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Karen A. Fahrner

Phone: 610-940-4196
Email: kfahrner@htts.com
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Kim’s practice concentrates on all aspects of the trusts and estates field. Prior to joining Heckscher, Teillon, Terrill and Sager, she served as in-house Senior Counsel for a major Philadelphia financial institution and previously held high-level executive positions with a Philadelphia area trust company, serving as President of its Delaware Trust Company subsidiary and CEO of its multi-family office as well as Chief Operating Officer and Chief Fiduciary Officer for its Wealth Division. Kim was a partner at a Philadelphia law firm before joining the trust company.

A Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estates Counsel, Kim serves as a member of its Digital Asset Committee and has lectured extensively on estate planning and administration aspects of digital assets. Kim also serves, by legislative appointment, as a member of the Decedents’ Estates Laws Advisory Committee of the Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission, where she chaired its committee on Digital Assets and served on various other legislative sub-committees recommending and drafting legislation for consideration by the PA General Assembly in the field of trust and estates. Kim also provided guidance on proposed Pennsylvania legislation regarding financial elder abuse, and offered course planning for members of the bar.

Kim is a co-author of Bregy on Selected Provisions of the Pennsylvania Probate, Estates and Fiduciaries Code, (Bisel 2016 and 2020 ed.), an important treatise on trust and estate law in Pennsylvania covering over 60 years of statutory and case law in the field.

Among her professional activities, Kim served as President of the Philadelphia Estate Planning Council, where she originated and served as the moderator and planner of the popular “Roundtable” Luncheons for the Council and received the President’s Meritorious Service Award. A past member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute, Kim designed trust and estate education programs for attorneys. In addition, Kim also served for over 10 years as a faculty member of a business training organization - the Central Atlantic School of Trust for Bankers.

Kim has been devoted to pro bono activities, providing volunteer services in various areas including the Pennsylvania Innocence Project, Wills for Heroes, and the Senior Care Center.


  • New York University School of Law, LL.M. in Taxation (1987)
  • Temple University Beasley School of Law, J.D.(1978)
  • University of Miami, cum laude (1972)


  • Pennsylvania (1978)
  • Florida (1979)


  • Author: Bregy on Selected Sections of the Pa. Probate Estates & Fiduciaries Code, George T. Bisel Co. (1991, 1993, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2007, 2013, 2016, 2020), ed. Fahrner, Rouh, Woodward, (treatise on Pennsylvania law of estates, wills, trust).
  • DE Sussex County Estate Planning Council Conference 2011: panelist on trust and estate issues. DE Trust Conference 2013: panelist on Financial Action Task Force matters directed to lawyers. NC Estate Planning Conference 2013: speaker regarding Life Cycle of an Estate Plan.
  • PA Bar Institute/PA Bankers Association: Faculty/Course Planner.
  • PA Bankers’ Association, Central Atlantic School of Trust: Past Faculty (ethics; investment responsibility).
  • Philadelphia Estate Planning Council: Past President (largest council of wealth professionals in the country); creator and past moderator/planner of monthly Round Tables.
  • PA Bar Institute: Past Board Member (teaching arm of PA Bar Association).
  • PA Bar Institute Advisory Committee: Past Chair (designing and implementing trust, estate, tax courses).
  • Philadelphia Bar Association: Chair of Technology Committee, Probate Section; Past Chair of Task Force on Dispute Resolutions; for its Probate Section Newsletter: authored articles on Guardianship provisions and on Virtual Representation.
  • Panelist for Other Professional Associations: highlights include: Trust Situs; Non-judicial Settlement Agreements; Drafting Trusts and Wills; PA Uniform Trust Act; Rules of Procedure and Ethics for Special Needs Clients.


  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Bar Association
  • Montgomery Bar Association
  • Philadelphia Estate Planning Council


  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estates Counsel, Elected 1995
    • Member, Digital Property Committee
      • Chair, Program Committee (2019 - present)
    • Member, Financial Action Task Force Committee
    • Member, Business Planning Committee
    • Former Member, States Laws Committee
  • Pennsylvania Joint State Government Commission’s Advisory Committee on Decedents’ Estates Laws
    • Former Chair, Digital Assets sub-committee
    • Former Member of Decanting and Directed Trusts sub-committees
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Accredited Estate Planner (AEP), National Association of Estate Planners
  • Woman of the Year, 2006, Philadelphia Business Journal