Robert D. Steele
Business & Corporate, Trusts & Estates, Not-for-Profit
B.A. | Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (78)
J.D. | University of Virginia School of Law (81)
Robert D. Steele, a partner of the firm, heads the Trusts & Estates Department. He practices in the areas of estate planning, taxation and administration of estates and trusts, and not-for-profit corporations, as well as practicing mediation as a certified mediator in the New York State Courts.
He has extensive experience in estate planning for clients in numerous situations, including small business owners, entrepreneurs, executives of publicly held corporations, and in various family situations including members of traditional and non-traditional families. Mr. Steele has wide experience in drafting wills and various types of trusts. He also has extensive experience in the administration of estates of all sizes and complexity, including the valuation of limited partnerships and closely held corporations. He also has brought or defended actions of many varieties, including will contests and contested fiduciary accountings, and has represented guardians, conservators, and committees, and trust and estate beneficiaries in related court proceedings.
Mr. Steele is a recognized leader in the use of computers and the Internet in all aspects of practicing law, especially in estate planning, estate and trust administration, complex tax calculations, and research, as well as in heir searches, asset valuation, and lost asset searches. Utilizing these technologies allows for more efficient and less costly estate planning and administration.
Mr. Steele has been mediating in the New York State courts and at community dispute resolution centers since 2004, mediating disputes involving a variety of subject matters.
Mr. Steele is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. Mr. Steele is a member of the American Bar Association, co-chair of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law standing Committee on Publications, co-chair of the Emotional and Psychological Issues in Estate Planning Committee, former chair of the Public Website and E-STATE committee, former vice-chair of the Committee on Technology in the Practice, and is a member of the Committees on Insurance Planning and BioEthics.
Mr. Steele is also a member of the New York State Bar Association, and is the liaison between the Trusts and Estates Section and the Dispute Resolution Section.
Mr. Steele was co-chair of The Advantages of Mediating Trusts, Estates And Adult Guardianship Disputes, sponsored by the New York State Bar Association, June, 2014, a panelist in Estate Litigation in New York County Surrogate’s Court: Resolving Family Disputes Through Mediation. New York County Surrogate’s Court, February, 2014, Staying Out of Court: Better Mediation in Trust and Estate Disputes, American Bar Association, Spring 2013, and he co-chaired The Basics of Mediating Trusts & Estates Disputes in May, 2012, sponsored by the New York State Bar Association, and co-authored an article with the same title discussing the program in New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer, Fall 2012.
Mr. Steele is the Editor of eReport, the electronic newsletter of the American Bar Association’s Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate law (2010 – present), and previously was Trust and Estate Editor of eReport (2006-2010). Previously, he was Managing Editor of its predecessor, E-STATE.
Mr. Steele is the author or co-author of: “Smartphones for Lawyers 4.0,” eReport, January, 2015, “Smartphones for Lawyers 3.0,” eReport, February, 2014, “Revenue Ruling 2011-28: Life insurance can be subject to a grantor’s power of substitution,” eReport, February, 2013, “The Basics of Mediating trusts and Estate Law,” New York Dispute Resolution Lawyer, Fall 2012, “Smartphones for Lawyers 2.0,” eReport, December, 2012, “Smartphones for Lawyers,” eReport, December, 2011, “IRS Notice 2009-55: Transactions Of Interest,” eReport, August, 2009, “New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, Advisory Opinion on the New York estate taxation of non-resident owned S Corporations and single member LLCs which own New York Real Estate,” eReport, February, 2009, “Internet Research Tools and Estate Planning and Tax Software,” E-STATE issue 2003.2, “The Pro Bono Response to September 11th,” E-STATE issue 2003.1, and co-author of “Preparation of the Federal Estate Tax Return: Schedules B, C, and F,” The Practicing Law Institute. He has also been a lecturer at the American Bar Association.
He is rated AV, the highest rating possible from Martindale-Hubbell®, the country’s foremost legal directory and has been selected for inclusion in the New York Metro Super Lawyers® listing every year since its inception in 2006.
He was admitted to practice law in the State of New York in 1982, and was admitted to practice before the United States Tax Court in 1996. Mr. Steele served as a law clerk to an appellate court justice before entering private practice in 1982.
Mr. Steele is a summa cum laude graduate of Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. Mr. Steele earned his J.D. in 1981 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a Senior Editor of the Virginia Journal of International Law.