James Kosakow concentrates his practice in the areas of estate planning and trust and estate administration. He is admitted to practice in New York, Connecticut and Florida and before the U.S. Tax Court. He received his B.A. from Connecticut College and his J.D. from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. Before joining McLaughlin & Stern in 2005, he was a founding partner of Kove & Kosakow, LLC with offices in New York City and Westport, Connecticut.
Mr. Kosakow is a co-author with Professor Kevin Yamamoto of the two-volume text, Handling Federal Estate and Gift Taxes 6th, and co-author with Professor Gerry Beyer of the two-volume text, Irrevocable Trusts 3d and the four-volume text, Revocable Trusts 5th, all published by Thomson Reuters, and is a contributing author to Strategies for Trusts and Estates in New York, 2015 Edition: Leading Lawyers on Analyzing Recent Developments and Navigating the Estate Planning Process in New York. He was assistant editor of Insights and Strategies, a nationally distributed monthly financial and estate planning newsletter for professionals and has authored or co-authored more than twenty articles appearing in such publications as Estate Planning, Retirement Planning for Individuals, Planning Matters, Elder Law Advisory, the Trusts and Estates Law Section Newsletters of the New York and Connecticut Bar Associations and The National Alliance of Trust & Estate Professionals.
He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and previously an Adjunct Professor of Estate Planning in the Center for Professional Education at the Pace University Lubin School of Business and the Department of Finance, Law and Taxation at New York University School of Continuing and Professional Studies. He has been named by Worth magazine as one of the “Top 100 Attorneys” in the nation for private clients, by Law & Politics as a “New York Super Lawyer”; and as one of The Best Lawyers in America for Trusts and Estates by U.S. News-Best Lawyers. He is also rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, identifying him as part of a select group of lawyers recognized for their legal abilities and professional ethical standards.
He serves on the Planned Giving Advisory Councils of the American Cancer Society, The New-York Historical Society and the Hospital for Special Surgery.
Publications & Honors
- Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel – The American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, ACTEC, is an international organization of approximately 2,600 lawyers elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, commitment to the profession, competence, and experience as trust and estate counselors.
- Worth Magazine’s Top 100 Attorneys in the Nation
- Contributing author – Strategies for Trusts and Estates in New York, 2015 Edition: Leading Lawyers on Analyzing Recent Developments and Navigating the Estate Planning Process in New York (Inside the Minds).
- Assistant editor of “Insights & Strategies”, a nationally-recognized financial and estate planning monthly newsletter for professionals.
- “Year-end Trusts, Estate and Gift Tax Planning Strategies,” Publisher-Estate Planning, November 2004, Vol. 31, No. 11.
- “Benefits of Cash Value Life Insurance,” Publisher – Elder Law Advisory, Number 145, March 2003; India Weekly-USA, January 12, 2003, January 19, 2003; Forerunner, New York Chapter Society of Financial Service Professionals, Summer 2003, Vol. 61, No. 5.
- “IRS Issues Final Regs. On Treating Revocable Trust as Part of Estate,” Publisher – Estate Planning, May 2003, Vol. 30, No. 5.
- “Benefits of Life Insurance for Minors,” Publisher – India Weekly-USA, January 5, 2003; India Weekly-USA, March 2, 2003, Vol. 2, No. 22, Page 14.
- “Asset Protection Planning and the Family Limited Partnership,” Publisher – Planning Matters, May 1998, Vol. 3, No. 5; The National Alliance of Trust & Estate Professionals, October 28, 2002, Vol. 6, Issue 3; India Weekly – USA, February 23, 2003, Vol. 2, No. 21, Page 29.
- “Revocable Living Trust Planning Benefits – Part One and Two,” Publisher – Elder Law Advisory, West Group, Number 93, December 1998, Number 94, January 1999; India Weekly-USA, January 26, 2003, February 2, 2003.
- “Charitable Gifts of Life Insurance Have Many Benefits,” Publisher – New York State Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Law Section Newsletter, Vol. No. 31, No. 2, Summer 1998; The National Alliance of Trust & Estate Professionals, December 16, 2002, Vol. 6, Issue 10.
- “Estate Planning Benefits of Deferred Like-Kind Exchanges of Real Estate,” Publisher – Estate Planning, August 2001, Vol. 28, No. 8.
- “Beware Tax Trap When Transferring IRA to Spouse Pursuant to Divorce Decree,” Publisher – New York State Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Law Section Newsletter, Summer 2001, Vol. 34, No. 1.
- “New Tax Law Eliminates Estate Tax in 2010,” June 2001.
- “Proposed Regulations Clarify Treating Revocable Trust as Part of Estate,” Publisher – Estate Planning, April 2001, Vol. 28, No. 4.
- “New Proposed Regulations Challenge Accelerated Charitable Remainder Trusts,” Publisher – Estate Planning, February 2000, Vol. 27, No. 2; New York State Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Law Section Newsletter, Vol. 33, No. 2, Summer 2000.
- “The Importance of Cash Value Life Insurance in Financial, Retirement and Estate Planning, ” Publisher – Elder Law Advisory, West Group, Number 105, December 1999.
- “Techniques That Maximize the Advantages of Lifetime Giving,” Publisher- Estate Planning, December 1998, Vol. 25, No.10; The New York City Association of Life Underwriters, The Bulletin, July/August 1999
- “Problems Created by New Prop. Regs. on Revaluation of Gifts,” Publisher – Estate Planning, May 1999, Vol. 26, No.4; “Gift and Estate Tax Revaluation Proposed Regulations – Guidance and Traps,” Publisher – New York State Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Law Section Newsletter, Fall 1999, Vol. 32, No. 3.
- “The Defective Grantor Trust as an Estate Planning Strategy,” Publisher – Elder Law Advisory, West Group, Number 87, July 1998.
- “Layered GRATS – Big Gift and Estate Tax Benefits,” Publisher – Elder Law Advisory, West Group, Number 86, June 1998.
- “Gifts of Family Limited Partnership Interests Did Not Qualify for Annual Exclusion, Rules IRS,” Publisher – Estate Planning, May 1998, Vol. 25, No. 4.
- “New Regulations Provide Flexibility for Using Trust Beneficiaries as IRA Measuring Lives,” Publisher – Retirement Planning for Individuals, March/April 1998, Vol. 2, No. 5.
- Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (J.D., 1984)
- Connecticut College (1976)
- New London, CT
- Florida, 1991
- Connecticut, 1985
- New York, 1985
- Connecticut Bar Association, New York Bar Association, Florida Bar Association