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About Us

Egbert & Barnes, P.C. is an estate planning and business law firm. As estate planners, the firm helps people and their families plan for incapacity, the distribution of their assets and the minimization of death taxes. As business lawyers, we counsel business owners on every issue in the life cycle of a business, from formation to sale or transition to new owners. The firm also handles commercial real estate transactions, including mortgage financing and other debt.

Jim Egbert and Tom Barnes each have more than thirty years’ experience as lawyers. The firm seeks to provide high quality legal services to businesses and individuals. Jim and Tom offer advice and counsel of the same quality as that offered by large city law firms, but with individualized attention and at significantly lower rates than those of our large firm colleagues.

The firm’s areas of practice are estate planning and administration, general corporate and business practice and civil litigation.

Estate Planning

As estate planning attorneys, the firm prepares wills and revocable and irrevocable trust documents design for each client’s objectives.  We also offer lifetime planning documents for clients such as financial powers of attorney and health care powers of attorney (advance directives). If appropriate for a client’s needs and wishes, we prepare living trusts and provide advice on what a living trust can accomplish, as well as their advantages and disadvantages, the administration of the trust during the life of the grantor, and the Pennsylvania inheritance taxation of trusts. Also as estate planning lawyers, Egbert & Barnes, P.C. counsels clients on non-tax planning issues relating to spouses, such as post-nuptial and pre-nuptial agreements, and a surviving spouse’s elective share.

As lawyers in the area of wills and trusts, Jim and Tom assist clients with issues relating to non-spouse beneficiaries, such as children and other younger beneficiaries. We provide advice on spendthrift trusts, the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act, Section 529 plans, and the appointment of guardians, and trustees for minor beneficiaries. We assist clients with planning for disabled beneficiaries, special needs trusts and the selection of fiduciaries such as executors, trustees and guardians.

We counsel clients on inheritance law in Pennsylvania, particularly other non-probate methods of transferring assets to heirs. These include the joint ownership of bank accounts, securities accounts, retirement accounts, and real estate. We assist clients with issues relating to joint ownership and beneficiary designations, and in solving problems that arise from intestacy (dying without a will), and the rules of intestate succession such as the share of surviving spouse.

As estate planning attorneys, Egbert & Barnes, P.C. counsels clients on tax reduction strategies concerning the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax, including planning for the use of joint assets such as real estate, bank and investment accounts, financial instruments, life insurance, and retirement accounts. We advise clients on what assets are subject to inheritance tax, and on transfers that are exempt from the tax. Such assets include inter vivos transfers (that is, made while alive). These include tenancy by entireties property, joint tenancies and tenancies in common, transfers to charitable organizations and veterans’ organizations, life insurance, intangible personal property of nonresidents, advancements, real estate, and intangible personal property located outside of Pennsylvania. Other examples of exempt assets are a power over which decedent had a general or limited power of appointment, social security and similar government death benefits, certain pension, stock bonus, profit-sharing and other retirement plans, trusts and similar arrangements for spouses, farms and agricultural property and, in certain situations, ownership of the family business.

As lawyers who prepare wills and trusts, Egbert & Barnes, P.C. handles domicile planning. Your domicile is the state or country you treat as your permanent home. It determines the state that has primary taxing authority over you, such as for income taxes, personal property taxes, Inheritance taxes, state estate taxes, and sales and use taxes.

In our practice as estate planning lawyers, Egbert & Barnes, P.C. advises clients on strategies for reducing or eliminating the federal estate and gift tax, such as by the use of lifetime gifts, the portability of the Basic Exclusion Amount, and of the Deceased Spousal Unused Exclusion Amount.

As Montgomery County probate attorneys, we advise the personal representative of the estate of the decedent, that is, the executor or administrator, concerning the estate’s obligation to file the Pennsylvania Inheritance Tax return with the Register of Wills, and pay the Inheritance Tax. We provide advice on when to file the return, and how to obtain the discount for early payment of the tax.  

The firm represents heirs and executives in will contests, and litigation to validate or invalidate trusts, and in contests concerning the administration of estates and trusts.

As elder law attorneys, the firm provides advice to clients on the Medicare system. Egbert & Barnes, P.C., provides advice on the scope and extent of Medicare coverage, and the benefits available from Medicare. Egbert & Barnes, P.C counsels clients on Medicaid law and on Medicaid law issues important to clients such as how to enroll in Medicare, and the impact of Medicare income limits for those living in Pennsylvania. Many clients have concerns about Medicare cost sharing, in-patient hospital care, the Part A benefit period, the availability of skilled nursing facility care hospice care under Medicare Part A, hospital inpatient vs. outpatient status, the effects of outpatient status, and enhancing basic Medicare Coverage. Egbert & Barnes, P.C. advises on Medicare Advantage Plans, Medicare Part D, and Medicare Part B, and integrating Medicare and Medicaid coverage, and Dual Eligible coverage under Medicaid and Medicare.

Business Law

As business attorneys, Egbert & Barnes, P.C. provides general corporate and strategic business counseling to executives and owners of private companies. Jim and Tom are experienced with business formation, mergers and acquisitions, debt and equity financing and succession planning. As corporate law attorneys, Egbert & Barnes, P.C. works extensively with early-stage and mature businesses in several industries, including technology, publishing, retail, commercial real estate, and manufacturing. We counsel clients on contract matters with customers and suppliers, landlords and tenants, employee liability matters and the rights and obligations of company owners. The firm is experienced in securities and corporate financing laws and transactions, and represents debtors and creditors in federal bankruptcy matters.

In its business law practice, Egbert & Barnes, P.C. represents real estate investors, developers and owners in the purchase and sale of real estate and in a wide range of commercial and residential real estate matters. The firm has experience in negotiating and documenting commercial mortgage loans for both lenders and borrowers, including traditional term loans, lines of credit and construction loans.