Barbara E. Shiers is co-Chair of our Estate Planning & Administration Group and has served on the firm’s management committee for many years.
Ms. Shiers represents high net-worth individuals, professionals, and entrepreneurs in domestic and international estate, gift, and income tax planning, estate and trust administration, IRS audits, and probate and tax litigation. She has extensive experience advising individuals and fiduciaries in sophisticated estate transactions. She also advises public and private charitable organizations in a wide range of matters, including selecting tax-efficient organizational structures, securing tax-exempt status, and developing and negotiating donor agreements.
Ms. Shiers is a member of the Nonprofit Coordinating Committee (NPCC), the Estate Planning Council of New York City, the New York State Bar Association, the New York City Bar Association, The Florida Bar and the American Bar Association. She currently serves as a member of the NPCC Government Relations Committee. Ms. Shiers has also served as a member of the New York State Bar Association Committee on Women in the Law, the New York City Bar Association Committee on Non-Profit Organizations, the New York City Bar Association Estate and Gift Taxation Committee, and the New York City Bar Association Trusts, Estates & Surrogate’s Courts Committee. Her representation of America Gives Back, Inc., the organization that helped “American Idol” raise more than $75 million for disadvantaged children, was the subject of an article in the Columbia Law School Magazine.
She is admitted to practice in New York and Florida.
awards & recognition
"Super Lawyer" for Estate Planning and Probate Work
Top Estate Planning Lawyers in Avenue Magazine
New York Times Magazine featured source for "ask Super Lawyers" article on charitable giving
New York City’s top women lawyers in Avenue Magazine
Best Lawyers for Trusts and Estates
Law 360 leading "Female Powerbroker"
Tufts University (BA, summa cum laude, phi beta kappa, 1974)
Columbia University School of Law (JD, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, 1980)
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Past Speaking Engagements
Barbara Shiers at “Savvy Estate Planning” at the Harmonie Club
Barbara Shiers speaks at the Columbia Law School Association and the Kent Affiliates of the 1754 Society's event, "Savvy Estate Planning", taking place at the Harmonie Club.
October 15 2015
Hot Topics for Not-for-Profit Boards
December 4 2014
Women, Wisdom and Wealth: How Women Can Create, Retain and Pass On Wealth
Barbara Shiers speaks at the Women, Wisdom and Wealth: How Women Can Create, Retain and Pass On Wealth luncheon at the Museum of Modern Art.
June 25 2014
Tax Code Changes and Your Estate
Barbara Shiers speak at the Tufts Alumni event: Recent Tax Code Changes and How They Affect You, Your Family, and Your Estate, at the Kirkland and Ellis offices in NYC.
September 11 2013
New York State Society of CPA’s
Barbara Shiers speaks to an NYSSCPA audience on recent tax law changes and their impact on estate planning.
October 19 2012
Columbia Law School Alumni Breakfast at Frankfurt Kurnit
Barbara Shiers hosts a Columbia Law School alumni breakfast, which features guest speaker Anika Rahman, President of The Ms. Foundation.
June 29 2012
news & press
Thirty-nine Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named in Super Lawyers Magazine for 2018
Super Lawyers magazine lists thirty-nine Frankfurt Kurnit attorneys in its 2018 edition.
The Best Lawyers in America 2019
We are pleased to report that Best Lawyers — the oldest and one of the most respected peer reviewed lawyer recommendation services — continues to recommend Frankfurt Kurnit.
Is Now the Time to Revisit Your Estate Plan?
On December 22, 2017, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the "Act") was signed into law. The Act temporarily doubles the estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer ("GST") tax exemption amount.
The Best Lawyers in America 2018
Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" ranked Frankfurt Kurnit nationally in "Tier 1" in Advertising, Copyright, Entertainment - Motion Pictures and Television, and Trademark Law, "Tier 2" in Litigation - Intellectual Property, Media Law, and Trusts & Estates Law, and "Tier 3" in Commercial Litigation and Regulatory
Frankfurt Kurnit Assists With ‘Fun-Raising’
The New York Law Journal spotlighted our role in the wonderful Red Nose Day initiative, which raises millions of dollars for children’s causes. (Article behind paywall)
New Jersey Proposes Estate Tax Repeal
In a joint appearance on September 30, 2016, Governor Chris Christie and legislative leaders announced a bipartisan agreement to repeal the New Jersey Estate Tax.
Thirty-eight Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named “Super Lawyers” for 2016
Super Lawyers listed thirty-eight Frankfurt Kurnit attorneys in its 2016 edition.
IRS Proposes Rules to Deny Estate and Gift Tax Discounts for Family Businesses
There's important news for family business owners and their heirs.
The Best Lawyers in America 2017
In its 2017 edition, Best Lawyers "Best Law Firms" ranked Frankfurt Kurnit nationally in "Tier 1" in Advertising, Copyright, Entertainment - Motion Pictures and Television, and Trademark Law, "Tier 2" in Litigation - Intellectual Property, Media Law, and Trusts & Estates Law, and "Tier 3" in Commercial Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement Litigation.
In the Spirit of ‘Fun-Raising’
The New York Law Journal published an article featuring Richard Hofstetter, H. Sujin Kim and Barbara E. Shiers and our support for our client Comic Relief (and their fundraising event Red Nose Day.)
Recent Estate Tax Changes Create Planning Opportunities
On April 1, 2016, the New York State ("NYS") estate tax exclusion amount increased to $4,187,500, further narrowing the gap between the NYS estate tax exclusion amount and the Federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer ("GST") tax exemption amounts ($5,450,000 as of January 1, 2016).
Thirty-seven Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named “Super Lawyers” for 2015
Super Lawyers listed thirty-six Frankfurt Kurnit attorneys in its 2015 edition.
The Best Lawyers in America 2016
Best Lawyers recognized our firm and 17 of our attorneys in their 2016 list.
Thirty-four Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named “Super Lawyers” for 2014
Super Lawyers listed thirty-three Frankfurt Kurnit attorneys in its 2014 edition.
Increased Exemptions Provide Estate Planning Opportunities
The current Federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer (GST) tax exemption amounts are projected to increase in 2015.
Best Lawyers 2015
Best Lawyers recognized our firm and 16 of our attorneys in their 2015 list.
New Law Significantly Impacts the New York State Estate and Gift Tax Regimes
On March 31, 2014, Governor Cuomo signed legislation to implement the New York State fiscal plan for 2014 - 2015. The legislation makes broad changes to the New York State estate and gift tax laws as well as some more technical changes to certain trust income tax rules.
Law 360 Powerbrokers
Female Powerbrokers Q&A: Frankfurt’s Barbara Shiers
Governor Cuomo Signs New York State Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013
On December 18, 2013, the "Nonprofit Revitalization Act of 2013" (the "Act") was signed into law by Governor Cuomo. The Act represents a major overhaul to New York's Not-for-Profit Corporation Law, the first of its kind in over 40 years.
Madeline and The Family Business
Frankfurt Kurnit in “Best Lawyers 2014”
In its 2014 edition Best Lawyers ranked Frankfurt Kurnit in "Tier 1" in Advertising, Copyright, Entertainment, Trademark, and Trust & Estates Law, "Tier 2" in Litigation (IP) and Media Law, and "Tier 3" in Commercial Litigation and Regulatory Enforcement Litigation.
Twenty-nine Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named “Super Lawyers” for 2013
Increased Exemptions Provide Estate Planning Opportunities
The current Federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax exemption amounts are projected to increase in 2014. Here are he projected adjustment, compared to 2012 and 2013.
Supreme Court Recasts Estate Planning for Same-Sex Spouses
As you probably know, two recent Supreme Court cases have altered the estate planning landscape. Here's a summary of what happened with the Defense of Marriage Act - and suggestions for how to proceed.
Frankfurt Kurnit Estate Planning Alert
As a result of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 signed by President Obama on January 2, 2013, the New Year has brought with it several permanent changes to the Federal estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax laws that are unexpectedly more favorable than those predicted in the closing months of 2012.
Nine Frankfurt Kurnit Women Honored As “Super Lawyers”
Nine Frankfurt Kurnit women appeared in The New York Times Magazine’s women "Super Lawyers" list for 2012. The list appeared on December 30th in a special section devoted to women attorneys in the New York metropolitan area.
Frankfurt Kurnit Top Ranked in Best Lawyers and Best Law Firms for 2013
Best Lawyers ranked Frankfurt Kurnit one of the "Best Law Firms" of 2013.
Twenty-two Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named 2012 NY-Area “Super Lawyers”
Super Lawyers listed twenty-two Frankfurt Kurnit attorneys in its 2012 edition.
Seventeen Frankfurt Kurnit Attorneys Named 2011 New York-Area “Super Lawyers”
Super Lawyers named seventeen Frankfurt Kurnit attorneys in its 2011 edition.
Estate and Gift Tax Alert
The Tax Relief Act of 2010 was overwhelmingly passed by Congress and signed into law by President Obama on December 17, 2010. The new law provides numerous tax benefits for businesses and individuals for the next two years.
2010 Year End Estate Planning
The end of 2010 brings more than the usual range of estate planning opportunities.As year-end approaches, so does the expiration of the Bush era tax cuts. The lame duck Congress' willingness to enact tax legislation before 2011 looks increasingly unlikely.
Estate Tax Update
By now, many of you have heard about the dramatic - and, many pundits would add, inexplicable - changes to the Federal estate tax law that became effective as of January 1, 2010 and will apply through the end of the calendar year.