personal Trust Department||Fulton Bank||1991 - 1996|
|Non-equity Partner||Deutsch Williams Brooks DeRensis Holland & Drachman, P.C.||1988 - 1991|
|N/A||Vacovec Mayotte & Singer||1982 - 1987|
|Association name||Position name||Duration|
|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|
|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|
|Boston University School of Law||Taxation||LL.M - Master of Laws||1984|
|Boston University School of Law||Law||JD - Juris Doctor||1978|
|Dickinson College||Philosophy and Political Science||B.A.||1975|
|Uniform Trust Act||New Notice Requirements||2008|
|Estate Planning Basics||Charitable planning||2008|