David P. Shaffer


At A Glance

David Shaffer is a Partner in the firm and a member of the Family Wealth and Estate Planning Department. He concentrates his practice in the areas of Estate Planning, Estate and Trust Administration, Long Term Care Planning and Medicaid Planning.


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 simple and complex estate plans for clients with varying needs.
  • Works with high net-worth clients to accomplish estate tax planning objectives, including the preparation and funding of Life Insurance Trusts, Spousal Lifetime Access Trusts, Intentionally Defective Grantor Trusts and Inter Vivos Generation-Skipping Transfer Trusts, among others.
  • Works with families in estate administration matters from the probate process through the distributions to beneficiaries and settlement.
  • Works with families in preparing Medicaid applications and exploring long-term care planning options to reduce nursing home spend down.

Professional Affiliations

  • Member of the New York State Bar Association, Monroe County Bar Association and Livingston County Bar Association
  • Member of the Trusts & Estates Council of the Monroe County Bar Association
  • Chairman and Past President of the Financial Planning Association of Rochester


  • 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.


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

  • Regular speaker on estate planning and Medicaid planning at New York State Teachers' Retirement System seminars.
  • "Estate Planning Update" presentations at Financial Planning Association of Greater Rochester, 2012-2015
  • "How to Ensure a Power of Attorney Achieves your Client's Goals" presentation at Monroe County Bar Association CLE Program, April 22, 2015.
  • "Medicaid Planning" presentations at Financial Planning Association of Greater Rochester 2012 and 2013 Symposiums.
  • "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:

  • "2013 Estate Tax Update," special edition of the Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP newsletter.
  • "Transferring Your Company to the Next Generation? Act Now," co-authored with Jason P. Livingston, Rochester Business Journal
  • "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.
  • Appeared as guest author writing on pertinent legal topics, Livingston County News.

Community Involvement

Mr. Shaffer is the Chairman and Past President of the Financial Planning Association of Rochester. He 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. Mr. Shaffer previously volunteered in the Lawyers for Learning volunteer program at School 29 where he mentored numerous elementary students.

dave shaffer