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E. David Margolis

E. David Margolis

Of Counsel

Pittsburgh, PA
Miami, FL

How David Helps Clients

David Margolis’ work focuses on planning and litigation related to estate, trust and other personal wealth matters. Also, his work includes a significant consulting practice dealing with the legal, financial and tax issues associated with substantial personal injury recoveries. David’s planning practice is holistic, addressing the full spectrum of a client’s wealth-related issues. His litigation work has been in the Pennsylvania Orphans’ Court (where estate and trust matters are adjudicated), where he has principally represented corporate and individual fiduciaries.

Martindale-Hubbell honored David with an AV® Preeminent distinction, the highest available mark for professional excellence from the company's Peer Review Ratings. Since 2009, David has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in Trusts and Estates. David is an elected Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.

What Clients Can Expect

David believes it is important to get to know his clients in order to understand the full range of their concerns and help them think about and attain long-range objectives. He believes that wealth matters are about more than money and taxes; they profoundly affect how people live their lives and the values they hold and pass on. In litigation matters, focus, diligence and unflappability are hallmarks of his work. David prides himself on his availability and responsiveness to clients.

Outside the Office

Born and raised in Uniontown, Pa., David is married with four children. He now lives in Raleigh, N.C., from which he travels to the firm’s offices, mainly in Pittsburgh and Florida. Away from his work, his time is mostly spent in family activities and reading related to wealth matters. Formerly a licensed airplane pilot, he would like to get back to flying one day.

Wealth planning, at its best, can’t be done piecemeal; it needs to be a coordinated, integrated exercise.

Proof Points

  • Structured an eight-figure wealth transfer which included the utilization of charitable lead annuity trusts, a private foundation, successor trusts not exposed to generation skipping transfer tax, and the funding of, and sales to, intentionally defective trusts. Successfully defended the transactions against an IRS audit.
  • Created an estate plan with private foundation for a remarkable blind woman, which foundation now funds scholarships and technological assistance for sight impaired students at a university.
  • Drafted more than 100 settlement trusts, including special needs trusts, related to the resolution of significant tort cases.
  • Representing a foundation, litigated a case determining the placement of the archives of a famous industrialist and his family.
  • Defended the trustees of related, substantial trusts against the claims of beneficiaries at trial and on appeal.