Deirdre R. Wheatley-Liss

Wheatley-Liss, Deirdre

Principal Morristown, NJ/New York, NY

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Deirdre R. Wheatley-Liss divides her practice between representation of business owners and their businesses, counselling individuals and families, and advising non-profit entities.

Business Owners and Business Representation

Ms. Wheatley-Liss counsels business owners on legal and structural issues related to start-up, financing, growth and exit strategy.  As a tax attorney, she always keeps an eye on minimizing a business owner's "silent partner" – the IRS. She also advises on director and officer (D&O) liability issues, including business succession and break-ups. By creating the most efficient organizational structures and contractual arrangements during the infancy and growth of a business she has helped clients keep hundreds of thousands of dollars in their pockets upon the sale of the mature business.

To educate both the public and the legal community about issues relating to business ownerships, Ms. Wheatley-Liss is a frequent lecturer to professionals and the public on topics related to start-up, intellectual property, employee and independent contractor issues, wealth transfer, tax minimization, business succession planning and cybersecurity.

Data Privacy and Cybersecurity

Ms. Wheatley-Liss helps organizations to meet regulatory requirements by assessing current data privacy and cybersecurity policies against best practice frameworks.  Deirdre provides counseling pertaining to policies and pre-incident planning, in order to minimize loss in the case of a potential breach.  She is a frequent lecturer on best practices and corporate governance as related to privilege and cybersecurity.  

Individual and Family Representation

The core of Ms. Wheatley-Liss' practice is protecting the wealth her clients have earned and created over a lifetime – from taxes, long-term care costs, ill-equipped beneficiaries, divorce, lawsuits and mis-management by others.  To do this she focuses on educating clients about how to make the legal system work to help them meet their goals and then carry out that plan.  This may include creating wills and trusts, tax planning, advising an executor of an estate, representing a beneficiary in a disputed estate, crafting a long-term care asset protection plan, elder law counseling, special needs planning or guardianships.

Ms. Wheatley-Liss devotes time to educating the public and professional communities as well.   She is an in-demand speaker on estate planning, elder law and special needs planning.  She has blogged at New Jersey Estate Planning & Elder Law Blog, a leading commentary on developments in tax law, estate planning, estate administration, elder law and business law.  Ms. Wheatley-Liss is the author of the published book "Plan Your Own Estate" and is working on a second book about Elder Law and Asset Protection Planning.

Non-Profit Representation

Non-profit entities, whether educational institutions, community groups or family foundations, have unique needs and must meet stringent tax rules to maintain their non-profit status.  Ms. Wheatley-Liss counsels these clients to educate them about those rules, develop strategies and best practices to meet their charitable goals, assist with tax filings and advocate before the IRS and tax authorities. 

Education and Community Involvement

Ms. Wheatley-Liss' continuous pursuit of knowledge distinguishes her from other practitioners in her fields. She has an LL.M in Taxation, an advanced legal degree. She is also accredited as a Certified Elder Law Attorney, by the American Bar Association approved National Elder Law Foundation, one of fewer than 100 attorneys in New Jersey with this credential. She hones her knowledge through continuous legal and business education to share "best practice" strategies with her clients.

Ms. Wheatley-Liss is active in the local business community as a member of the Board of Directors of the Morris County Chamber of Commerce, chair at the Morris Members Council, advisor to the Women in Business Committee and Board Member of Business Owners Exchange.  She serves on the Estate Planning Council of Northern New Jersey, Co-Chairs the Tax, Trust, Estate and Elder Law Committee of the Morris County Bar Association and is Vice-Chair of the Tax Steering Committee of the National Association of Elder Law Attorneys.  She acts as a legal advisor to several local non-profit organizations created to support various populations in New York and New Jersey.

Prior Relevant Experience
  • Prudential Financial, Business Consultant-Estate Planning, Business Planning and Retirement Planning
Honors and Awards

No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. 

  • "Top Lawyers," Elder Law; Morris/Essex Health & Life Magazine, 2021.
    A description of the selection process can be found here.
  • Tri-County Scholarship Fund - Women of Achievement Award - 2014, 2015.
    For more information, click here
  • Boy Scouts of America 2011 Tribute to Women
  • Recognized on New Jersey Super Lawyers Rising Stars List - 2009, 2010.
    A description of the selection process can be found here.
  • NJ BIZ Top 50 Women in Business - 2009.
    A description of the selection process can be found here.
  • NJ BIZ Top Forty under 40 – 2008.
    A description of the selection process can be found here.
  • Estate Planning Council of Northern New Jersey - Board of Directors, Immediate Past President
  • New Jersey State Bar Association 
  • New York Bar Association
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) - Board of Directors - NJ Chapter
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) - Chair, Tax Section Steering Committee
  • Elder Law Committee of the Morris County Bar Association - Co-Chair
  • Morris County Bar Association
  • Morris County Chamber of Commerce - Women in Business
  • Morris County Chamber of Commerce – Vice - Chair, Board of Directors







Speaking Engagements
  • "Medicaid 201: Planning for Long Term Care Costs," Porzio Webinar, April 9, 2021. 
  • "Medicaid 101: When You Need Long Term Care," Porzio Webinar, March 12, 2021.
  • "When You Are Suddenly Alone – The First Year Following Change," Porzio Webinar, February 12, 2021. 
  • "Clutter Clearance and Financial Housekeeping  – Supporting Wellbeing and Aging in Place," Porzio Webinar, January 8, 2021.  
  • "Memory Issues in Aging – Medical and Legal Perspectives," Porzio Webinar, December 11, 2020. 
  • "Planning for Parents of Gen Z" Porzio Webinar, November 13, 2020.
  • Speaker, “CEOs, Wives, Mothers, Daughters: Legal Planning for Our Roles in Life,” New Jersey Business Association’s Women Business Leaders Council, October 23, 2020. 
  • "Medicare 101: Maximizing Your or Your Loved One's Health Care in Retirement?" Porzio Webinar, October 9, 2020.
  • "Protecting your Assets, Wealth Planning and Charitable Giving," Webinar, Montclair State University, September 16, 2020. 
  • "What does a Trustee REALLY do?" Porzio Webinar, September 11, 2020.
  • "Supporting An Aging Loved One – The Intersection of Elder Care and Elder Law", Porzio Webinar, August 14, 2020.
  • "Graying Marriage and Divorce: Special Considerations for Marriage and Divorce Over 60", Porzio Webinar, July 10th, 2020.
  • "Will Drafting Fundamentals", NJICLE webcast, April 29th, 2020.
  • "New Jersey Employer Action Guide," Morris County Chamber Of Commerce Webinar, April 14, 2020.
  • "GDPR and Ethical Considerations Related to Privacy," Ethics & Eggs, Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C., Morristown, NJ, November 22, 2019.
  • "Best Practices in Managing Vendor Access to Confidential Data," Porzio Employment Law Forum, Morristown, NJ, October 3, 2018.
  • "Estate Planning for Unusual Assets," and "Multi-Jurisdiction Estate Planning," NJICLE, Summer CLEfest- Tax & Estate Planning Track, Atlantic City, NJ, August 10, 2018.
  • "Hot Topics: Sexual Harassment in the Workplace," NJCPA, Webinar, July 12, 2018.
  • "Sexual Harassment," Morris County Chamber of Commerce Not For Profit Roundtable, Florham Park, NJ, June 21, 2018. 
  • "Data Privacy & CyberSecurity: Practical Steps to Protect Your School," New Jersey Association of School Administrators, Monroe Township, NJ, May 23, 2018. 
  • "A Lifetime of Support: Planning for a Family Member Who Has Special Needs," Randolph Township Library, Randolph, NJ, February 6, 2018. 
  • "Data Privacy & CyberSecurity: Practical Steps to Protect Your School," New Jersey Association of School Administrators' TECHSPO '18, Atlantic City, NJ, January 25, 2018.
  • "Privacy and Cybersecurity - 5 Steps to Get Started," Ethics & Eggs, Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, P.C., Morristown, NJ, December 1, 2017.
  • "Digital Assets are Assets - Planning Under the New Law for Social Media, Streaming Music, Website and More," NJCPA Bergen Chapter, Saddle Brook, NJ, November 16, 2017.
  • "New Employment Regs," NJCPA Bergen and Hudson Chapters' Annual Tax Seminar, Saddle Brook, NJ, November 4, 2017. 
  • "Playbook for Addressing a Data Breach," CBI Data Privacy Summit for Life Sciences, Philadelphia, PA, October 30, 2017.
  • "Cybersecurity Best Practices," International Association of Insurance Professionals, Galloway, NJ, October 27, 2017. 
  • "The Non-Profit Board," NJBIA's 2017 Women Business Leaders Forum: Unlocking the C-Suite, Somerset, NJ, September 15, 2017. 
  • "Legal and Financial Planning In Dementia Care: What You Need to Know," Alzheimer's New Jersey Caregiver Conference, Rockaway, NJ, July, 29, 2017.
  • Privacy - An Overview of Life Science Company Basics from a U.S. and Global Perspective, "Cyber security Risk Assessment," Porzio, Bromberg & Newman CLE Presentation, Helsinn Therapeutics, Iselin, NJ, July 11, 2017.
  • "Exit Planning," Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, Morristown, NJ, June 2, 2017.
  • "Best Practices for Mentors and Mentees," Executive Women's Leadership Breakfast, Livingston, NJ, May 11, 2017.
  • "Managing Strategic Partnerships/Joint Ventures," Business Owners Symposium Series Morristown, NJ, April 7, 2017.
  • "Estate Planning for Unusual Assets," Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, Morristown, NJ, February 7, 2017.
  • "Advanced Trial Tactics," National Business Institute Seminar, Toms River, NJ, December 20, 2016.
  • "Let's Write a Will: 2016 Update," NJICLE Seminar, Basking Ridge, NJ, December 19, 2016.
  • "Critical Contracts for Your Organization," ASAH Business Managers Workshop, Edison, NJ, December 15, 2016. 
  • "Panel II: Best Practices, Breach Response and Compliance," NJICLE 2016 Cyber Security Conference, Fairfield, NJ, December 12, 2016.
  • "Let's Write a Will: 2016 Update," NJICLE Seminar, Monroe Township, NJ, December 12, 2016.
  • "Social Security and Elder Law Taxation," NJCPA Essex Chapter Seminar, East Hanover, NJ, December 9, 2016.
  • "Creating Fair Labor Standard Act (FSLA) Compliance Strategies That Work," National Business Institute, Newark, NJ, December 7, 2016.
  • "New Jersey Estate Planning /Basic New Jersey Estate Administration," WithumSmith+Brown, New York, NY, November 22, 2016.
  • "New Employment Regs," NJCPA Bergen Chapter Annual Tax Seminar, Paramus, NJ, November 19, 2016.
  • Moderator, "Advanced Estate Planning in 2017 & Beyond," NJICLE Seminar, West Orange, NJ, November 17, 2016.
  • "A Lawyer's Guide to Estate Planning," NJICLE Seminar, West Orange, NJ, November 17, 2016. 
  • "Grave Matters: 2016 Advanced Estate Planning," NJCLE Seminar, Vorhees, NJ, November 16, 2016.
  • "Cyber Security For Employers: Not A Question Of If, But When," Porzio Employment Law Forum, Morristown, NJ, November 15, 2016.
  • "Social Media: Part Two - What Happens When You No Longer 'Like' Your Employees," Business Owners Symposium Series, Morristown, NJ, October 21, 2016.
  • "Elder Law Issues in Divorce," New Jersey Collaborative Law Group, Basking Ridge, NJ, October 18, 2016.
  • "Estate Planning for Digital Assets," Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, Morristown, NJ, October 4, 2016. 
  • "Special Needs Trusts," Society of Financial Service Professionals Conference, Livingston, NJ, September 29, 2016.
  • "So What Would You Do If..." Believe Inspire Grow Seminar, Bernardsville, NJ, September 20, 2016.
  • "The Financial and Legal Cost of a Data Breach," New York Law Journal In-House Counsel CLE program, New York City, September 20, 2016.
  • "Elder Care Issues," Mercer Chapter of the New Jersey Society of Certified Public Accountants, West Windsor, NJ, September 2, 2016.
  • "Cyber Liability," Business Owners Symposium Series, Morristown, NJ, August 19, 2016. 
  • "Social Media Legal Issues for Owners - Take off Your Marketing Hat and Put on Your Owner Hat," Business Owners Symposium Series, Morristown, NJ, June 17, 2016.
  • "Best Practices, Breach Response and Compliance," NJICLE Cyber Security Conference, New Brunswick, NJ, June 14, 2016.
  • "The Probate Process From Start to Finish," National Business Institute CLE program, Saddle Brook, NJ, May 18, 2016.
  • "Tax Basis Planning in Elder Law," National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, Tax Section Town Hall webinar, May 17, 2016.
  • "Dollars Making Sense: Current Issues, Trends and Approaches for Long Range Care Planning," Aging Life Care Association webinar, May 17, 2016.
  • "Do NOW: Things you need to do for a faster, smoother, and more lucrative transition whether you are looking to buy, sell or grow," Profit Point Consulting webinar, March 21, 2016.
  • "Planning for Adult Special Needs Children," Estate Planning Council of Northern New Jersey, Morristown, NJ, March 9, 2016.
  • "Planning for the Year After Death," Financial Planners Association of New Jersey, Florham Park, NJ, February 18, 2016.
  • "End of Year Tax Planning," CPE Seminar, Morristown, NJ, November 23, 2015.
  • "A Lawyer's Guide to New Jersey Estate Planning," NJICLE Seminar, West Orange, NJ, November 20, 2015.
  • "Cyber Security," CPE Seminar, East Brunswick, NJ, November 19, 2015.
  • "How to put the "Independent" in Independent Contractor Status," Bergen Chapter NJCPA Annual Tax Seminar, Paramus, NJ, November 14, 2015.
  • "Risk Assessment – Corporate and Tax Compliance to Maintain Your Non-Profit Business: Failure to Comply Can Put You Out of Business," ASAH's 38th Annual Conference, Atlantic City, NJ, November 13, 2015.
  • "Estate Administration - From Tax to Trial," CPE Seminar, Morristown, NJ, October 27, 2015.
  • "Elder Law 2015 Update," CPE Seminar, Somerset, NJ, October 26, 2015.
  • "If, When and How Should We Create a Special Needs Trust as Part of Settlement or Case Resolution Planning," Morris County Bar Association Seminar, Morristown, NJ, October 21, 2015.
  • "Estate Administration - From Tax to Trial," CPE Seminar, Maywood, NJ, September 29, 2015.
  • "Elder Care Tax Planning and Technical Update," CPE Seminar, Mt. Olive, NJ, September 22, 2015.
  • "Cyber Security," The New Jersey Law Journal's In-House Counsel CLE program, Florham Park, NJ, September 15, 2015.
  • "Current Trends Employment Law Issues and Tax - 2015," CPE Seminar, Paramus, NJ, July 27, 2015.
  • "Intellectual Property Identification, Protection and Taxation," CPE Seminar, Somerset, NJ, July 22, 2015.
  • "Income Tax Planning is the New Estate Planning," CPE Seminar, Ridgewood, NJ, July 13, 2015.
  • "Shaping Your Family's Future with Estate Planning, Wills, Trusts Plus Other Tools," Estate and Planned Giving Seminar, Montclair State University, June 17, 2015.
  • "Current Trends Employment Law Issues and Tax – 2015 Update," Wall Township, NJ, May 20, 2015.
  • "Intellectual Property – Hot Topics and Tax Issues in Patent, Trademark and Copyright," Hamilton, NJ, May 18, 2015.
  • "What Your Lawyer Wishes That You Knew," The Alternative Board NJ, Pine Brook, NJ, April 17, 2015.
  • "The Basics on Charter Schools and Tax," 7th Annual New Jersey Charter Schools Conference, Atlantic City, NJ, March 30, 2015.
  • "Good Morning, Morris! Breakfast with Carl Gould," Morris County Chamber of Commerce, Florham Park, NJ, February 13, 2015.
  • "Employment Law: Employers Guide to the Law and Taxes," CPE Seminar, East Brunswick, NJ, January 22, 2015.
  • "Current Trends and Approaches in Elder Care Law," CPE Seminar, Wall, NJ, October 28, 2014.
  • "Planned Giving, Charitable Remainder Trusts, and Strategies to Save Taxes While Earning Income," Trustees and Patrons of Hunterdon Art Museum, NJ, May 19, 2014, October 20, 2014.
  • "Current Issues, Trends and Approaches in Elder Law Taxation," CPE Program, Wall, NJ, October 18, 2014.
  • "Monetize your Ownership - Exiting is a Strategy," The Alternative Board, Randolph, NJ, October 10, 2014.
  • "Evaluating Your Estate Plan - 10 Questions to Ask," Bayer, Whippany, NJ September 23, 2014.
  • "Business Divorce – The Issues, The Drama, The Tax," Hamilton, NJ, November 18, 2014; Iselin, NJ, November 17, 2014 and Randolph, NJ, August 6, 2014.
  • "Failing to Make a Plan - Intestacy," Cohn Reznick, Roseland, NJ, July 24, 2014.
  • "M&A Transactions for Closely Held Businesses: Structure and Taxation," Kingston, NJ, June 17, 2014.
  • "The New Estate Planning - Toss Out the Old Playbook," National Conference of CPA's, Maywood, NJ, June 9, 2014.
  • "Navigating Business Bankruptcy," Morristown, NJ, May 19, 2014.
  • "Top 10 Questions to Ask About Your Estate Plan," Beacon Trust, Morristown, NJ, May 6, 2014.
  • "Elder Law Trends and Taxation," New Jersey Society of CPA's, Paterson, NJ, April 24, 2014.
  • "Using Trusts to Escape the State Tax Trap: DING’s, NING’s and Other Important Things," Financial Planning Association of NJ, Iselin, New Jersey, April 23, 2014.
  • "Business Infrastructure for the Restauranteur," International Culinary Center, New York, NY, March 19, 2014.
  • "Stepping Out of Your Comfort Zone," Morris County Chamber of Commerce (MCCC) Women in Business, Morristown, NJ, March 7, 2014.
  • "You've Worked Hard for Your Wealth - Protect It," Schwab Private Client Group, Morristown, NJ, February 24, 2014.
  • Moderator and Presenter, "Estate Planning Basics," New Jersey Institute for Continuing Legal Education, New Brunswick, NJ, February 15, 2014.
  • "Estate Planning is Dead – Basis Planning is the New Wealth Preservation Planning," Hamilton, NJ, Somerset, NJ, February 10-11, 2014.
  • "Trust Decanting - Income tax planning- Basis Step up Planning- Asset Protection Planning," Somerset, NJ, January 22, 2014.
  • "You Worked Hart for Your Assets - Protect Them," Robert Wood Johnson Medical Center, New Brunswick, NJ December 6, 2013.
  • "Learn How too Protect Your Assets - Asset Protection Planning" Franciscan Oaks, Denville, NJ, October 30, 2013.
  • "Elder Law Taxation," CPE Seminar, 1st Constitution Bank, Hamilton, NJ, July 31, 2013.
  • "Elder Care Law and Asset Protection," Porzio Bromberg & Newman, Morristown, NJ, July 24, 2013.
  • “Estate Planning and Trusts,” podcast by the Baron Financial Group, July 2013.
  • "Current Issues and Trends in Elder Law," Bergen County Section NJSCPA, June 10, 2013.
  • "Put Your Mind At Ease, Learn How To Protect Your Assets," Franciscan Oaks, May 30, 2013.
  • "Estate Planning, 3.8% Medicare Tax, Elder Law," Lakeland Bank, May 21, 2013.
  • "Guardianship: Safeguarding Children with Special Needs," The Calais School, Whippany, NJ, October 2012.
  • "10 Points to Test Your Business Infrastructure," The Alternative Board, Morristown, NJ, April 2012.
  • "Special Estate Plan for Special Needs Children," The Calais School, Whippany, NJ, July 2011.
  • "The Art of Public Speaking – 5 Reasons Why Speakers Miss Their Marks," Morris County Chamber of Commerce, Florham Park, NJ, March 2011.
  • "Social Media for Lawyers," New Jersey State Bar Association 12th Annual Elder Law Section Retreat, Cape May, NJ, June 2010.
  • "Estate Planning," Morris County Retirees Education Association, Inc., Mountain Lakes, NJ, March 2010.
  • "Long Term Care," Brokerage Northeast Seminar, Clark, NJ, October 2009.
  • "Make a Will Come to Life," NJICLE Will and Probate Seminar, Morristown, NJ, October 2009.
  • "New Jersey Will Drafting and Probate Practice," NJICLE Skills and Methods Course, Piscataway, NJ, January 2009.
  • "Estate Administration Basics," NJICLE Seminar, Whippany, NJ, May and September 2008.
  • "Let’s Write a Will!," NJICLE Seminar, Fairfield, NJ, May 2008.





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Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1997
  • New York, 1998


New York University, New York, NY, LL.M in Taxation, 2000

Boston College School of Law, Newton, MA, J.D., 1995

Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD, B.A., with Honors 1992


Contact Address

100 Southgate Parkway

Morristown, NJ 07962-1997

Phone: 973.538.4006

Fax: 973.538.5146