Richard Shapiro, head of the firm’s Estate Planning, Probate, and Elder Law Department and a Certified Elder Law Attorney* (CELA), counsels clients of both modest and higher net worth in creating tax-efficient legacy plans that provide asset protection throughout the generations.

Richard is the only* Certified Elder Law Attorney* whose home office is based in Orange, Sullivan, Dutchess, or Ulster counties, one of only 36* CELAs in New York State, and one of fewer than 500* CELAs nationwide. The CELA designation is earned through the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), the only organization approved by the American Bar Association to offer certification in the area of elder law.

Mr. Shapiro is a graduate of Cornell University, where he was a member of the Ho-Nun-De-Kah College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Honor Society, and a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is a member of WealthCounsel, ElderCounsel, Elder Law Answers, and the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. He has a peer-reviewed “AV” (highest) rating from Martindale-Hubbell, and has received a 10.0 rating (out of a possible 10.0) from, an independent company that provides objective ratings of attorneys throughout the United States. Mr. Shapiro has been named to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list for five consecutive years, most recently for his work in the field of elder law.

Mr. Shapiro is a 2002 graduate of the Esperti-Peterson Institute’s Advanced Wealth Strategies program, which teaches advanced planning techniques for “mid-tier” estates of between $3 million and $25 million. He has also participated in the InKnowVision Institute’s program for advanced wealth planning.

He is admitted to the bars of New York and Pennsylvania, and he is presently maintaining an inactive membership with the District of Columbia Bar. He is a member of the Trusts & Estates and Elder Law sections of the New York State Bar Association, as well as the Hudson Valley Estate Planning Council, where he is presently serving as a director. Mr. Shapiro belongs to the Orange County Bar Association and City of Middletown Bar Association. He was president of the latter organization in 1996.

Mr. Shapiro is the author of Secure Your Legacy: Estate Planning and Elder Law for Today’s American Family, published in 2017 by Archway Publishing, a division of Simon & Schuster. He is also a contributing author for The Complete Guide to Estate & Financial Planning in Turbulent Times, a book published in 2010 by the Collaborative Press, and has written a chapter for Inside the Minds: Strategies for Trusts and Estates in New York, 2013 ed., a “how to” book for attorneys published by Aspatore Books, a division of Thomson Reuters.

In April 2008, Mr. Shapiro’s article, Estate Planning For Blended Families, was published in The Elder Law Report, a national newsletter for Elder Law attorneys by Aspen Publishers. Mr. Shapiro co-authored an article, The Sale of Assets to a “GDOT” – An Essential Estate Planning Tool For Large Estates, that was published in the Spring 2009 issue of the New York State Bar Association Trusts & Estates Section newsletter. In October 2016, Mr. Shapiro co-authored an article, Domestic Asset Protection Trusts v. Prenuptial Agreements, published in WealthCounsel Quarterly.

Mr. Shapiro has been quoted in the New York Times and on, and frequently writes on estate planning, business planning, and elder law topics. He also writes a regular column on estate planning and elder law topics for the Senior Gazette, and is a regular contributor to the firm’s professional blog ( Mr. Shapiro has been a lecturer for national estate and elder law programs, including the National Business Institute (How to Draft Eective Wills and Trusts, Elder Law and Long-Term Care Planning, Fundamentals of Elder Law, Protecting Assets While Qualifying for Medicaid, and Top 10 Estate Planning Techniques) and the National Network of Estate Planning Attorneys (Buy-Sell Agreements in Twenty Minutes, Planning for the Brady Bunch, and Planning with GDOTs).

He is a member of the Wallkill East Rotary Club (president, 1999-2000), and serves on the Board of the Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties. From 2000 through 2011, he served on the Board of Directors for Orange Regional Medical Center (chairman, 2006-2008). From 1996-1998, he was the first president of the Brittany Miller Foundation, a charitable organization providing financial assistance to families who have children afflicted with cancer, and he served on its Board of Directors from 1996 through 2000. Mr. Shapiro lives in Goshen with his wife, Terri Small; daughter, Emily; son, Aaron; and their dog, Midnight.

*As of 11.8.2017; the National Elder Law Foundation is not affiliated with any governmental authority. Certification is not a requirement for the practice of law in the State of New York and does not necessarily indicate greater competence than other attorneys experienced in this field of law.



Top Attorney Elder Law AttorneyShapiro+Super+Lawyer+5+Year+Badge
 Certified National Elder Law Attorney


More about Richard J. Shapiro

Areas of Practice

Wealth Preservation
Veterans Benefits
Medicaid Planning
Veterans' Benefits
Estate Planning
Elder Law
Business Succession Planning
Probate & Trust Administration
Last Will & Testament
Special Needs Planning
Business Law
Buying a Business
Selling a Business
Business Formations
Real Estate Transactions
Municipal Law

Bar Admissions

1991: U.S. District Court Southern District of New York
1991: New York
1988: Pennsylvania


1988: University of Pennsylvania Law School
1985: Cornell University

Published Works

The Complete Guide to Estate & Financial Planning in Turbulent Times, Collaborative Press
Estate Planning for Blended Families, Aspen Publishers, Volume XIX, Number 9, 2008
The Sale of Assets to a "GDOT", New York State Bar Association Trusts and Estates Law Section Newsletter, Spring 2009 -- Vol. 42, Nov. 1, 2009

Classes/Seminars Taught

Elder Care in New York -- Legal and Financial Issues, National Business Institute, May 12, 2005
How to Draft Effective Wills and Trusts, National Business Institute, November 17, 2005
Resolving Legal and Financial Issues in Elder Law, National Business Institute, May 15, 2007
Estate Planning and Long-Term Care Options for Elderly Clients, National Business Institute, November 28, 2007
Top Ten Estate Planning Techniques, National Business Institute, May 20, 2009
Drafting Effective Wills and Trusts, National Business Institute, May 6, 2010
Estate Planning Basics, National Business Institute, May 16, 2011
Top Ten Estate Planning Techniques, National Business Institute, June 26, 2012

Honors and Awards

2018: Super Lawyer
2017: Super Lawyer
2016: Super Lawyer
2015: Super Lawyer
2014: Super Lawyer
10.0 Rating from
AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell


Phi Kappa Psi

Past Employment Positions

1989-1991: Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, Washington D.C., Associate
1988-1989: Crowell & Moring, Washington D.C., Associate
Town of Minisink, Acting Justice

Ancillary Businesses

Exit Planning Solutions, LLC

Community Affiliations

1995-Present: Cornell University Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network
2002-2011: Orange Regional Medical Center, Trustee
2003-2006: Southwinds Retirement Home, Director
1999-2002: Horton Medical Center, Trustee
1999-2000: Wallkill East Rotary Club, Member, President
1996-2000: Brittany Miller Foundation, Board of Directors
1996-1998: Brittany Miller Foundation, President
1995-1996: Cornell University Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network, Regional Chairperson
Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County; Endowment Committee Member
Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties; Professional Advisors Council

Professional Associations

1996: Middletown Bar Association, President
New York State Bar Association; Trusts and Estates Section
New York State Bar Association; Elder Law Section
Orange County Bar Association
Hudson Valley Estate Planning Council


National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys

©2019 Blustein, Shapiro, Rich & Barone, LLP. All Rights Reserved.