Skip to main content

Penniann J. Schumann

Elder law Attorney at Salt Lake City, UT

5.0   9 reviews

also known as Law Office of Penniann J Schumann PLLC

  • Licensed for 29 years
    State UT
    Acquired 1994
    Active Lawyer disciplined by state licensing authority in 2018

About Penniann

Learn Penniann’s areas of practice.

Practice areas
  1. Elder law
    Often clients come to me seeking assistance on how to help their parents and manage their affairs.

    29 years

  2. Estate planning
    Consists of not only wills, trusts, powers of attorney, but also thoughtful business succession planning, asset protection, and planning for your loved ones

    29 years

  3. Probate
    Consists of taking a decedent's will to court for validation and administration but also caring for incapacitated and incompetent adults and elderly

    29 years

  4. Trusts
    One of the most flexible tools in estate planning. Often used as a will substitute to avoid probate and maximize your control over the method of gifting your estate.

    29 years

  5. Wills and living wills
    Everyone should have a will and a living will or what many states now call a health directive.

    29 years


PLEASE click "READ MORE" if you want to know more about the disciplinary action: 

My elderly client was dealing with a rift in her relationship with her son and asked me to assist her with estate planning and administration of her trust. She wanted to leave some money for charity, leave money to her deceased daughter's son, and this was contrary to what her son wanted. In advocating for my elderly client I was so concerned with protecting her and assisting her that I failed to adequately protect myself. While I met several elements of Rule 1.8 of the Utah rules of professional conduct for attorneys, including but not limited to referring my client to another attorney to consult with them about the situtation and about her request to me to serve as her co-trustee, I failed to do was an important but techincal requirement. I failed to execute a writing illustrating the agreement that my client asked for me to be her co-trustee, and I agreed. I respected and cared deeply for this woman and what she was facing and wanted to help her. So I chose to be there for her in person, have discussions, review documents etc. rather than spend time proteting myself with cya writings.

The 2018 disciplinary action referred to in the profile is a "public repremand". This means that the Utah State Bar has made public a situation where an opposing party made a complaint and the Utah State Bar investigated the situation. 

My client was a 92 year old woman whom I had represented from 2011 to 2016.  She had received a letter from her son in 2012, which she felt was a complete abandonment. As a result of a lifetime of issues with her son (with that letter being the "straw") she asked me to be a CO-Trustee with her. This means we would always have to work together unanimously in every transaction on a trust which she funded herself. I chose to accept this job as Co-trustee by using a owned by myself and my husband, which we called Family Fiduciary Services LLC.  This was designed to give her not only my assistance as co-trustee but also to take advantage of his expertise as a reegistered investment advisor. When her son found out that Family Fiduciary Services LLC was my husband and myself he objected. At first I didn't resign because my client wanted me to help her, but I resigned eanyway telling her that I could asist from the background through advice. 

It is not against the rules of professional conduct to go into business with a client. This serving as co-trustee is considered going into business with your client. If a lawyer goes into business with a client, then the lawyer is obligated to to inform the client in writing of the situation, advise them to seek other lawyer's advice, and then if the business will be going forward then get the client's approval in writing. My client asked me to serve as her co-trustee. I told her to talk to another lawyer and gave her a referral and contact information.  Two years later she came back to me and asked for me to serve with her again. I have a sworn affidavit from my client stating that she did ask me to serve as co-trustee and agreeing that I had asked her to seek another attorney's advice. Further to be a Co-trustee on her trust it required a court action. So she and I actually sought the court to appoint my company as co-trustee with her over her trust. Keep in mind that a co-trustee meant that she and my company (me) had to work unanimously to do anything for her trust. When her son learned that I was a co-trustee, her son contested the matter. Again I resigned and received no compensation for that time as co-trustee. Her son sued her. Then came the complaint at the Utah Bar.  

What I failed to do, (and admitted) and the reason I have the public reprimand is that I failed to have my client sign a writing acknowledging the situation (the conflict of interest which was my company serving as her co-trustee). But I think it is important for those reading this to know that I was never paid. Not even for the 3-5 weeks of having been named to her trust. In fact my client insisted that I still work with her to complete her estate plan (Will and Trust and a video Will because of her son and his contentous actions) and aid her in the background with her new co-trustee which was a bank. Her estate plan was validated by the court and probated. 

I believe that part of the reason that I failed in the inquiry and hearing with the Utah State Bar is that my client died before my hearing and I had no one to testify that my client and I had talked about all relevant issues many times before she sought the court order to name me as a co-trustee. They told me that my husband's testimony was not sufficient.

I am not regretful that I advocated for an elderly lady who felt abandoned by her son and needed help. I had known her for some years and cared about her.  She was wicked smart and such a lovely person. I am regretful that I didn't track every step of my communications with her in writing. She and I would meet person to person very often. I have however learned that every step I make with clients shall be in writing, as I can be brought to task by others, not just the client, and I need a written record.

I hope this helps those who are seeking to find an attorney and helps those who don't know what the attorney discipline means in my case. 

Please note that all disciplinary matters are different. Unfortunately the Utah State Bar and AVVO do not distinguish from something fairly insignificant or technical as having a writing, which is what I did, from a lawyer who stole from his client or evaded taxes as many have done who bear the same label AVVO has put on me.  So ask the lawyer!!!

Thank you for taking the time to review the situation.

Contact Penniann

Penniann J. Schumann
2150 South 1300 East, #500
Salt Lake City, UT, 84106


5.0 / 5.0
  9 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Posted by Joseph | September 6, 2023
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Then best tax advice
Under extreme stress and time constraints (hours) with complex tax issues, Penniann made the time to talk to me, gave me sound advice, and didn't make me feel like an idiot. She was clear, and concise and could discern the issues plaguing me without me being able to articulate them clearly. Conversing with her gave me hope, and reduced my blood pressure and heart rate.
Read less
Posted by Debra | December 20, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Penni Schumann
I hired Penni to help me with family estate planning in 2011. I found Penni to be extremely competent and knowledgeable in her understanding of the law and direction to helping me make the best decisions for my family. Penni was always available and I found her fee to be more than reasonable. I have and will continue to recommend her.
Read less
Posted by Julie & Roland | October 28, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Choose her
Dear Penny. Where to start, I came from a family that the Patriarch makes the decision (right or wrong deception or not).  I contacted Penny some sixteen months ago when my brother showed up at my home with a codicil. I was told my mother had a trust in 2010 this was a complete falsehood. He had pilfered my mothers accounts created a mortgage on her paid for home and sold our family cabin. During which I was never told of any of these transaction (remember I as a woman am not allowed to question). When I found Penny she was so understanding and took my case to protect my interests and my mothers legacy. She is a fighter not intimidated by the court system or the family that represent those that mean you harm. I was most impressed that she was always available and responded even on vacation with her family. Another example: her daughter was in collage and a close friend had passed away, she picked up her phone to take my call (above and beyond the call of duty) yet still comforted her daughter. They don't make people like that anymore (remember I said people not just lawyer) Oh she's a lawyer,someone you can trust to always be there and prepared, and have the ability to explain the complex legal system for  myself and husband to understand. I strongly think if you are in my position you should speak to her, before you are deceived by conviction that program you for failure (to be subservient) you deserve answers. Penny will get them! .  We are indebted for your concern, caring, dependability, but most of all your caring and compassion. As always Penny thank you for you support through the difficult time in the past now we have a future! J & R
Read less
Posted by LeRoy and Dianne | December 5, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Easy and pleasant to work with
We hired Penniann Schumann to update our will by creating a family trust. She was professional but also kind and easy to work with. She guided us through the process of creating a trust that will work better for our family, and we're grateful for her help!
Posted by Maryan | February 1, 2015
Perfect Attorney in every way
I cannot say enough good things about Penni. She protected my Mother from a nightmare type situation with an unbelievably difficult family member. She persisted our defense, was always available for communication and talked us through what to expect. Penni was the finest defense Mom could possibly have had. Mom said many, many times that she was so grateful that we had Penni to help her through the ordeal that she faced. We came out triumphant in the end. I would gladly recommend Penni to any one in need to assistance with Estate or Elder Law issues.
Read less
Posted by Helen | July 24, 2014
Highest Recommendation
Our family gives Ms. Schumann our highest recommendation. She gave us the support we needed during a difficult time. She is extremely trustworthy and knowledgeable. We are very grateful for her help.
Posted by Kimberly | July 18, 2014
A Lawyer with Integrity
I highly recommend Penni Schumann. She has the utmost integrity. She is very honest and open. She worked diligently on our case. She was very knowledgeable about State Laws, Filing, and Court procedures. I felt so comfortable in her care. She is top notch! She is very caring and compassionate. I just can't say enough nice about her.
Read less
Posted by Maggie | June 15, 2014
Very Knowledgeable
We had some complicated estate questions and she was able to separate all our issues and plan our trusts to accommodate some senior planning and leave money for our grandchildren as well
Posted by Cameron | April 24, 2014
She knows her stuff.
I've worked with Ms. Schumann on numerous different occasions. From personal estate planning to business structure. I would highly recommend her to anyone looking for a honest hard working skilled attorney. The best part in working with her is that if she doesn't know or practice the issue you have then she admits it and recommends other honest attorneys who do specialize in the issue you have. Keep up the great work !!!!
Read less
View less reviews


We have not found any cost information for this lawyer

Contact for Details


AVVO RATING 6.5 (Good)

Professional misconduct

This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 2018.

Public Reprimand issued in UT, 2018
updated on 06/30/2020

This means the attorney did something wrong, but the Bar did not suspend the lawyer. Typically in this case the lawyer's poor behavior is exposed to the public in hopes that he or she will not repeat the behavior.

Penniann's comment: “This was issued because I didn't get a letter identifying a potential conflict of interest from my client when she asked me to be a CO-trustee with her on her trust.”

Work Experience

  • Owner
  • Law office Of Penniann J. Schumann
  • 1995 - Present
  • Trust Officer
  • Key Bank
  • 2006 - 2008
  • Lawyer
  • Richards Brandt Miller & Nelson
  • 2004 - 2006


  • University of Miami School of Law
  • LL.M - Master of Laws
  • 1994
  • Saint Louis University School of Law
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1993


  • Utah State Bar, Elder Law Section
  • Executive Committee
  • 2011 - Present
  • Salt Lake Estate Planning Council
  • Board Member
  • 1994 - Present
  • Estate Planning Section of the Utah State Bar
  • Member
  • 1994 - Present

Languages Spoken

  • English

Honors and Awards

  • Peer Review Rated
  • Martindale-Hubbell
  • 2016


  • National Business Institute Seminar
  • Probate in Utah
  • 2003

Speaking Engagements

  • Continuing Education Course
  • Probate in Utah
  • 2003

Attorney endorsements

Received (2)
Given (2)
Endorse Penniann
Elder law Attorney | Oct 30
Relationship: Worked for lawyer
"Penniann Schumann is knowledgeable, compassionate, and professional. I have worked with her on a variety of cases, and she has demonstrated exceptional skill and competence in estate planning, guardianship, and probate and trust administration. She works closely with her clients to determine best solutions to their estate planning needs and also works tirelessly to advocate for the best interests of her clients. She is dedicated to doing her best for each of her clients and is very helpful to her colleagues. I have always found her to be very thoughtful and deeply invested in the needs of those around her."
Estate planning Attorney | Sep 02
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer. Penni is a very respected lawyer in our community. She is rountinely my "go to" person for complex tax matters. Penni is intelligent, thorough, but most of all...compassionate."
Salt Lake City Elder law Lawyer Penniann J. Schumann
Penniann J. Schumann
Elder law Attorney
Salt Lake City, UT
Licensed for 29 years
This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority in 2018. See details