Dana A. Bernstein
Dana A. Bernstein is a Partner with the Firm in the Estates & Trusts Group. She concentrates her practice on estate planning, estate administration, business succession and general corporate matters. She has provided a wide range of probate and trust administration services to financial professionals, local firms, and trust companies. She counsels clients on strategies and techniques for wealth preservation, asset protection, business succession, corporate and fiduciary compliance, real estate financing and transfers, as well as counseling clients with concerns about public benefits. She is particularly adept with breaking down complex issues involving family businesses, tax, real estate, disability, various forms of debt to clients and their families, and resolving situations where a risk of litigation is a concern.
Estate planning and administration implicate other practice areas, including real estate, corporate law, tax and litigation. Dana draws upon years of prior experience in transactional and litigation matters to inform how she presently counsels estate planning and administration clients. She anticipates and addresses issues before they arise and expertly navigates difficult topics.
While attending Widener University School of Law, she served as an extern for the Office of the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee in the Department of Justice. She began her career in commercial and business law where she handled bankruptcy, casualty matters, lender liability, real estate, shareholder oppression, tax exemptions, appeals and collections. Her early practice experience with bankruptcy, foreclosures, and governmental tax collection controversies at the federal, state, and local levels allowed her to represent taxpayers before the IRS and state taxing authorities with tax appeals, voluntary disclosures, and other collection matters.
She has represented closely held businesses in structured financing matters and workouts, in buying, selling, merging and consolidating companies and planning for liquidity events.
She has a strongly held personal commitment to serving individuals and families where disability-related issues are a concern. She is a parent of multiple young adults with autism spectrum disorder, as well as a serving as a legal guardian. It is the reason she became involved with estate planning, and estate and trust administration.
Families in the autism community contacted her for legal help with essential estate planning documents that included “special needs” trusts. She enrolled there for advanced study in estate planning and estate and trust administration. Dana enjoyed the traditional and special needs planning, but found it was in her tax classes that her prior experience and strengths flourished.
So, she continued her tax studies, until she earned an LL.M in Taxation.
Dana is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as the United States Bankruptcy Court, and U.S. Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She graduated with an undergraduate degree from Fairfield University in Connecticut and attended law school at Widener University, Delaware School of Law.
L.L.M., Temple University, Beasley School of Law
J.D., Widener University School of Law
B.A., Fairfield University
U.S. Bankruptcy Court
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
American Bar Association, Member Taxation, Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Sections
New Jersey State Bar Association
Burlington County Bar Association
Philadelphia Bar Association
Philadelphia Estate Planning Council