John F. Meck

Member

Overview

Jack Meck has more than 35 years of experience counseling clients in estate planning, estate and trust administration, closely held business interests, probate court litigation, and tax planning. He works closely with clients to develop strategies to minimize taxes during their lifetimes and upon their deaths. This planning includes wills and trusts (where appropriate) for tax planning, young beneficiaries or otherwise challenged family members. Just as importantly, he provides counseling on putting in place powers of attorney, so clients can select who will handle their financial matters and make their healthcare decisions, if and when necessary, rather than leaving it to the chance, as well as the time and expense, of a court guardianship proceeding.

He enjoys the challenge of problem-solving, the pleasure of meeting and working with a wide variety of individual clients, the reward of establishing long-term relationships with many of them, and the satisfaction of helping them make informed and educated decisions about matters of great importance to them and to their families.

Jack also explains tax issues (death, gift, and income tax) to his clients, removing the mystery, while paying attention to the details of preparing and filing the relevant tax returns. He also guides client in sophisticated tax areas such as dealing with and planning for retirement benefits, generation-skipping tax, and S corporations in an estate plan.

In addition, Jack assists clients in the navigation of disputes and the accompanying emotions that sometimes arise during the administration of an estate or trust, including will contests, accounting, distribution and investment disputes, removal of fiduciaries, and document interpretation.

Representative Matters

  • Estate planning for clients with various levels of wealth, from $500,000 (or less) to $50-million (or more).
  • Estate planning for CEOs of Fortune 500 companies.
  • An estate administration of several hundred million dollars.
  • Complex estate and trust administration, whether due to taxes, beneficiaries, creditors, or business entities.
  • Handling an IRS audit on the valuation of a $40 million business.
  • Disputes involving jointly owned bank accounts and powers of attorney.
  • Trustee removal and surcharge actions.

Professional Affiliations

  • Pennsylvania Supreme Court: Orphans’ Court Procedural Rules Committee, Member (2011-2017) and Chair (2014-2017); Advisory Council on Elder Justice in the Courts, Member (2015-2017)
  • Allegheny County Bar Association: Probate and Trust Section (past Chair); Ethics Committee, Member
  • Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission’s Advisory Committee on Decedents’ Estates Law:  Subcommittee on Guardianships and Powers of Attorney, Chair
  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel: Pennsylvania State Chair (past); Fiduciary Litigation Committee, Member
  • Pennsylvania Bar Institute:  Annual Estate Law Institute, course planner
  • Pittsburgh Tax Club, President (2014-2015)

Community Involvement

  • Fox Chapel District Association, Past Vice President
  • Fox Chapel Follies, Thespian Participant
  • Reading is FUNdamental Pittsburgh, elementary school reading mentor

Awards and Recognition:

  • Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (elected 1991)
  • Attained an AV® Preeminent™ rating from Martindale-Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America and named Best Lawyers’ “Lawyer of the Year” (Pittsburgh) in Tax Law (2015) and Litigation – Trusts and Estates (2013)
  • Selected for inclusion as one of the Top 50 Super Lawyers in Pittsburgh
  • Selected for inclusion in Pennsylvania Super Lawyers

News and Insights

Publications

  • “Contesting Inter Vivos Trusts,” 18 Fiduc. Rep. 2d 489 (1998).
  • “Pew Estate Revisited,Fiduciary Review, October 2003.
  • Master’s Report on Death Tax Apportionment,” and “Zambrano Estate,”24 Fiduc. Rep. 2d 56 (2004).

Speaking Engagements

  • “The Year in Review,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Annual Estate and Elder Law Symposium, 2011 – 2019.
  • “New Pa. Orphans’ Court Rules Mean Big Changes!” speaker and course planner, Pennsylvania Bar Institute live webinar, January 29, 2016.
  • “Recent Developments in Pennsylvania Trust & Estate Law,” Pennsylvania Bar Institute’s Annual Estate Law Institute, 2009-2017.
  • “Tax Planning: Permanence (at least until Congress acts again!) Portability (Marry! Gift! Kill!!… Then repeat!) Planning (Death Tax or Income Tax… which is more important?),” Eckert Seamans’ Continuing Legal Education Seminar, August 2013.