David P. Shaffer


David P. Shaffer



Direct: 585-987-2878
Fax: 585-445-2378

At a Glance

David Shaffer is a Partner in the Family Wealth and Estate Planning Department and is also a member of the firm's Management Committee which is responsible for general oversight and management of the firm. He concentrates his practice in the areas of Estate Planning, Estate and Trust Administration, Asset Protection Planning, Long Term Care Planning, Medicaid Planning and Special Needs Planning.

David participated in the inaugural sessions of Nazareth College's Next Generation Leadership Program in 2021-2022.


  • Named a 2020 "Leader in Law" by the Daily Record. This award honors attorneys who have shown dedication to the legal profession and selfless, tireless commitment to the community.
  • Named a 2019 "Forty Under 40" recipient by the Rochester Business Journal. This award is given to individuals who are not only achieving success in their careers but giving back in meaningful ways to the Rochester community.
  • Named the recipient of the Max Koren Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement by the Buffalo law school faculty and also served as Note & Comment Editor for the Buffalo Law Review.
  • Excellence in Law Award Winner,The Daily Record, Up and Coming Attorney


      Mr. Shaffer is an Adjunct Professor in the Finance Department at St. John Fisher College where he teaches the Introduction to Estate Planning course each Spring.

      Mr. Shaffer has lectured on estate planning, business succession planning, estate administration, asset protection, Medicaid planning and ethical considerations including:

      • Rochester Business Journal Webinar - Panel Discussion on Planning for Retirement & Wealth Management, June 2022
      • FPA Annual Symposium, Estate Planning Update, June 2022
      • Charitable Giving and Estate Planning Workshop, Summer 2021, at local financial/banking institution
      • Guest Lecturer on Long-Term Care and Estate Planning, St. John Fisher College, Accounting and Finance Seminar, December 12, 2019.
      • Regular speaker at Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) of Western New York group forums on estate planning and asset protection.
      • Numerous "Estate Planning Update" and "Medicaid Planning" presentations at Financial Planning Association of Greater Rochester, 2012-2018.
      • Featured Speaker with Sean Jensen, Esq. at Rochester Small Business Council program on Business Succession Planning, November 8, 2017.
      • "How to Ensure a Power of Attorney Achieves your Client's Goals" presentation at Monroe County Bar Association CLE Program, April 22, 2015.
      • Regular speaker on estate planning and Medicaid planning at New York State Teachers' Retirement System seminars.
      • Presentations on estate planning topics to various groups, including the Estate Planning Council, Foresters Financial, MetLife, MVP, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Rochester and Northwestern Mutual, among others.
      • "Ethical Issues" at the New York State Bar Association Continuing Education Program, Practical Skills - Introduction to Estate Planning.
      • "Probate Proceedings" at the New York State Bar Association Continuing Legal Education Program, Practical Skills - Probate and the Administration of Estates.
      • "Ethical Considerations When Representing an Elderly Client" at the National Business Institute Continuing Legal Education Program, Resolving Legal and Financial Issues in Elder Care.

      Mr. Shaffer has authored numerous articles on estate planning including:

      • "Goodbye to the Estate Tax? Not So Fast", Rochester Business Journal 2018 Guide to Wealth Management.
      • "2013 and 2018 Estate Tax Updates," special editions of the Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP newsletters.
      • "Transferring Your Company to the Next Generation? Act Now," co-authored with Jason P. Livingston, Rochester Business Journal 2012.
      • "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: The Duties of a Trustee Under New York Law," featured under the Legal Topic of the Week on WHAM Channel 13's website.


        University of New York at Buffalo, J.D., Summa Cum Laude

        Dartmouth College, B.A., Cum Laude

        Bar Admissions

        State of New York

        Key Representative Matters

        • Assists in preparing estate plans for clients with varying needs, including estate tax planning, special needs planning and other related areas.
        • Works with high net-worth clients to accomplish estate and gift tax planning objectives, including the preparation and funding of Family Limited Partnerships/Family Limited Liability Companies, Life Insurance Trusts, Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts, Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts and Generation-Skipping Transfer (GST) Trusts, among others.
        • Works with families on estate administration matters following the death of a loved one, from the probate process through the distributions to beneficiaries and settlement.
        • Works with families to reduce nursing home spend down through advance and/or crisis Medicaid planning and applications.

        Professional Affiliations

        • Member of the Monroe County Bar Association
        • Member and Past President of the Financial Planning Association of Rochester
        • Firm Representative for the Monroe County Bar Association Diversity Clerkship Program
        • Past Member of the Trusts & Estates Council of the Monroe County Bar Association

        Community Involvement

        Mr. Shaffer serves on the Executive Board for the Dartmouth Club of Rochester as District Enrollment Director where he works with local Dartmouth College alumni to promote enrollment among high school students in the Greater Rochester area. He is also the Treasurer and a member of the grant making committee for the HF-L Education Fund where he works with local community members to raise money and approve grants for innovative and creative educational initiatives beyond the school district's allotted budget. Mr. Shaffer is also actively involved with the firm's sponsorship of the Entrepreneurs' Organization (EO) of Western New York. He is also a Member and Past President of the Financial Planning Association of Greater Rochester. Mr. Shaffer previously volunteered in the Lawyers for Learning volunteer program at School 29 where he mentored numerous elementary students.

        Practice Areas: Asset Protection Planning • Elder Law / Long Term Health Care and Medicaid Planning • Estate & Trust Administration • Family Wealth Planning • Special Needs Planning • Estate & Trust Taxation • Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples