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Howard Garfinkel

Howard Garfinkel

Suffern, New York

Howard Garfinkel is a principal partner of the firm heading its office in Suffern, New York.  Admitted to practice in 1983, Howard joined Leon A. Lauterbach, a founder of the firm, in 1986.  Since that time Howard has devoted his practice to the fields of Trusts and Estates.  Howard places special emphasis on effectuating estate tax and gift tax elimination or minimization through the effective use of valuation discounts, fractional interest gift planning, installment sales and the use of Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts.

Howard has extensive experience in the probate of Last Wills and Testaments in Surrogate’s Court Administration proceedings (when a person dies with out a Will) and in the settlement of estates.  Howard is the author of “The Guide to New York Estate and Inheritance Law”.

Howard has successfully handled numerous Internal Revenue Service audits of estate tax returns resulting in significant savings to the estates and their beneficiaries.

Howard believes whenever possible that it is in the client’s best interest to avoid the cost and delay associated with probate proceedings and other Surrogate’s Court proceedings.  Therefore Howard utilizes properly drafted and funded Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts and the formation and funding of Limited Liability Companies to meet a client’s goal of simplicity, cost effectiveness and privacy without sacrificing authority and control.

Even in those situations where a person has not properly planned his or her estate prior to death Howard has achieved significant estate tax savings with post mortem estate tax and planning techniques and elections.  Simultaneously, Howard Will recommend estate planning for the surviving spouse to realize the legacy goals and tax saving objectives of the surviving spouse.

Areas of Practice

  • Estate Planning
  • Elder Tax and Gift Tax Planning
  • Probate and Administration
  • Drafting and Funding of Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts
  • Estate Tax Audits
  • Formation and Funding of Limited Liability Companies

Bar Admissions

  • New York, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1983
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1983
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1983


  • Brooklyn Law School, Brooklyn, New York
    • J.D. - 1982
  • Touro College
    • B.S., Bachelor of Science - 1979

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • New York State Bar Association, Member, Trusts and Estates and Elder Law Sections

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Contact Information

18 East 41st Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10017
-Jeffry Hollander
-Ahron Weissman

81 Main Street, Suite 304
White Plains, NY 10601
-Robert Damast

49 North Airmont Road, Suite 101
Suffern, NY 10901
-Howard Garfinkel