Fox Rothschild LLP

Fox Rothschild LLP

Michael C. McBratnie


Exton, PA


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Chair of the firm's Taxation & Wealth Planning Department, Michael’s practice involves a broad range of taxation and wealth planning matters including family business and succession planning, federal estate and gift tax planning, trust and estate law and administration and probate litigation.

Family Business and Succession Planning
Michael advises owners of family and privately held businesses on sophisticated matters and transactions including succession, business planning and asset protection. He helps identify and resolve sensitive intergenerational issues and conflicts that many closely held businesses confront. Michael advises clients on how to form a comprehensive tax and estate planning strategy that focuses on providing for continuity for a multigenerational family business while reducing the income, federal and state tax costs associated with making donative or other transfers during life or death.

Federal Estate and Gift Tax Planning
Michael works closely with his clients and their advisors to help them re-evaluate their estate plans in light of the window of opportunity created by the Tax Relief Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010. Michael provides a full spectrum of services in this area including:

  • Individualized and sophisticated planning techniques for domestic and international estates, taking into account all applicable federal, state and international death tax exemptions
  • Tax-reduction tactics to minimize taxes and protect beneficiaries
  • Tax savings through advise on income, gift, generation-skipping and death taxes
  • Sophisticated trusts, including Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATs), Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs), perpetuity and family dynasty trusts
  • Long-term gift plans and strategies to protect lifetime financial security and minimize the tax impact upon the next generation
  • Charitable gifting to reduce tax liabilities

Trust and Estate Law & Administration
Michael prepares estate planning documents such as wills, trusts (including special and supplemental needs trusts), powers of attorney and medical directives and helps clients develop estate plans designed to preserve assets and minimize transfer taxes associated with the transfer of wealth to subsequent generations, including generation- skipping transfer (GST) tax planning and the use of exemptions. Michael also handles the administration of decendents’ estates and trusts.

Probate and Trust Law Litigation
Michael represents beneficiaries and fiduciaries in complex controversies related to the management and distribution of estates, trusts and guardianships.

Before Fox Rothschild

Michael was a Tax Supervisor at PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLP, in Philadelphia.

Beyond Fox Rothschild

Michael is a certified mediator for the American Arbitration Association Dispute Resolution Services Worldwide. He speaks frequently to professional, civic, and community groups on topics in estate planning, business succession planning, and wealth preservation. Michael previously served as secretary on the Board of Directors of Brandywine Health Foundation, which has made over $8.3 million in grants, contributions and scholarships designed to strengthen the safety net of healthcare providers serving those with little or no health insurance.

Honors and Awards

  • Included in the Main Line Today Top Lawyer list in the areas of Tax Law and Trusts, Wills and Estates (2007, 2011, 2013)
  • Included in a list of "Super Lawyers" by Philadelphia Magazine and Law & Politics Magazine (2006 through 2008)
  • Rated BV Distinguished™ by Martindale-Hubbell®
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Practice Areas
Business Succession Planning
Federal Estate and Gift Tax Planning
Probate and Trust Law Litigation
Taxation and Wealth Planning
Trust & Estate Law & Administration

Bar Admissions


New Jersey


LL.M. in Taxation, Temple University School of Law, 1988

J.D., Quinnipiac University School of Law, 1984

B.A. in Economics, Villanova University, 1981

Court Admissions

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Tax Court


Pennsylvania Bar Association, Tax Section

Chester County Estate Planning Council

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