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Richard J. Shapiro, J.D., CELA, CAP


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Richard Shapiro, head of the firm’s Estate Planning, Probate, and Elder Law Department and a Certified Elder Law Attorney* (CELA), counsels clients of both modest and higher net worth in creating tax-efficient legacy plans that provide asset protection throughout the generations.

Richard is the only* Certified Elder Law Attorney* whose home office is based in Orange, Sullivan, Dutchess, or Ulster counties, one of only 36* CELAs in New York State, and one of fewer than 550* CELAs nationwide. The CELA designation is earned through the National Elder Law Foundation (NELF), the only organization approved by the American Bar Association to offer certification in the area of elder law.

Richard was also recently selected to join the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys’ prestigious Council of Advanced Practitioners (CAP), a group of highly experienced elder law and special needs planning attorneys. He is one of only 12 CAP members in New York State*.

Members of the Council are peer-nominated and must exemplify trustworthiness, professionalism, and commitment to their clients. In addition, CAP members must hold an AV rating under the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings, which is the highest rating for ethical standards and professional ability.

Richard is the author of Secure Your Legacy: Estate Planning and Elder Law for Today’s American Family, published in 2017 by Archway Publishing, a division of Simon & Schuster. He has also authored, co-authored, or contributed to several books and articles related to estate planning, and has been quoted in the New York Times and on

Richard lives in Goshen with his wife, Terri Small; daughter, Emily; son, Aaron; and their dog, Midnight.

*As of 11.7.2019; the National Elder Law Foundation is not affiliated with any governmental authority. Certification is not a requirement for the practice of law in the State of New York and does not necessarily indicate greater competence than other attorneys experienced in this field of law.


  • Middletown Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association; Trusts & Estates Section
  • New York State Bar Association; Elder Law Section
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Hudson Valley Estate Planning Council


  • Community Foundation of Orange and Sullivan Counties; Professional Advisors Council
  • 1995-Present: Cornell University Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network
  • Jewish Federation of Greater Orange County; Endowment Committee Member
  • 2002-2011: Orange Regional Medical Center, Trustee
  • 2003-2006: Southwinds Retirement Home, Director
  • 1999-2002: Horton Medical Center, Trustee
  • 1999-2000: Wallkill East Rotary Club, Member, President
  • 1996-2000: Brittany Miller Foundation, Board of Directors
  • 1996-1998: Brittany Miller Foundation, President
  • 1995-1996: Cornell University Alumni Admissions Ambassador Network, Regional Chairperson