Susan E. Piette

Susan E. Piette
P: (215) 661-0400
F: (215) 661-0315
E: SPiette@HRMML.com
Administrative Contact:
Christina Organtini
COrgantini@HRMML.com

Susan E. Piette has extensive experience in assisting individuals in Montgomery and Bucks County with their estate planning and long term care needs. She has particular expertise in assisting the elderly and their families. After ascertaining a client’s goals and objectives, Susan thoroughly educates the client on issues to meet his or her specific needs including but not limited to asset protection, wealth preservation, assisted living and nursing facilities admissions, Social Security, Medicare, Medigap and Medicaid.  She prepares needed essential estate planning documents such as wills, trusts, powers of attorney, advance health care directives; explains options for wealth management decisions; develops the most advantageous financial plan to secure the best care, housing and quality of life available; and facilitates implementation of her clients’ choices.  Susan is very compassionate and sensitive to the needs of her clients, regularly meeting with her elderly clients at their home or in their nursing home residence. She is known for thoroughly and sensitively counseling seniors and their families on frequently asked elder law questions such as “What happens if I outlive my money?”, “Can ‘they’ take my house?”, “How can I protect and preserve my assets for my children?” In addition to her estates practice, Susan has extensive expertise in municipal law, land use, zoning and real estate matters, and she utilizes her background in contracts, regulations, compliance, negotiations and committee and board interaction to assist her clients in analyzing and implementing their estate and long term care plans.  Susan received her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Illinois.

Practice Areas

  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Law
  • Trusts
  • Guardianships
  • Estate Administration

Education

  • University of Illinois, School of Law (J.D. 1988)
  • University of Illinois (B.S. 1985)

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • Illinois

Speeches/Publications

  • “Medicaid Asset Transfer Rules and Techniques” – National Business Institute, March 16, 2018
  • “Advanced Directive, DNR” – POLST – Gwynedd Nursing Center Admin., October 2, 2017
  • “How Large Should Your Nest Egg Be to Allow for Comfortable Retirement?” – The Reserves at Gwynedd, September 25, 2017
  • “Taking Medicaid Planning into Consideration When Creating Wills and Trusts” – National Business Institute, August 29, 2017
  • “Protecting Assets While Qualifying for Medicaid” – National Business Institute, June 13, 2017
  • “What is a Power of Attorney? and why everyone needs one.” – Merck Union Retirees Meeting, May 31, 2017
  • “What’s Your Will? It is up to you to make choices” – The Reserves at Gwynedd, February 15, 2017
  • “What’s Your Will? It is up to you to make choices” – Meadowoods, February 9, 2017
  • The Montgomery County Elder Law Handbook (2017), Co-editor
  • “Agent vs. Guardian – What is the difference?” Firm Blog, December 29, 2016
  • “What’s Your Will? It is up to you to make choices” – Merck Union Retirees Meeting, September 28, 2016
  • Laboratory Testing Employee Fair, September 2016
  • “Estate Planning, You and Your Family” – NFL Players Conference Weekend, Atlantic City, NJ, June 28, 2016
  • Merck Union Employee Fair, June 23, 2016
  • “Economics of Ensuring an Inheritance for Your Children While Planning for Possible Skilled Nursing Care” – The Reserves at Gwynedd, June 15, 2016
  • “Economics of Reducing Inheritance Taxes; What You and Your Heirs Should Know to Plan Accordingly” – Meadowood, May 12, 2016 and Merck Union Retirees Meeting, May 25, 2016
  • Upper Merion Township Senior Center 55+, Wellness Expo, May 2016
  • “Insights for Parent Care Conversation and Your Own Future Well-Being” – Panel discussion with The Dunn Group, April 29, 2016
  • “What is a Power of Attorney? And do I Need One?” Firm Blog, April 18, 2016
  • “Elder Law Matters – Basic Planning” – Meadowood, January 2016
  • “Estate Planning for the Family Vacation Home; Avoiding World War III” – The Reserves at Gwynedd, January 2016
  • “Staying at Home – Caregiver Agreements, Home Healthcare and Reverse Mortgages” – Merck Union Retirees’ meeting, November 2015
  • “Elder Law Matters – Basic Planning” – Mother of Divine Providence Parish, October 2015
  • Laboratory Testing employee fair, October 2015
  • “Estate and Elder Law Planning” – 740 AM WVCH radio interview, August 2015
  • “A, B, C’s of Medicare and Social Security Options and Strategies” – The Reserves at Gwynedd, June 2015
  • Upper Merion Township Senior Center 55+ Wellness Expo, May 2015
  • “Estate Planning, You and Your Family” – Potential NFL Drafts and current NFL players, April 2015
  • Elder Law Informational Clinic; Esperanza Health Clinic / Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia, February, 2015
  • “Planning for Medicaid” – Merck Union retirees’ meeting, February, 2015
  • Merck Union employee fair, October 2014
  • Laboratory Testing employee fair, October, 2014
  • Estate Planning Clinic facilitator, Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia, September, 2014
  • Estate Planning CLE Presenter, Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia, September, 2014
  • “Small Business Succession Planning” – Newtown LeTip Business Networking Group, September, 2014
  • “Estate Planning, You and Your Family” – NFL players conference weekend, Atlantic City, NJ, June 2014
  • “Reducing Inheritance Taxes – what you and your heirs should known to plan accordingly” – Merck Union retirees’ meeting, June 2014
  • “Estate Planning, Pre-nups, Marriage, Contracts to make Mutual Wills and Divorce” – Newtown LeTip Business Networking Group, June 2014
  • Bucks County Senior Fair, Neshaminy Mall, June 2014
  • “Reducing Inheritance Taxes – what you and your heirs should know to plan accordingly” – The Reserves at Gwynedd, June 2014
  • “Employee Handbooks and Policies for Business Owners – avoiding liability and securing indemnification” – Newtown LeTip Business Networking Group, May 2014
  • “Traffic and Minor Criminal Matters” – Newtown LeTip Business Networking Group, April 2014
  • “Estate Planning Basics for Individuals and Small Business Owners” – MileStone Bank Managers meeting, April 2014
  • “Reducing Inheritance Taxes – what you and your heirs should know to plan accordingly” – Newtown LeTip Business Networking Group, March 2014
  • “Small Business Owner Estate Planning Fire Drill” – Newtown LeTip Business Networking Group, February 2014
  • Can THEY take my home?” article regarding Medicaid planning and estate recovery
  • “Have you had the “talk” with your parents?” – HRMM&L support staff, February 2014
  • “Estate Planning Basics (Wills, Financial and Medical Powers of Attorney)” – Merck Union retirees’ meeting, January 2014
  • Merck Union employee fair, December 2013
  • “Estate Planning Basics” – Newtown LeTip Business Networking Group, November, 2013
  • “Estate Planning of the Rich and Famous – The Good, the Bad and the Ugly – a launch into complex estate planning matters,” The Reserve at Gwynedd, October 14, 2013
  • Estate Planning Clinic facilitator, Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia, September 21, 2013
  • Estate Planning CLE Presenter, Christian Legal Clinics of Philadelphia, September 17, 2013
  • “How to Grow Your Money Now and Minimize Inheritance Taxes Later,” The Reserve at Gwynedd, September 16, 2013
  • To Trust or Not to Trust?Sourcebook, Guide to Retirement Living – Delaware Valley – Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Spring/Summer 2013, at 114
  • Panel member, Estate Planning, ACTS community of Springhouse Estates, April 2013
  • How to Protect Your Assets – elect non-crisis planning for you and your loved oneSourcebook, Guide to Retirement Living – Delaware Valley – Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, Winter 2012/13 at 176.
  • “Don’t be a Joe or Helen!” Today’s Caregiver Magazine, January/February 2013 issue
  • Don’t be a Joe or Helen! Protect Your Assets and Wishes Now! Elect Non-crisis planning for you or your loved one.” May 2012
  • Sixty+ Series at the Wrightstown Township Community Center, Bucks County, Monthly presenter, October 2010 – March 2011
  • “Elder Law – An Overview” presented to the families of the skilled nursing home residents and Newtown residents generally at Pickering Manor, February 2011
  • Created informational power point lecture series entitled “Sixty+ Series” focusing on Elder Law topics of “Social Security – Facts, Myths & Strategies”; “Planning for the Cost of Long Term Care”; “Essential Documents of Life Planning”; “Medicare Overview and Changes in 2011”, “Medicaid Basics” and “Reverse Mortgages”
  • “Elder Law Basics”, a presentation to the Stephen Ministries Group of Grace Point, October 2010
  • “Long Term Care Insurance and Annuities”, A Talk to Financial Planners in Bucks and Montgomery Counties, September 2010

Professional and Civic Memberships

  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Montgomery Bar Association
    • Elder Law Committee
  • The Mayflower Society
  • The Daughters of the American Revolution

Honors and Awards

  • Listed as “Awesome Attorney” for Elder Law, Suburban Life Magazine, 2012

Personal Interests

Susan has always been active in giving back to communities through her leadership and activities as a Child Ambassador for World Vision, a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty; through her church mission efforts in the Montgomery County and Camden areas and as far away as Haiti.

Susan has three adult children. She enjoys time with them, traveling, baking, and photography. She is also an avid perennial flower gardener.

  • Negotiated an Escrow Agreement to permit entrance of an elderly client to the skilled nursing facility of her family’s choice after her entrance application had been denied due to liquidity and uncertainty of funds, her geographic residence and that of her power of attorney at the time the application was made. The facility would not accept the family’s promise to pay for care in light of the unknown time it might take to sell the out-of-state residence which was to be utilized to pay for the client’s care. The Agreement provided for funding of an escrow account by a family member from which draws could be made to pay for cost of care while the out-of-state residence was being sold.  The Agreement and escrow assured funding of care but did not add additional assets to the client that would need to be spend down in the future should Medicaid be needed to pay for care once the assets of the home sale had been depleted.
  • Prepared Caregiver Agreement for client delineating specific role, responsibilities and obligations of adult child as caregiver and documenting legal payment to adult child for copious time given to care of mother.  The Agreement allowed for a transfer of funds from the mother which would not be categorizes as an ineligible transfer of funds for Medicaid purposes, and which would provide the adult child with a means to receive an income for the care being given.
  • Served as Solicitor for several Townships and Zoning Hearing Boards, overseeing quasi judicial municipal land use public hearings, authored multiple municipal zoning decisions.
  • Responsible for negotiations of municipal multi million dollars land development and subdivision financial security agreements, conservation management easements and land use restriction declarations.
  • Facilitated tax anticipation borrowing loans and municipal borrowing for municipal open space purchases.

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