Laura A. Kelly has advised high net worth individuals and families in planning and administering their complex trusts and estates for 25 years. With an emphasis on sophisticated estate, gift, generation-skipping transfer, and income tax planning, she works with clients to transfer their businesses, real estate, life insurance, and other assets in accordance with their wishes to family members, friends, and charity. Her career began at a multiservice Boston law firm with a dedicated trust department that managed the investments of and administered the trusts in its care. This situation, unique to Boston firms, allowed Laura to observe the practical administration of trusts as she was being trained in the drafting of complex documents.
Laura is a sought-after speaker on a variety of estate-planning topics. She is a regular presenter on state estate taxes at New York University’s Summer Institute in Taxation, has spoken on the topic of private letter rulings for the New Jersey Institute of Continuing Legal Education (NJ ICLE), and has been a guest lecturer at New York Law School’s LLM program on the subject of estate taxes. For several years, Laura taught the estate-planning session presented by NJ ICLE as part of a required course for all attorneys newly admitted to the New Jersey Bar. She was also an instructor in a six-part series of lectures on estate planning sponsored by Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education.
Laura was elected a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel in 2015, a nonprofit association of legal professionals who have made substantial contributions to the field of trusts and estates law through writing, teaching, and bar leadership. She was appointed to the Board of Consultors for the New Jersey State Bar Real Property and Trusts and Estates Section. She was honored by the Junior League of Bergen County for her service to the League in 2017. Volunteer Lawyers for Justice named her as Volunteer of the Month in December 2017 for her multiyear service in taking pro bono estate cases for full representation and by speaking at the organization’s clinics to train volunteer attorneys.
Immersed in her community, Laura serves as secretary of the Board of Trustees of The Forum School Foundation, a private, nonprofit school in Waldwick, NJ, that serves children with disabilities. She is a former vice chair of the Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts of Northern New Jersey, where she now serves as a member of the Board Development Committee. Laura is a past president and a current sustaining member of the Junior League of Bergen County. She has also served as a member of the Professional Advisory Committees of Valley Hospital, Hackensack University Medical Center, and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra.