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  • Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Rated
    5.0 out of 5

Education

  • J.D., University of Virginia School of Law, 1994
  • B.A., Wellesley College, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, 1991

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Massachusetts

Memberships & Affiliations

American Bar Association

Boston Bar Association

New Jersey Bar Association – Board of Consultors, Real Property and Trusts and Estates Section

Alumni of Bergen LEADS

Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, Inc. – Member, Board of Directors and Board Development Committee

Junior League of Bergen County – Past President

Hackensack University Medical Center Planned Giving Advisory Committee

Professional Advisors’ Committee of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra

Valley Hospital Professional Advisory Committee

Laura A. Kelly

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Partner
  • T: 973.639.6995
    F: 973.297.3888
    • Four Gateway Center
      100 Mulberry St.
      Newark, NJ 07102

Laura concentrates her practice in trusts and estates matters.  In addition to the drafting of wills and trusts and the administration of trusts and estates, Laura advises high net worth clients regarding sophisticated estate planning with an emphasis on estate, gift, generation-skipping transfer and income tax planning.  She assists clients with the planning and implementation of lifetime transfers of property, including the management of transfers of real estate, life insurance and partnership interests.

Laura began her professional career in Boston, Massachusetts, at a full-service law firm that contained its own trust administration department.  This situation, unique to Boston law firms, allowed Laura to observe the practical administration of trusts as she was being trained in the drafting of complex documents.  Laura returned to her home state of New Jersey in 2002.

Laura is a sought-after speaker on a variety of estate planning topics.  For several years, she taught the estate planning session presented by New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education as part of the Basic Skills and Methods Class required of all attorneys newly-admitted to the New Jersey Bar.  Laura continues to work with NJ ICLE in its presentations on New Jersey Basic Estate Administration (fondly called “Estate Admin 101” and “Estate Admin 102”).  She is a regular presenter at New York University’s Summer Institute in Taxation, and has been a guest lecturer at New York Law School’s L.L.M. program on the subject of estate taxes.  Other presentations include “An Estate-Planning Checklist: What Women Should Know” at the Financial Conference sponsored by Garden State Woman magazine and on “Decedents’ Accounts” for the New Jersey Bankers’ League.  She was an instructor in "Preliminary Matters: Drafting the Will," the first in a six-part series of lectures on estate planning sponsored by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, from 1997 to 2002. 

Laura is a contributing author to Understanding and Using Trusts, published by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education in 2001 and last updated in 2011, and to Breaking the Code of Wealth Management, published by ABN-AMRO Bank, N.V.  Her article “When is a Gift not a Gift?”, explaining grantor retained annuity trusts, appeared in Garden State Woman magazine.

Laura is a member of the inaugural class of Bergen LEADS, a class of 30 acknowledged leaders of Bergen County, New Jersey.  She continues her involvement with Bergen LEADS by serving on the program’s steering committee and on its selection committee.  Laura is a current member of the Professional Advisory Committee of Valley Hospital in Ridgewood New Jersey.  Laura serves on the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey.  She is a past president of the Academy of the Holy Angels Alumnae Association and is the President of the Junior League of Bergen County for 2012 – 2013.  Laura has been appointed to the Board of Consultors for the New Jersey State Bar Real Property and Trusts and Estates Section.

Laura resides in Oradell, New Jersey.

Speaking

7/14/14
State Estate Tax: A description of the various state estate tax regimes and how to draft to incorporate state estate tax considerations
NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies – Summer Institute of Taxation, Westin Hotel, New York, NY
02/27/14
Heckerling Highlights: A review of the important topics raised at the January 2013 conference
Laura A. Kelly, Co-Author, Lecturer (with ACTEC fellow Joe Scorese)
Wells Fargo Bank, Stony Hill Inn, Hackensack, NJ
09/23/13
Grantor Trusts: An overview of the history, rules and possible applications of the grantor trust rules
National Business Institute, Doubletree by Hilton, Newark, NJ
07/23/13
State Estate Tax: A description of the various state estate tax regimes and how to draft to incorporate state estate tax considerations
NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies – Summer Institute of Taxation, Westin Hotel, New York, NY

Publications

2014
Understanding and Using Trusts: Chapter 16, Trust Termination, 3rd Edition
Laura A. Kelly, Co-Author
Massachusetts Institute of Continuing Legal Education
01/24/13
02/01/11
01/31/11