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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.



McLaughlin & Stern New York Area 2021 "Best Lawyers"    Trust & Estates Randolph Harris James M. Kosakow John C. Novogrod Barbara A. Sloan Amy…

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With Revocable Trusts, draft and execute revocable living trusts more easily. This multivolume guide provides everything you need to analyze, draft, present, and execute a contemporary living…

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Asset Protection Planning and the Family Limited Partnership," Publisher - Planning Matters, May 1998, Vol. 3, No. 5; The National Alliance of Trust & Estate…

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McLaughlin and Stern is proud to announce that James M. Kosakow has been selected for inclusion in the 2018, 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in…

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Publications & Honors


  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law (J.D., 1984)
  • Connecticut College (1976)


  • New London, CT

Bar Admissions

  • Florida, 1991 
  • Connecticut, 1985 
  • New York, 1985


  • Connecticut Bar Association, New York Bar Association, Florida Bar Association