Philip L. Burke


At A Glance

Philip L. Burke is a Partner and Chair of 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 is also a firm liaison to Meritas, an international association of law firms, and a member of its Board Of Directors.

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.



Albany Law School of Union University, J.D.

Boston University, B.A. with Distinction

Bar Admissions

State of New York

United States District Court for the Western District.

Key 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.

Professional Affiliations

  • Member of Meritas Board of Directors & US Leadership Team
  • Member of the Monroe County and New York State Bar Association and an Officer on its Executive Committee
  • Member of the Monroe County Bar Associations' Lawyer Succession Registry Committee
  • Member of the New York Uniform Trust Code Legislative Advisory Group
  • Former member of the Monroe County Bar Associations Task Force on Lawyer Advertising
  • Past Chair of the New York State Bar Association's Trusts and Estates Law Section
  • 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
  • Past president of the Board of Directors of the Upstate New York Chapter of the Financial Planning Association
  • Past member of the Board of Directors of the Estate Planning Council of Rochester


  • Named a 2015 "Leader in Law" by the New York Daily Record
  • Included in the current editions of "Best Lawyers in America" and "Super Lawyers" for his work in the Trusts & Estates field.
  • Listed in 2007 as one the Top 50 "Super Lawyers" in Upstate New York


  • Authored many articles and is a frequent lecturer on estate planning and estate tax subjects

Community Involvement

  • Member of the Board of Trustees of Geva Theatre
  • Member of the Board of Directors of the Rochester Area Community Foundation
  • Member Rochester Oratorio Society.
  • Past chairman of the Board of Directors of Gilda's Club Rochester, NY and Children Awaiting Parents, Inc.
  • Past 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.

Practice Areas

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


Direct: 585-987-2850
Fax: 585-987-2950


Woods Oviatt Gilman's Spring/Summer 2018 Newsletter
11-9 Philip L. Burke, Esq. attends Meritas Law Firms Worldwide's Board of Directors Meeting In Frankfurt, Germany
8-14-17 Twenty-Six Woods Oviatt Attorneys Named to "Best Lawyers in America"
8-18-2016 Five Woods Oviatt Attorneys Named "Lawyers of the Year" and Twenty-Six Attorneys Named to "Best Lawyers in America" List.
8-15-2016 Twenty-Four Woods Oviatt Gilman Attorneys Named to the 2016 Super Lawyers List
Accessing Your Adult Children’s Medical Records
Philip Burke, Esq. to Speak at New York State Bar Association Annual Meeting - January 29, 2015
Twenty-Four Woods Oviatt Attorneys Named to "Best Lawyers in America" List.
As Seen in the Rochester Business Journal "Post-recession, It's Still a Buyer's Market for Legal Services".
New York Estate Tax Changes and the IRA Charitable Rollover
Thirteen Woods Oviatt Attorneys Are Included on the 2014 Upstate New York Super Lawyers List and Three Attorneys Are Named 2014 Upstate New York Rising Stars.
phil burke