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Steven M Zelinger

Estate planning Attorney at Philadelphia, PA

4.6   21 reviews

also known as Steve Zelinger

Free consultation Virtual consultation available
Free consultation Virtual consultation available
  • State Years
    Dist. of Columbia - DC 10 years
    New Jersey - NJ 16 years
    Pennsylvania - PA 16 years
  • Licensed for 10 years
    State DC
    Acquired 2013
    Good Standing No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 16 years
    State NJ
    Acquired 2007
    Active No misconduct found
  • Licensed for 16 years
    State PA
    Acquired 2007
    Active No misconduct found

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

About Steven

Learn Steven’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Estate planning
    Wills, Trusts, Powers of Attorney, Guardian Nominations, Asset Protection, Medicaid Planning, Business Owner Services, Buy-Sell Agreements, Business Succession, Estate Administration, Preparation and Filing of Death (Inheritance and Estate) Tax Returns; Re-titling of assets; Living Trusts

    17 years, 550 cases

  2. Probate
    Administering estate and trusts; filing "death tax" returns, protecting executors/trustees and advising them on their duties

    17 years, 100 cases

  3. Tax
    Tax planning for estates and business owners. Preparation of Inheritance Tax Returns, Preparation of Federal and State Estate Tax Returns; Audits Representation; Representation of Individuals and Businesses before the IRS and Pennsylvania and New Jersey Tax Authorities

    17 years, 50 cases

  4. Elder law

  5. Guardianship

  6. Power of attorney

  7. Trusts

  8. Wills and living wills


I'm a lawyer doing what I love to do - helping families better understand how to manage their future by using proper wills, trusts and asset protection.  I work with all types of clients, from business owners to the elderly to young families.  I enjoy face-to-face interaction with clients to first let them understand what estate planning is and can do for them...then working with other professionals (Insurance, financial advisors, accountants) to give clients the whole package of having an organized life both personally and financially.


Top Contributor 2023,2021,2020,2019,2018,2017,2016,2015,2014,2013,2012
Top Contributor
2023 2021 2020 + 8 ...
Client's Choice 2015
Client's Choice

Photos and videos


Law Office of Steven M Zelinger, LLC
1650 Market Street
Suite 3600
Philadelphia, PA, 19103


4.6 / 5.0
  21 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Client's Choice 2015
Client's Choice
Client's Choice is an Avvo award granted to attorneys with a significant number of client reviews over 4 stars in a given year.
Posted by Kevin | May 11, 2012
Like working with an old friend...
Steve helped us plan as if he was planning for his his own child. His knowledge of estate planning was phenomenal. We were very comfortable working with him, and trusting him with our future. He helped to make the legal jargon accessible by explaining things in different terms.
Posted by anonymous | October 25, 2011
Great for wills and kid protection plan!
He charges a flat fee which was VERY reasonable, guided us through the entire process, beginning with a free phone call to discuss before we even decided if we were going to go with him - it took maybe 90 minutes! - to him coming to our home at night after our kids were in bed to hammer out details. We got a living trust, a living will/health care proxies, a Kid Protection Plan stipulating both short-term and long-term guardians. When we bought a new house, I just sent him an email to ask some details about the living trust, and he got back to me right away. He'll also check in with us every 3 years to see if anything has changed. Best money I ever spent.
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Posted by David | February 21, 2020
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
I would recommend Steven Zelinger
I contacted Steve Zelinger when I had some questions regarding my grandfather's estate. I learned about him through Avvo, and contacted him to see if he could help me figure things out. He promptly contacted me. Steven is an excellent communicator. He was able to take legal concepts and explain them in plain-english, much better than other attorneys I had contacted. He was very thoughtful and thorough in his answers. I did not feel rushed on the phone with him. I would definitely recommend Steven Zelinger
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Response from Steven Zelinger February 23, 2020
Thank you. I always try to be helpful and point you in the right direction.
Posted by Keith | October 15, 2019
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Understands Parents and Complex Family Situations
Steve was great at helping us work through the guardianship and financial questions we needed to answer for our children. His guidance in navigating some complex family dynamics was masterful. I highly recommend Steve for all your estate needs.
Posted by Lorelei | September 3, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly recommended for your family!
My husband and I have a four month old daughter and one of the most important things we've done for her is to make sure that a will and trust were set up for her, should anything happen to us. Being new parents, it was a daunting task to even look for a lawyer, but thankfully we heard about Steven and knew immediately that he was the best person to help us with this huge responsibility. Steven explained various processes and scenarios to us in ways that we could understand and relate to; was extremely responsive and efficient with communiation; demonstrated a wealth of experience and expertise in this particular field; was friendly and accommodating (even making a visit to our home for our first meeting); and his services were priced fairly and reasonably, compared to other lawyers in the Philadelphia area we researched. It also helps that he is the father of young children and empathizes with a family's needs. I can't say enough amazing things about Steven and we are thankful that he is a part of our family's care.
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Response from Steven Zelinger March 22, 2019
Thank you for this very kind testimonial!
Posted by Christine | June 6, 2018
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Very helpful
Mr. Zelinger was able to answer my question quickly and correctly. I searched the web for 2 days and got conflicting information. I would definitely use him if I lived in the area. 5 stars!
Posted by Jeff | April 17, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Professional. Organized. Patient.
I hired Steve to review and rewrite my mother's estate documents including her will, a trust, and various power of attorney documents. I've been through this process before but the experience with Steve was different. Throughout the process Steve took care of everything and made it feel exceptionally easy, similar to how a concierge handles things. Steve outlines the process, and provides everything in a single binder, and delivers on time. Steve is also exceptionally patient and answers questions, sometimes multiple times, until you truly understand. It was truly a great experience working with Steve, and I cannot understate how valuable it was to have someone so organized and process-driven to handle this situation for us.
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Response from Steven Zelinger April 19, 2017
Thank you so much for this review - I strive for every client to have this experience.
Posted by Lawrence | June 30, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Positive experience
Steve did an excellent job of helping us update our estate planning documents. He gave us just the right level of detail so we could choose the options that worked best for us. He was accessible and quickly responded to emails. His fees were reasonable. We recommend him without reservation, and have referred him to family members.
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Response from Steven Zelinger July 1, 2016
Thank you so much for this review! I am glad you were happy with the experience.
Posted by Erin | April 10, 2015
Excellent Estate Planning Lawyer
Steve was extremely patient and thorough in explaining the estate planning process to us. He provided us with a comprehensive estate plan which has afforded us the peace of mind of knowing that our family will be taken care of in case something happens to us. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking for an estate planning lawyer.
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Posted by Cassandra | March 29, 2015
We would highly recommend Steven Zelinger to any family looking to set up a trust or guardianship for their family and children. Steve very patiently walked us through an extremely complicated process and made everything easy to understand and accessible. It is not a fun subject to discuss, but this was important to us and we are so happy to have it done. We feel confident that our son will be taken care of in the event of an accident.
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Posted by Joseph | March 25, 2015
Steven Zellinger is a great family attorney!
I highly recommend using Steven Zellinger for family estate planning. His rates are very reasonable especially considering the importance of sound estate planning. But, even more important, he guided and informed me and my wife at every step along the process. His explanations were clear and understandable. He provided us with various avenues to explore for major decisions, and we always felt affirmed that our decision was supported by the best legal advice.
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Posted by Inger | March 18, 2015
Thank you Steve!!!
My husband and I were referred to Steve by a friend, and we were nervously anticipating being overwhelmed and confused by everything we had to do to get our "estate" in order. We have two kids and only had life insurance policies in place--nothing else. Steve came to our house for the initial consultation, gave us a very thorough and easy-to-understand walk-through of our options and his recommendations, then left without any pressure to sign on the spot. We did in fact sign with him the next week and received timely emails, responses to our questions, and thorough explanations of the many documents we needed to sign and the information we needed to gather. Within two weeks of sending all our information, we had set a date to sign everything at the Center City office. He provided all the material, a witness, and a notary. It took about an hour to sign everything and we were on our way. A full binder with our material was delivered to us within a few days. What a relief to have all this in order. Steve is kind, courteous, responsive, and--get this--totally reasonable in his fees, and even offers payment plans if the full amount up front isn't possible. I've been recommending him to everyone I see, especially those with kids.
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Posted by Katie | March 18, 2015
Amazing neighborhood lawyer
When husband and I found out we were expecting our first we knew getting a will in order was vital. We were thrilled to find Steven M Zelinger, a young trustworthy lawyer in our neighborhood. He made the process incredibly easy and took out all the stress. We would highly recommend his services to anyone.
Posted by Martin | February 7, 2015
Helped with my Mom's estate administration
Steve is a very personable and knowledgeable attorney. He was willing to "hold our hand" when needed but allowed us to do many tasks with a little bit of guidance which saved us money. He kept the beneficiaries informed when we asked him to and also negotiated with credit card companies to save is money. He also gave us a lot of help and saved us money on the inheritance tax return.
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Posted by HARRY | February 7, 2015
Rating of Steven Zelinger's Level of Service
I learned of Mr. Zelinger through Avvo. While I received several responses from attorneys on Avvo, Mr.lZelinger's was the most responsive. My concern was whether or not the successor trustee would have any problem in selling a particular property which did not show that trustee's name in the deed. That is, would it be necessary to go to the expense of changing the deed? He came up with a practical idea to have a title company review the trust to determine if they saw any problem with the successor trustee being able to sell the property. Mr. Zelinger indicated there should be no problem but did express several concerns, all of which he outlined orally and in writing--all for a nominal fee.
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Posted by anonymous | November 8, 2013
A dedicated lawyer.
For the past year of my life, I was exsisting and not living due to a tax issue that needed to be address leading to possibly losing my home. My excellent lawyer Steven Zelinger, made no promises to the results of my case but what he did do was reassure me that he would give his all towards me keeping my home and also resolve my tax issues. Steve worked very deligently and very hard to get the results I was looking for, he never sugar coated anything and kept me informed about all that was going on each step of the way. As a result to his hard work and dedication I can live again and want to thank you once again.
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Response from Steven Zelinger November 9, 2013
I was very happy to help this client who has very serious income tax issues. While she still has a lot to deal with she now has the chance to start fresh and do the right things in the future. This case taught me that the government has wonderful people working for it, but also very terrible people. Citizens needs lawyers to protect their rights and due process.
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Posted by anonymous | August 4, 2013
Outstanding job!
Steve was referred to us by a friend of ours. His availability to travel to our house for the initial information session and to confirm specifics was appreciated. Prior to the final signing meeting Steve was available for a 40 min telephone call to review some technical questions. Overall...outstanding job. We are looking forward to working with Steve when we need to alter our estate/trust/guardianship plans as life progresses.
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Posted by John | February 25, 2013
Steven Zelinger handled our estate planning process. He explained everything very well and was very patient as we worked through the documentation and decisions.
Posted by Jim | February 25, 2013
Zelinger review
Steve has been incredibly helpful during our estate planning exercise. He is always responsive and is very patient when we ask for assistance.
Posted by Ezzat | October 4, 2023
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Very rude!
He says; free consultation but when I called he just refused to answer my question and was so very rude.
Response from Steven Zelinger October 5, 2023
I am not sure who this person is, but if it is who I think it is, I spend 15 minutes reviewing general principles and mentioning that a private consulation was needed to actually provide legal advice. I believe this person did not get the predetermined answers he wanted and decided to leave a bad review. This person was never a client.
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  • Free Consultation 30 minutes
  • Hourly Rates $ 275-400 per hour
Payment methods
Check, Credit Card


AVVO RATING 8.4 (Excellent)

Work Experience

  • Principal
  • Law Office of Steven M. Zelinger, LLC
  • 2014 - Present
  • Attorney
  • Rabil & Kingett, LLC
  • 2009 - 2013


  • Widener University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 2007
  • Kenyon College
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1999

Sample of Legal Cases

  • Sold Estate Property for Commercial Use
  • Home Sold, Cash in Hand for Estate
  • Estate Planned - Trust Put in Place with Estate Tax Savings
  • Estate Plan Completed Potential to Save 10s of Thousands of $
  • Saved home from IRS Seizure!
  • Stopped IRS From Seizing Home
View all legal cases


  • Philadelphia Bar Association, Probate and Trust Law Section
  • Member
  • 2008 - Present
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2007 - Present
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • Member
  • 2007 - Present
  • Friends of Chester Aurthur School
  • Treasurer
  • 2010 - 2019
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Top Contributor
  • Avvo
  • 2016
  • Clients Choice Award
  • AVVO
  • 2015
  • Top Contributor
  • Avvo
  • 2015
  • Avvo Top Contributor Estate Planning
  • Avvo
  • 2013
  • Avvo Top Contributor Probate
  • Avvo
  • 2013
  • Hero Day Honoree
  • Philadelphia Fire Department
  • 2009
View all awards


Speaking Engagements

  • Pennsylvania Bar Institute Death and Taxes
  • Penn Inheritance Tax
  • 2012
  • Campus of Courses
  • 10 Mistakes to Avoid in Estate Planning
  • 2011
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (80)
Given (62)
Endorse Steven
Wills and living wills Attorney | Dec 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Zelinger is a very knowledgeable and effective advocate for his clients."
Estate planning Attorney | Feb 16
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I have viewed Mr. Zelinger's responses to questions on AVVO for many months. I am impressed with his technical knowledge, his common sense and his ability to convey his responses on legal issues in a manner that is easily understood by the reader. I would not hesitate to recommend Mr. Zelinger to anyone seeking a skilled and compassionate attorney to assist them with their affairs."
Estate planning Attorney | Jan 18
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Attorney Zelinger is a highly credentialed attorney in all aspects of estate planning. His Avvo responses and resume demonstrate deep knowledge of the law of trusts, wills, probate and related fiduciary issues, as well as practical understanding of how each of these impact real individuals and their families. He is a great resource to his clients, and a credit to the legal profession."
Estate planning Attorney | Jan 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Zelinger is clearly a knowledgeable attorney in his various practice areas. I endorse him."
Estate planning Attorney | Sep 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Mr. Zelinger. Mr. Zelinger's dedication to his clients is unquestioned and his deep legal knowledge is always apparent in his Avvo responses.."
Tax Attorney | Aug 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Zelinger is a regular contributor to the tax questions forum here on Avvo. His answers consistently demonstrate an in-depth, substantial knowledge of tax law and represent the kind of advice every client should seek from legal counsel. I endorse Mr. Zelinger"
Estate planning Attorney | Jun 17
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I admire Mr. Zellinger's contributions to this site and his timely responses to inquiries. I endorse this lawyer."
Probate Attorney | Jun 03
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this brilliant lawyer."
Probate Attorney | Jun 01
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Probate Attorney | Mar 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Probate Attorney | Mar 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. He is well versed in probate matters and provides sound recommendations."
Unknown Attorney | Mar 14
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Mr. Zelinger gives sound and thoughtful comments to questioners, and shows competent understanding of his areas of law."
Estate planning Attorney | Mar 05
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Steven is a very experienced and client friendly attorney. He is truly committed to his practice and he enjoys helping people. Not all attorneys have this passion. Steven clearly does. I highly recommend his services."
Estate planning Attorney | Feb 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Jan 13
Relationship: Other
"I endorse this lawyer."
Estate planning Attorney | Jan 09
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Estate planning Attorney | Nov 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Mr. Zelinger spends valuable time giving back through sites like this. It demonstrates his passion for the law and compassion for people. Thanks for helping others with sage advice."
Probate Attorney | Nov 04
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. He is an excellent lawyer who is well respected in the community."
Unknown Attorney | Oct 24
Relationship: Other
"I highly endorse this attorney, they are a well respected member of the legal community and always give 110% to their clients cases, if you are looking for excellent representation, then look no further!"
Elder law Attorney | Oct 20
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Great attorney with great skills who will go out of his way to help his client. Highly recommended."
View more endorsements
Philadelphia Estate planning Lawyer Steven M Zelinger
Steven M Zelinger
Estate planning Attorney
Philadelphia, PA
Licensed for 16 years
Free Consultation
Virtual consultation available