Expert Witness & Consulting Services
We specialize in Estate Litigation Expert Witness for Pennsylvania and throughout the country. When conflicts or disputes arise either through inadequate or flawed estate planning or management and require resolution in court, having an expert thoroughly versed in trusts and estates law both as consultant and expert witness can add authority to your position.
Spencer Law Firm LLC in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, has provided consultant and expert witness support to other attorneys and firms both for 30 years. When questions arise regarding permissible trustee powers, exercise of discretion, or whether a particular action was warranted or prudent when held to the mirror of customary industry standards, Patti Spencer can examine the facts and offer a respected, trustworthy opinion.
Providing Expertise in Determining What Is Reasonable and Customary
Attorney Patti Spencer possesses a tremendous amount of experience, skill and knowledge related to estates and trusts. Having served as a bank trust executive, written books and articles on estate matters and taught law school level and continuing legal education courses on trusts and estates law, Ms. Spencer’s expertise has been relied upon many times. As a consulting and expert witness, Patti Spencer examines industry standards of practice, testifying as to what is reasonable and customary. In addition to providing support in fiduciary litigation matters, attorney Spencer has assisted in matters such as:
- Fee disagreements
- Trust administration
- Attorney malpractice
- Breach of fiduciary duty
- Failure to identify or pay taxes
- Violation of estate document provisions
- Fiduciary investment management
Keeping Abreast of Sweeping Reforms in Pennsylvania Trust Laws
Pennsylvania has seen a rash of new laws that have completely changed the playing field for estates and trusts lawyers. These laws govern reporting requirements, accounting issues and allocations and may potentially lead to a great deal of litigation. Patti Spencer frequently teaches continuing education courses on new developments in the law to attorneys and CPAs. SLF has provided expert assistance with matters involving:
- Uniform Prudent Investor Act (UPIA)
- Uniform Principal and Income Act (UPAIA)
- Uniform Trust Act (UTA)
The Prefatory Note to the Uniform Prudent Investor Act explains: “From the late 1960s the investment practices of fiduciaries experienced significant change. This undertakes to update trust investment law in recognition of the alterations that have occurred in investment practice. These changes have occurred under the influence of a large and broadly accepted body of empirical and theoretical knowledge about the behavior of capital markets, often described as ‘modern portfolio theory.'”
The Uniform Principal and Income Act helps to coordinate the implementation of Modern Portfolio Theory and prudent investing with new rules pertaining to principal and income allocation in trusts. The prefatory note to the act states that one of the two purposes in publishing it was “to provide a means for implementing the transition to an investment regime based on principles embodied in the Uniform Prudent Investor Act.”
The Uniform Trust Code is a national codification of the law of trusts as well as an effort to reform that body of law by incorporating modern notions of fiduciary investment conduct and beneficiary communication.
Patti Spencer’s experience and knowledge of these and other trust and estate laws have prepared her to serve as expert witness for your matter. Contact SLF to obtain more information or to schedule a consultation.