The art of representing people

Philip L. Burke

Areas of Practice:

Asset Protection Planning
Business Succession Planning
Charitable and Foundation Planning
Elder Law/Long Term Health Care and Medicaid Planning
Estate and Trust Administration
Estate and Trust Taxation
Family Wealth Planning
Pre/Post - Nuptial Agreements
Retirement Benefit Planning
Not-For-Profit & Tax-Exempt Organizations
Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples
Non-Traditional Estate Planning
Special Needs Planning


Albany Law School, J.D.
Boston University, B.A.






pburke at woodsoviatt dot email_domain_ext



At a Glance:

Philip L. Burke is a partner in the firm's Family Wealth and Estate Planning Department. He concentrates his practice in estate planning, charitable giving, estate administration, probate, estate tax law and long term care planning. He works closely with clients and their advisors to develop appropriate estate plans for them and their families, including drafting of Last Wills and Testaments, Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts, Family Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies, Business Succession Documents, Powers of Attorney, Living Wills and Health Care Proxies and other related documents.

Mr. Burke received his J.D. degree from Albany Law School and his B.A. degree with Distinction from Boston University. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and also a Fellow of the New York State Bar Foundation.

Representative Matters:

  • Successfully represented three major international art museums working with Trust & Estate Litigation Group in Will contest resulting in clients receiving art work valued in excess of $1,000,000.
  • Successfully sued major life insurance company resulting in favorable settlement of benefits claim.
  • Successfully represented disabled estate beneficiary in settlement of reimbursement claims brought by New York State.
  • Extensive experience in representing fiduciaries and beneficiaries in trust and estate administration, claims, Will contests & contested accountings.

Community Involvement:

Mr. Burke is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the Rochester Area Community Foundation. He has also served as a member of the Board of Trustees of Our Lady Of Mercy High School, the Planned Giving Advisory Board of the Greater Rochester Chapter of the American Red Cross, the Rochester Area Community Foundation and the Hillside Family of Agencies. He is also past-chair of the Board of Directors of Gilda's Club Rochester, NY and Children Awaiting Parents, Inc.

Bar Admissions:

Mr. Burke is admitted to practice in the State of New York and the United States District Court for the Western District.

Professional Affiliations:

Mr. Burke is a member of the Monroe County and New York State Bar Association. He is a Past Chair of the New York State Bar Association's Trusts and Estates Law Section and serves as an officer on its Executive Committee.  He is currently a member of the Monroe County Bar Associations' Lawyer Succession Registry Committee, a past member of the Board of Trustees of the Monroe County Bar Association, past-Dean of its Academy of Law and past-chair of its Trusts & Estates Section. He was also a member of the Monroe County Bar Associations Task Force on Lawyer Advertising.

Mr. Burke served as President of the Board of Directors of the Upstate New York Chapter of the Financial Planning Association. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Estate Planning Council of Rochester.


Mr. Burke has also authored many articles and is a frequent lecturer on estate planning and estate tax subjects and he is included in the current editions of "Best Lawyers in America" and "Super Lawyers" for his work in the Trusts & Estates field. He was also listed in 2007 as one the the Top 50 "Super Lawyers" in Upstate New York.


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