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Judith A. Harris Discusses Planned Giving and Tax Planning Strategies at Symphony Hall

Posted on June 7th, 2010

Judith A. Harris, a Member of Tallman Hudders & Sorrentino, the Pennsylvania office of Norris McLaughlin, P.A., was a featured speaker at the Allentown Symphony Association planned giving seminar entitled “Orchestrating Your Estate Plan in Uncertain Tax Times.”Harris and three other members of the planned giving committee presented the seminar in two sessions on June 3, 2010 in the Rodale Room of Symphony Hall.

“The current uncertainty of the Federal Estate and Gifts Tax Laws creates a confusing environment for people who wish to keep their estate plans up to date and who wish to make gifts to family members and to charitable organizations. Our seminars addressed several favorable tax planning strategies. A special appearance by our Conductor, Maestra Diane Wittry, allowed participants to review several notable gifts and bequests to the Symphony and the splendid tax benefits derived by its donors, as well as the benefits to our Orchestra,” said Harris.

Harris, chair of the Estate, Trust and Tax Practice Group of the Pennsylvania office, has over twenty-three years of experience in the areas of taxation, wills and trusts, and estate administration.

In addition to creating estate plans for clients from the most sophisticated to the most basic wills, revocable trusts, powers of attorney, and living wills, Harris’s specialties include business matters involving corporations, partnerships, and limited liability companies. Harris’s practice also includes the areas of charitable trusts and foundations and representation of estates, trusts, and beneficiaries in disputes before the Orphans’ Court. She routinely handles the resolution of tax controversies for business and individual taxpayers before all divisions (civil and criminal) of the Internal Revenue Service and the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue. These cases often involve the resolution of estate, business, and individual audits, or the resolution of collection efforts such as liens, levies, and garnishments by the IRS and state taxing authorities.

In her work as an estate planning attorney, Harris frequently structures the optimal transfer of a client’s wealth and business interests to younger generations with minimal tax consequences.

Harris recently completed her term as President of the Estate Planning Council of the Lehigh Valley and serves as Immediate Past President. She is a member of the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). From 1993 to 2000, she was an adjunct instructor of “Wills, Trusts, and Estates” at Penn State University’s Lehigh Valley Campus.

She is currently a board member and former President of the Fund to Benefit Children & Youth, Inc., a board member of the Allentown Symphony since 1993, and a board member of the Lehigh County Agricultural Society. Harris served for 10 years on the Lehigh-Northampton Airport Authority Board of Governors, where she chaired the Personnel and Law Committee.

Harris earned her LL.M. in Taxation from Villanova University School of Law in 1991 and her J.D. from American University in 1986. She earned her A.B., cum laude, from Bryn Mawr College in 1983.

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