Barney is the founding member of the firm, hanging up his shingle over 42 years ago. Barney was born and raised on the upper west side of Manhattan. Barney graduated from Randolph-Macon College in 1966 and earned his law degree from Washington and Lee University, School of Law, in 1970.
Barney began his legal career in lower Manhattan, working on Wall Street at Coudert Brothers, a large corporate international firm. Barney quickly rose up the ranks to become the senior lawyer in charge of trusts, estates and private client services – with a concentration in wills, estates, trust administration and residential real estate. Several years into his legal career it became evident to Barney that the culture and billing practices of large corporate firms did not suit the needs or resources of many individual and family clients. At the behest of his own clients, in 1977 Barney founded his own firm and has been happily serving our clientele ever since.
Barney has devoted his entire legal career to trust and estate services, having successfully set up and administered hundreds of trusts and estates while closing just as many residential real estate transactions over that time. From day one Barney’s founding principle has been ‘the client comes first.’ This is a sentiment that Barney has carried throughout his long and distinguished legal career. Barney utilizes well-trained paralegals for many of the firm’s services, knowing this will produce a quality work product while also keeping costs down. In addition, Barney makes the estate planning process simple and easy to understand, opting for clarity and being concise and not upselling clients on unnecessary or overly-complex legal documents. No matter is too small, and each client receives the same level of care as the next one. As a result, many of Barney’s clients are ‘clients for life.’ This treatment and level of care has led to Barney providing legal services to multiple generations for many of the firm’s clients.
In recognition for his services, for more than 30 years Barney has been the recipient of the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Award, a peer-rated award for high professional achievement.
SENIOR PARALEGALPhyllis Monteleone
Phyllis is the most senior paralegal at BreedLaw and has been with the firm since 1987.
St. John’s University, Queens, NY
New Jersey Notary
Phyllis is the most senior paralegal at BreedLaw and has been with the firm since 1987. Over that time, Phyllis has developed a deep and sophisticated understanding of trust and estate laws as well as how to navigate and translate sometimes incomplete or ambiguous tax regulations. Phyllis oversees the administration of all trusts and estates, providing great attention to detail and care to ensure assets and debts are properly reported and paid and all potential contingencies are taken into account. Given the length of time many trusts are in existence, Phyllis routinely reviews its assets and coordinates with the wealth advisor to take advantage of opportunities to leverage long-term gains with losses or adjust the assets in any other tax-advantageous way.
As tax implications are an inevitable and necessary part of the administration process, Phyllis handles the preparation of all personal and fiduciary income as well as estate tax returns. Given her vast knowledge of reporting requirements, Phyllis ensures an estate or trust is not overly taxed and all future credits are preserved. Phyllis also coordinates required trust distributions to the beneficiaries and works with the beneficiaries should they require additional distributions. Being the longest-tenured member of the team, Phyllis also plays an active role in client management and offers a comforting level of trust and stability for our clients.
Phyllis was born in New York and currently lives in Mount Laurel, New Jersey where together with her husband, Joe, they raised two children.
SENIOR PARALEGALAssata Yaa-Asantewa
Assata is a senior paralegal at BreedLaw and has been with the firm since 1991.
New York Notary
Assata is a senior paralegal at BreedLaw and has been with the firm since 1991. Having been the initial point of contact for much of that time, Assata is a well-known and entrusted name to many of our clients. Assata’s primary areas of focus are New York City residential real estate transactions and New York Surrogate’s Court matters. Assata is intimately familiar with the mechanisms associated with closing on a New York city property – especially co-operative apartments and condominiums, which have their own unique requirements. Assata prepares and reviews all sale and transfer documents and coordinates with the realtors and managing agents to ensure a smooth closing. Assata also plays a critical part in the probate process, working hand-in-hand with the executor to make sure forms are filed in a timely manner, the applicable parties are notified and all assets are collected. Understanding the emotional strains which accompany the probate process, Assata often serves as the go-between the court, creditors and beneficiaries and the executor, so that the family member or friend in charge can properly grieve.
When not at the office, Assata enjoys volunteering her time working with homeless shelters and other charitable organizations.
Jenna is a paralegal at BreedLaw and has been with the firm since 2004.
Cabrini University, Radnor, PA
Jenna is a paralegal at BreedLaw and has been with the firm since 2004. Jenna is heavily involved in trust and estate account management as well as overseeing the firm’s bookkeeping services. Every trust and estate is unique and has its own distribution schedule and guidelines. Often there are interim and/or annual distributions throughout the life of the trust or estate, and distributions may be mandatory or discretionary. Jenna communicates with the trustee or executor and coordinates with financial advisors to ensure all distributions and commissions are paid to the proper recipient. Equally important, Jenna makes sure the language of the trust or will is followed and distributions are allocated properly between income and principal when applicable. As trust and estate accounts must be administered with the highest level of care, Jenna meticulously reviews and tracks those accounts and provides quarterly and annual reports to clients summarizing all pertinent activity. Given her familiarity with the assets of the trust or estate, Jenna also helps with the initial preparation of fiduciary tax returns.
Jenna’s other primary role is to manage the firm’s bookkeeping services. Jenna meets with the client, collects all relevant financial information, tracks which bills and debts are due and when and puts a plan in place to ensure timely receipt of all income sources and payment of all expenses on a monthly basis. Jenna provides piece of mind by keeping the client in the loop and continually checking in to ensure they understand their financial circumstances.
Jenna lives in Pennsylvania with her husband, son and their yellow lab. In her spare time, Jenna volunteers her time at her son’s school as well as other causes that are important to her. Jenna also enjoys spending time with her friends and family and spending time down the shore.
Nadine is a paralegal at BreedLaw and has been with the firm since 2010.
West Chester University, West Chester, PA
Nadine is a paralegal at BreedLaw and has been with the firm since 2010. Nadine’s main area of focus is in providing trust and estate administration support. Often the estate or trust is comprised of different types of assets which are scattered at various institutions. Recognizing this may make it difficult to determine how the trust or estate is performing, Nadine simplifies the administration process by collecting and compiling this information in easy to understand all-in-one reports. This requires Nadine to regularly interact with financial advisors and manually track investment performance. In preparing her reports, Nadine separates quarterly versus annual performance and provides a cash flow summary which projects a future income stream based on numerous variables as well as current (or anticipated) usage. Wanting to ensure the client is always in the loop and understands how the trust or estate is being managed, Nadine routinely communicates with executors and trustees and answers any questions they may have about asset performance and what to expect going forward. In addition to her routine trust and administration work, Nadine assists in preparation of the client’s fiduciary tax returns.
Nadine is also head of new business development. Her degree in marketing serves our company well for planning and overseeing new marketing initiatives. She works diligently to research individuals and organizations to find new opportunities with whom to build long term relationships while continuing to nurture existing clients.
Nadine lives in Berwyn and is happily married to her husband, Kevin. Together they have three children. Nadine is passionate about cooking, racquet sports and exercise.
OFFICE ASSISTANTLekisha Thomas
Lekisha is an office assistant at BreedLaw, having joined the firm in 2019.
Lekisha is an office assistant at BreedLaw, having joined the firm in 2019. Lekisha is vital to the firm’s estate administration practice and helps in the preparation and filing of petitions and other court documents with the Surrogate’s Court. Lekisha also performs many behind-the-scenes functions essential to the firm’s operation, including: client banking and bill pay services and tracking disbursements, communicating with vendors, ordering office supplies, maintaining the office ledger and keeping track of the firm’s safe deposit box and its contents.
New York, NY Office
Breed & Associates
1345 6th Avenue
New York, NY 10105
Wayne, PA Office
Breed & Associates
11 West Avenue
Wayne, PA 19087
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