Avi Z. Kestenbaum

Z. Kestenbaum
Equity Partner,
Meltzer Lippe

Equity Partner of the Firm and listed in Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America.
Co-Chair Trusts & Estates Department and co-founder and co-chair of STEP Long Island.
Listed in "Top L.I. Partners", Long Island Business News, and often quoted in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today and more.
Adjunct Tax Professor at Hofstra University School of Law.
Former Trust Administrator for Smith Barney/Citigroup Private Trust Company and attorney with prestigious law firms in New York City, New Jersey and Florida.
Member of Trusts & Estates Magazine editorial advisory board, and Chair of The Modern Practice Committee.
Founder and former Chair of the Tax-Exempt Organizations Committee of the Taxation Section of the New Jersey Bar Association.
Avi is Co Chair of the Trusts and Estates Department, for which the firm is nationally ranked Tier 1 by U.S. News and World Report, and is a Partner in the Tax and Tax Exempt Organizations Departments. Avi provides creative and sophisticated domestic and international tax, estate planning, and asset preservation counsel to CEOs of major corporations, utra high net worth individuals, multinational businesses, and large charitable organizations. He is often quoted in Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, USA Today, Investor's Business Daily, and other major publications, and is a prominent national lecturer and author in leading tax journals. He is also an Adjunct Tax Professor at Hofstra University School of Law teaching several different tax and trusts and estates courses (and formerly with the Baruch MBA Program) and is listed in Super Lawyers and Best Lawyers in America. Avi is also a member of Trusts & Estates Magazine editorial and advisory board, where he is Chair of The Modern Practice Committee. His practice places special emphasis on domestic and international tax and trust planning, "big picture" philosophy, family business succession planning and effectively dealing with estate disputes. His diverse client base is located in New York City, Long Island and in many other states and countries.
Over the years, Avi's practice has continued to rapidly expand into several additional complex and sophisticated areas in which he advises many clients, including, but not limited to: international tax and wealth preservation planning; family business succession planning; tax and estate controversies; corporate and partnership business structuring; and income tax planning for closely held businesses and real estate clients. Additionally, Avi serves as legal advisor to many prominent charitable organizations and has developed a niche practice in the complicated area of charitable planning and the structuring and operations of nonprofit organizations under federal and state laws dealing with complex issues including, lobbying, advocacy, unrelated business income tax, joint ventures, avoiding excise taxes and foreign charities. Avi is also co-founder and co-chair of STEP Long Island and has a substantial international tax and estate planning practice.
Avi has also published numerous articles in leading national tax, estate planning and tax-exempt organization publications, including, among others, Estate Planning Journal, Trusts and Estates, Leimberg's Newsletter, Practical Tax Strategies, Journal of Taxation of Exempts, andThe New York Law Journal, Special Trusts and Estates Sections (see firm website for some of these articles). He is a prominent national lecturer for and to prestigious professional organizations including, but not limited to, the "Notre Dame Tax and Estate Planning Institute," "Ed Slott's Master Elite Program," the "American Bar Association," "Estate Planning Council of New York" and "New York State CPA Society, Annual Estate Planning Conference" and several national insurance companies and nonprofit institutions.
Over the last few years with estate litigations on the rise, Avi has lectured and written articles in leading journals on this subject and is pursuing a national platform advocating all estate planning attorneys better understand their client's unique situations to create individually tailored plans to mitigate the potential for and effects of estate litigations, in addition to avoiding costly income and estate taxes. Additionally, Avi helps many families with business succession planning, which is another complex area requiring individually tailored philosophy and documents to ensure family businesses can achieve success and longevity.
Prior to joining Meltzer Lippe, Avi obtained complex tax and estate planning experience with prestigious law firms in New York City, New Jersey and Florida and as a Trust Administrator for Smith Barney/Citigroup Private Trust Company. Avi received his Bachelors of Science from Touro College, summa cum laude, Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School and Masters of Law in Taxation from the University of Miami School of Law. Avi received academic scholarships for his high achievement at each of these institutions and is admitted to practice in New York and New Jersey.
Avi enjoys spending time with his wife, Miriam, who is a kindergarten teacher with the New York City Board of Education and their four young and lively sons, Eli Jonah, Joseph Tyler, Nathan Jude and Liam Mason. He continues his pursuit and interest in academics and very active schedule while serving as an Adjunct Tax Professor at Hofstra University School of Law (and formerly with the Baruch College MBA Program) teaching courses in Federal Income Tax, Gift and Estate Tax, State and Local Tax, Wills and Trusts, and Estate Planning.

Have We Got It All Wrong? 
Avi Z. Kestenbaum and Amy F. Altman posit the theory that heirs may be better off with less wealth.
A Decent Proposal 
Avi Z. Kestenbaum proposes two concepts that can change our modern practices for the betterment of clients and society at large
Should Parents Tell Their Adult Children What’s in their Estate-Planning Documents? No 1
In the majority of cases, doing so will lead to more aggravation and feeling of uneasiness and resentment and, potentially, more fights and disputes for several reasons.
Navigating the Discussion of Business Succession Planning 
Avi Z. Kestenbaum & Christine K. Knox discuss how to implement the succession strategies used by successful family businesses
Practicing in the Age of Instant Gratification 
Avi Z. Kestenbaum stresses that practicing in today's atmosphere of instant gratification makes it even more important to manage client expectations
Review of Reviews: “Memento Mori: Death and Wills,” 14 Wyoming L. Rev. 211 (2014) 
Avi Z. Kestenbaum reviews a recent law review article
Planning Beyond the Galaxy of Exemptions 
Avi Z. Kestenbaum & Mary P. O’Reilly outline the multifaceted role of the estate planner
estate planning news & trends
Integrating Self-Management With Estate Planning 
Avi Z. Kestenbaum, Christine K. Knox & Doug Kirkpatrick point out the advantages of integrating concepts of self-management into your clients' estate planning process
The Virtual Clone Trustee 
Avi Z. Kestenbaum, Mary P. O’Reilly & Danielle M. Weiner address the future possibility of giving your clients "eternal life"
The Wandry Quandary 
The Tax Court’s March 26, 2012 memorandum decision in Wandry v. Commissioner1 is monumental for defined value clause (DVC) planning. Donors should now be able to rely on the opinion to plan in a manner that substantially reduces the risk of unexpected gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) taxes when transferring hard-to-value assets.
The Quarterback Dilemma 
Estate plans originate in a number of ways, but in every one, early on in the process, the client interacts with at least one estate planner who may be
The State of Estate Planning
How the new law influences the way we practice now and in the future
The State of Estate Planning 
On Dec. 17, 2010, President Obama signed into law the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization and Job Creation Act of 2010 (the Act). The Act
Risk Assessment 
Financial professionals do it. Insurance professionals do it. Actuaries certainly do it. Yet we, as tax and estate planning professionals, all too often
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