Spring 2023

Become a member in one of NYSBA’s largest Sections and share insights as you help make ground breaking developments happen. Section members may submit questions for a Q&A column, and articles for publication in the Trusts and Estates Law Section Newsletter. Top-notch MCLE programs allow Section members to enjoy both social and substantive aspects of membership. Post practice-related questions or assist other members by participation in the member-only online Community Forum.  Join and take full advantage of opportunities to serve on committees, such as Estate Planning, Estate & Trust Administration, Surrogate’s Court or Charitable Planning. Work on projects such as technology for the trusts and estates practice, and ethical checklists for the trust and estates practitioner.

Contact the Trusts and Estates Law Section Liaison

To learn more about this Section, please contact Kate Tortora
[email protected]
(518) 487-5580

Please do not contact the Section liaison with a request for legal advice or an attorney referral. You can instead visit our ‘Public Resources’ or ‘Lawyer Referral Service’ page for this type of request.

Michael Schwarz

Michael S. Schwartz

Michael S. Schwartz advises high net worth individuals, fiduciaries and family offices on sophisticated private client matters involving trusts and estates, including tax and succession planning. His practice focuses on domestic and multijurisdictional estate planning for high net worth individuals, extending to all facets of estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax planning. Michael also assists clients with succession and governance planning in contemplation of the transition of assets from generation to generation. In addition, Michael advises fiduciaries and beneficiaries on all phases of estate and trust administration. He also has extensive experience with gift and estate tax audits. Michael is a leading voice in the field of trusts and estates. He has been a frequent speaker, author and contributor to publications on issues relating to trusts, estates and succession planning. He has been ranked as a leading private client lawyer in New York in Chambers HNW* since the inception of its rankings. In 2023, he was elected to serve as Chair of the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, where he has also served as Vice-Chair, Treasurer and Secretary. He was a former member of the Board of Directors of the Estate Planning Council of New York City, where he currently serves as Co-Chair of the International Estate Planning Committee. In addition, Michael is a Fellow of the prestigious American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Fordham University School of Law in New York City, teaching a class entitled Trusts and Estates Drafting, and is the co-author of the 14th edition of the Practicing Law Institute treatise entitled Stocker on Drawing Wills and Trusts, which is updated annually.

Online Community


Trusts and Estates Law Section Journal

The Trusts and Estates Law Section Journal features peer-written, substantive articles relating to the practice of trusts and estates law on various topics including estate planning, will drafting, tax issues, guardianship, power of attorney, and probates. Recent New York State Decisions, Case Notes—Recent New York State Surrogate’s and Supreme Court Decisions, and a Florida Update are featured in each issue. Edited by Nicholas G. Moneta, Esq., the Trusts and Estates Law Section Journal is published quarterly by the Trusts and Estates Law Section and distributed to Section Members free of charge.

The Trusts and Estates Law Section Journal encourages article submissions on topics of interest to members of the Section. Writing an article for a NYSBA Section publication is a great way to get your name out in the legal community and advertise your knowledge. Our authors are respected state-wide for their legal expertise, and have written articles on such topics as estate planning, will drafting, tax issues, guardianship, power of attorney, and probates.

Author Guidelines

NYSBA has created comprehensive author guidelines, with information regarding our reprint policy, style guidelines, and obtaining MCLE Author Credits.


2024 Rising Star Fellowship

Applications are open for the 2024 New York State Bar Association Trusts and Estates Rising Star Fellowship. This is a great opportunity for junior attorneys to become an active part of the New York trusts and estates community.

To be eligible for the Fellowship, applicants must have between three (3) and six (6) years of relevant legal experience.

All applications should be sent to the chair of the Membership Committee to Nicole L. Clouthier at [email protected]

Deadline: Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Chairs Award (Formerly the Russell A. Taylor Award)

Recognition of exceptional contributions to the Section and the Bar.

Presented by: Trusts and Estates Law Section

Contact: Kate Tortora, Section Liaison, Program and Event Manager | [email protected]

Nomination Deadline: None

Date Presented: January Annual Meeting

Prize Awarded: Tiffany Clock or Chair’s Choice

Previous Award Recipients

  • 2014  Marilyn (Micky) Ordover
  • 2013  Professor Ira Bloom
  • 2012 Jon L. Schumacher, Esq.
  • 2006 Hon. Raymond Radigan
  • 2003 Charles F. Gibbs, Esq.
  • 2002 Arthur M. Sherwood, Esq.
  • 2000 Wallace Leinheardt, Esq.
  • 1995 John W. Tarbox, Esq. (posthumously)


2023 Trusts and Estates Law Section Fellowship

The Fellowship Program will provide students an opportunity to experience trusts and estates law practice in this public sector. The ultimate goal of the Fellowship is to create a network and forge relationships among trusts and estates law attorneys throughout the State of New York. Fellowships will be offered each Summer (June – August) in various locations across the state in the Chambers of a Surrogate Court Judge.  Information on which Surrogates will be hosting Fellowships may be found on the application.

Application Deadline: February 6, 2023


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