Michael P. Ryan is chair of the firm’s trusts and estates and estate litigation practice groups. He counsels individuals, families, and owners of closely held businesses regarding estate and succession planning, charitable giving and tax matters. He also represents clients in contested estate proceedings, such as probate contests, administration proceedings, discovery and turnover proceedings, accounting proceedings, proceedings to suspend and remove fiduciaries, and guardianship proceedings.
Mike boasts a long career as a former member of the Nassau County Surrogate’s Court staff. From 2005 through 2011, he was the court’s chief clerk-referee, after previously serving as a court attorney-referee in the court’s law department for 15 years. In these roles, Mike assisted the Surrogate in resolving complex contested matters, particularly contested probate and accounting proceedings. This experience makes Mike uniquely suited to mediate disputes and assist clients in resolving cases outside of the court system, which he does routinely as a member of the firm’s alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practice group.
An adjunct professor of law in New York Law School’s Taxation LL.M. program, Michael teaches courses in trust and estate litigation and federal gift and estate taxation to LL.M. and J.D. candidates. He is a well-known speaker and lecturer at various bar associations, court conferences, and other events.
Michael also is contributing editor at LexisNexis Corporation, and reviews and updates several Matthew Bender publications, including Warren’s Heaton on Surrogate’s Court Practice, New York Civil Practice (Weinstein, Korn and Miller), Bender’s Forms for the Civil Practice, and Practical Solutions for New York Lawyers. In addition, Michael was one of the authors of the Office of Court Administration’s Guardian ad Litem Manual, used statewide as a guide for fiduciary appointments in the Surrogate’s Court. Michael also wrote several chapters of materials used in various New York State Bar Association seminars over the years, including titles such as “Multiple Fiduciaries,” “The Fine Art of Disinheritance, Defensive Estate Planning,”
In 2015, Michael was appointed as chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on the Uniform Trust Code, a committee comprised of practitioners and Surrogates around the state of New York who were charged with reviewing the Uniform Trust Code as its provisions pertained to litigation and reporting to the State Bar in a formal presentation the results and recommendations of the Committee and its report.
Outside of the law, Michael’s interests include tennis, American and European classical music, reading, and basking in the pride of his two sons and his wife, a retired Assistant Dean of St. John’s Law School.
Post Mortem Estate Planning Using Qualified Disclaimers, New York State Bar Association, Last updated in 2008.
“Virtual Representation, A Primer,” LexisNexis Corporation, Warren’s Heaton Legislative Digest, 2002.
“Litigating the Objections,” New York State Bar Association Coursebook, Contested Accounting Proceedings, 2009.
“Jurisdiction; Powers of the Surrogate,” Chapter 2, Warren’s Heaton on Surrogate’s Courts, 6th Revised Edition, 2001 revision.
“Typical Objections in a Fiduciary’s Accounting Proceeding,” Warren’s Heaton Legislative and Case Digest, 2001.
“Equity in the Twenty-First Century, A Surrogate’s Court Perspective,” York County Lawyers’ Association, Presented 2010, Ruth Lewinson Memorial Lecture Speaker.