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Philadelphia Estate Planning, Tax and Small Business Attorney

Pennsylvania Probate, Estate Administration, Wills, Trusts Lawyer 

Philadelphia Estate, Tax and Business Attorney, Steven J FrommSteven J. Fromm has been a lawyer engaged in the practice of estate, probate, tax and business law in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania for over 35 years.  Individuals, estates and trusts, professionals, small business owners, professional corporations, C corporations, S corporationslimited liability corporations (LLCs), sole proprietorship's and partnerships rely on him for sound and practical legal and tax counsel, to save them money and taxes, and to solve their particular legal, tax, estate or business law problems. 

Clients can expect and be assured that he will carefully listen to their particular and specific family, business or tax concerns.  Income, estate and gift taxes, business, retirement, or wealth transfer needs and goals are considered and weighed.  Mr. Fromm's legal experience in estate planning, probate, tax and business law is carefully applied to develop appropriate, practical and cost effective legal and tax strategies and solutions. 

With active client input, legal documents are drafted to meet the particular and specific income tax, business, estate and gift tax, retirement, or wealth transfer needs and goals. This care, attention to detail, and diligence is at the heart of finding the best strategy or solution to a client's unique tax or legal problems. 

Each and every client will get the benefit of his 35 years of practice, experience, training, technical expertise, his diligence and concern for their problems, and his continuous and never-ending study of tax, estate and business law. 


I found Steven Fromm online while searching for a lawyer to help me set up my Non-Profit company.  I was very concerned about giving another lawyer my money because I had worked with a different lawyer a couple months before and that lawyer did not do anything that he had promised. Mr. Fromm is one of the best, if not the best, tax attorney that I've ever met. I've worked with many lawyers throughout my career and he is the best that I have ever worked with.  He takes on your case like he would his own.  He is also incredibly knowledgeable in his field.  When he says he's going to do something, he does it immediately.  He is not just a wonderful lawyer, but also a wonderful person.  I would recommend Mr. Fromm to anyone."
~ Erica Matthews 

 

Click the Recommendations tab above for more client, professional and peer attorney endorsements. Mr. Fromm's Avvo professional profile, rating, his answers to questions posed by the public and his legal guides provided to the public can be seen by clicking Philadelphia Estate and Tax Attorney.

 

The following are some of the core estate, probate, business and tax legal services provided to his Philadelphia and Pennsylvania clients.  For a full range of services please go the Estate Attorney Services, Business Attorney Services and Tax Attorney Services tabs above.  

Estate Planning Attorney:

Providing Legal and Tax Services in Philadelphia and Other Counties in Pennsylvania

Development and implementation of estate plans from both an estate and income tax perspective, including the use of the following estate planning techniques and documentation:

  • Wills.  For more on the benefits of a will read Estate Planning: 5 Not So Easy Pieces.

  • Marital deduction trusts, qualified terminable interest property (QTIP) trusts

  • Unified credit trusts.  For a brief overview of issues concerning the unified credit explore Estate Planning: 5 Not So Easy Pieces.

  • Irrevocable life insurance trusts

  • Generation skipping transfer (GST) tax trusts or so called dynasty trusts

  • Qualified domestic trusts (QDOTs) for non-citizen spouses. For insight into this specialized trust review Non Citizen Spouse & The Qualified Domestic Trust.

  • Durable powers of attorney and advance medical directives ("living wills")

  • Special needs trusts for families with children, dependants or other family members with physical and mental disabilities or addiction or emotional problems.  Special needs trusts offer a unique mechanism to protect and provide for such family members suffering from various disabilities or functional limitations.

  • Gift Giving Program.  Gift giving as part of a comprehensive estate plan allows for maximum utilization of the annual donee exclusion, spousal joinder, minority interest and lack of marketability discounts to save estate, gift and income taxes. For more on gift giving read Gift Giving: Tax Advantages.  To see how this type of program can be implemented and its tax benefits explore Gifting Shares of Stock In A Bad Economy and Family Limited Partnerships. For the tax implications for gifts to Section 529 Plans review Section 529 Plans: Gift Tax Rules.  For a warning about how the IRS is looking at the failure to report gifts of real estate see IRS Checking Real Estate Transfers For Unreported Gifts.

  • Family Limited PartnershipsPlanning and drafting of family limited partnerships to preserve family assets and values.  Use of such partnerships can allow the transition of wealth and the management of such wealth to younger generations.  In addition, employing certain related gift giving strategies can minimize gift and estate taxes.  Various tax minimization techniques such as minority interest, lack of marketability, blockage discounts and other discounts are used when structuring these transactions. For more details explore the article entitled Family Limited Partnerships.  For the planning and operational aspects involved once these entities are formed, review Family Limited Partnerships: Failures & Mistakes That Can Doom a Family Limited Partnership.

  • Charitable Trusts. Implementing charitable giving while maximizing tax benefits through the use of charitable remainder uni-trusts, charitable remainder annuity trusts, charitable lead trusts. These trusts are often employed to coordinate clients' charitable goals with their overall income, gift, estate and charitable tax planning needs.  For an article that explores these considerations please read Charitable Lead Trusts.

  • Using trusts as beneficiaries for retirement plans or IRAs.  For a discussion of the tax requirements for utilizing trusts as beneficiaries read Trust As Beneficiary of Retirement Plans.

When elderly parents are involved, a discussion about estate planning and the related financial implications is essential.  This can be a sensitive and emotionally charged area. For some ideas on this topic go to Estate Planning For Elderly Parents.

For a discussion of the importance of an integrated estate plan and the many factors involved in developing a comprehensive estate plan see the still relevant article entitled Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett: An Estate Plan Wake Up Call. For more on some common estate planning mistakes please explore Estate Planning: 5 Not So Easy Pieces.

For life cycle events that can trigger estate planning or redrafting of wills, trusts and other estate documentation look over ESTATE PLANNING: HOT BUTTONS.

For the reasons for the review of your current life insurance policies read Life Insurance Review.

For more details concerning our estate planning services click the following hypertext practice area Estate Planning: Wills, Trusts & Other Related Estate Planning Documentation and then look for this discussion in the table of contents on that page.

Probate and Estate Administration Lawyer:

Providing Legal and Tax Services in Philadelphia and Other Counties in Pennsylvania

As an Philadelphia estates and  probate attorney, Mr. Fromm assists executors, administrators, trustees and beneficiaries in the complicated, detailed, and time sensitive tasks of estate and probate administration from beginning to end.  As a Pennsylvania estate attorney, he probates estates in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and other outlying counties in Pennsylvania. 

Here are some of the more important services he provides to assist his clients in this estate administration and probate process:

  • Guiding and advising the executor or administrator through the estate process. For an informative general overview of the estate administration process see Estate Administration: Do Not Try This On Your Own.   For a general discussion of the duties of the executor or administrator please go to Estate Administration: Executor Duties

  • By having estate counsel employed, executors or administrators can minimize the risk or avoid a lawsuit brought by beneficiaries for the mismanagement of an estate, the theft of assets or other grounds for removal of an executor or trustee under Pennsylvania probate law.  For more details click Probate: Removal of Personal Representative Under PA Estates and Fiduciary Code.

  • Preparation of all probate documents including drafting and obtaining letters of administration and letters testamentary.

  • Assist the executor or administrator in the collection and preservation of estate assets whether they are probate or non-probate assets.

  • Make sure all required notices, filings with the register of wills and orphans court are completed as required.

  • Determination of what creditors and claimants need to be paid and the order of priority of payment.  For a discussion of the Pennsylvania priority rules click PA Probate: What Debts Take Priority

  • He helps insure that all legal and tax deadlines are met to take advantage of income and estate tax savings and avoidance of interest and penalties. For example, to give you an overview of how Pennsylvania determines the amount of inheritance taxes that are due upon the death of a Pennsylvania resident, explore Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax: The Basics.

  • Preparation of fiduciary income tax returns, final income tax returns of the decedent as well as federal estate tax returns and Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax Returns.

  • Recommend tax savings strategies and tax elections: Provides estate and income tax strategies and overall tax minimization techniques for the estate and surviving spouse and other family members. 

  • Post-mortem estate and income tax planning to maximize tax savings for both the estate and surviving members of the family.  

  • Drafting the filing of the formal estate accounting submission to Orphans Court in Philadelphia, Montgomery, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and other outlying counties in Pennsylvania. 

  • Drafting of a family settlement agreement and other required forms to complete the administration of the estate.

Warning:  The above discussion is a general overview and does not cover all of the complexities and steps in the estate and probate process.  It is essential to have a trained estates attorney assist in this detailed and technical area of the law.  Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or if you need our assistance. 

Tax Attorney:

Providing Tax Assistance and Legal Represention Before
The IRS, Pennsylvania and Philadelphia

Mr. Fromm assists and represents clients concerning all aspects of federal, state and Philadelphia taxes. He also provides representation in administrative negotiations with the IRS, the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue and the City of Philadelphia Department of Revenue as well as other taxing authorities. 

For an article on the new IRS Fresh Start Program for unemployed taxpayers and changes to installment agreements click IRS Fresh Start Program.  You can also learn about offers in compromise by reading Offer in Compromise: IRS Streamlined Offer-In-Compromise Program

The IRS often looks at shareholders, officers, key employees, and bookkeepers as responsible persons who can be held personally liable for corporate payroll taxes.  For an article looking at what the IRS looks for in these cases see Personal Liability For Corporate Employment Taxes

Corporate and Business Attorney:

Choice of Business Entity and Formation Services in Philadelphia and Other Counties in Pennsylvania

and

Related Tax Planning Advice and Strategies

Determining the proper legal entity for the particular business operations contemplated by the client requires an analysis of the particular type of business, the parties to the business, and the financial short and long term goals.  Tax considerations must also be evaluated to come up with the proper business entity for the client's particular business needs. 

Depending on these considerations, the appropriate legal entity may be any one of the following:

For a general discussion of some of these entities see Choice of Business Entity For Your Business.  For a general checklist of some of the business, financial, legal liability and other non-tax issues that must be considered to ensure the proper entity is chosen, review Choice of Business Entity: Legal, Financial and Other Non-Tax Concerns.

Starting a new small business has its own special considerations as discussed at Starting A New Business. For the special tax treatment of start-up costs for new ventures read the hypertext article Start Up Costs For New Ventures

Legal assistance can also be provided for the following needed services:

  • Initial documentation and registration with the state where the organization is to be formed

  • Assisting with the initial tax elections for the entity chosen

  • Various registrations with Philadelphia or any other city, county or states where required. 

Corporate and Business Attorney:

Representing Clients Buying and Selling Businesses

in Philadelphia and Other Counties in Pennsylvania

This law firm provides planning with an eye toward the financial, tax, family and business considerations associated with buying and selling of businesses. Determining the choice of entity (regular C corporation, S corporation, LLC, limited partnership, family limited partnerships, etc.) for the acquisition to optimize tax benefits is also considered and determined.

In certain situations, the use of various tax-free reorganizations, mergers or Section 355 spin-offs, to facilitate the re-organization of business operations for tax or practical reasons may be employed for maximum tax effect.    

Business Succession Planning:

Shareholder and Buy-Sell Agreements

and Exit Planning Strategies

Shareholder or partnership agreements in conjunction with estate and/or business planning. Implementation of the most efficient exit strategies for senior ownership from a tax, financial and practical perspective. For an article that explores some of the basic considerations for family businesses see Exit Planning: Family & Small Business Succession Planning.  To see some of the key provisions that need to be included in any sale agreement review Exit Strategy For Owners: Key Non-Tax Contractual Provisions

For an example of using gift giving techniques and tax strategies involving family owned businesses read Gifting Shares of Stock in A Bad Economy that was published in the Journal of Accountancy.  

Corporate Tax Planning and Restructuring:
Reorganizations, Spin-Offs, F Reorganizations, Liquidations

  • Tax Free Reorganizations or Corporate Alterations:  Corporations may need to alter their form of operation or organization.  Corporations may use tax free reorganizations for various reasons to change the structure or form of their organization.  Tax free mergers under Section 368 of the Internal Revenue Code or spin-offs or splits offs under Section 355 of the Internal Revenue Code are often tax planning strategies used to accomplish such goals. 

  • A corporation may need to change its state or place of incorporation.  In such cases, a tax-free F reorganization may be utilized.  For a discussion of F reorganizations, see the hypertext article entitled Tax Free F Reorganizations Under Section 368(a)(1)(F) Of The Internal Revenue Code.

  • Corporate Liquidations or Dissolution: Corporations may need to liquidate and/or dissolve. 

Business and Corporate Housekeeping and Compliance Matters:

Preventive Measures To Minimize and Avoid Legal and Tax Problems

Mr. Fromm regularly assists clients in the preparation of corporate minutes and other compliance and other corporate housekeeping matters. Many owners of small businesses often are not aware of the legal and tax importance of corporations having regular, annual board of director and shareholder meetings.  As a result they neglect drafting regular minutes that document such meetings.  Such meetings and related documentation through board of director and shareholder minutes are essential for the following reasons:

  • Tax Protection:  In the event of a tax audit, documented minutes support tax sensitive positions such as officer loans, inter-company loans, tax elections, and other tax positions taken on corporate returns. For a discussion concerning the issues concerning reasonable salaries and the auditing of S corporations in this context explore "Reasonable" Compensation: IRS Auditors Favorite Issue.
  • Prevent Loss of Corporate Charter:  The failure to attend to corporate compliance details can sometimes result is serious legal problems.  For example,  in Pennsylvania the failure to be compliant can result in loss of corporate name or having it being made available for anyone to use as discussed in the hypertext article entitled Filing Deadline Fast Approaching For Decennial Report for PA Corporations.  

Tax Exempt Organizations, Charities
501(c)(3) Groups, Private Foundations

The following are some of the major services provided in this area of tax law:

  • Formation of tax exempt organizations under state law

  • Submission of application to the IRS for tax exempt approval.

  • Legal guidance as to tax and governance compliance requirements

  • Drafting of initial organizational documentation including articles of organization, by-laws and initial corporate minutes.

  • Annual compliance matters including corporate minutes and other required legal documents as needed

  • Tax return preparation  

Expert Witness and Litigation Consultant:
Tax, Estate and Pension Matters 

Practicing tax law for over 35 years with an LL.M. in taxation from the New York University graduate tax program and as a former CPA has provided Mr. Fromm with the necessary credentials and experience to function as a consultant for litigation attorneys and as an expert witness in legal malpractice cases involving tax, estates and pension matters.  

Retirement Plan and Retirement Planning

Here are some of the services provided:

      

Philadelphia Estate and Tax Attorney Blog

Be sure to visit our Philadelphia Estate and Tax Attorney Blog that explores current and evolving issues involving estate planning, wills, trusts, probate and estate administration, as well as tax planning.

We welcome you to contact us with any questions or comments you may have.  We take pride in being proactive, creative, timely and responsive to our clients' needs, inquiries and suggestions. Readers of this website can call the following telephone number or can contact us through the following email address:

Telephone Number: 215-735-2336

Email address: sjfpc@comcast.net



DISCLAIMER

Copyright © 2012,2013,2014 Steven J. Fromm & Associates, P.C., 1420 Walnut Street, Suite 300, Philadelphia, PA 19102.  All rights reserved.  

From their offices in Philadelphia, PA, the law firm of Steven J. Fromm & Associates, P.C. provides a full range of estate planning and estate and probate administration, tax, business and corporate legal services to clients throughout eastern Pennsylvania and the Delaware Valley, the Lehigh Valley Area, the Five-County Area, Bucks County, Delaware County, Montgomery County, Chester County, Philadelphia County, Berks County, Lehigh County, Lancaster County, York County, Harrisburg, Norristown, Doylestown, Media, West Chester, Allentown, Lancaster, and Reading.

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