About the Author

Sharon L. Klein

Senior Vice President

Sharon is president of Family Wealth, Eastern U.S. Region, for Wilmington Trust, N.A. She is responsible for overseeing the delivery of all Wealth Management services by teams of professionals, including planning, trust, investment management, family governance and education, family office, and private banking services, to ultra high-net-worth clients in the U.S. and internationally. Sharon also heads Wilmington Trust’s National Divorce Advisory Practice.

Sharon has over 25 years of experience in the wealth advisory arena and is a nationally recognized speaker and author, frequently featured or quoted in publications like the Wall Street Journal and The New York Times. Global media company Forbes featured Sharon as a top Advisor in 2021 in two separate categories: One of the Top 100 Women Wealth Advisors in America, and a Best-In-New York Wealth Advisor. Leading business publication Crain’s named Sharon to its 2020 inaugural list of the Most Notable Women in Financial Advice, an honor that recognizes leading women executives in New York City for their dedication to excellence in the financial industry and significant professional, civic, and philanthropic contributions. In 2018, she was honored by the UJA-Federation of New York Lawyers Division for her contributions to the trusts and estates community and the community at large. Sharon is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a highly selective professional organization of preeminent estate planning attorneys in the U.S. and internationally who are chosen based on outstanding reputation and exceptional skill. Sharon was inducted into the Estate Planning Hall of Fame in 2021, a designation that recognizes individuals who have made outstanding lifetime achievements and contributions to the practice and profession of estate planning. This award is considered the pinnacle of accomplishment in this field. Only 125 people across the U.S. have received the award since its inception in 2004.

Sharon is a member of The Rockefeller University Committee on Trust and Estate Gift Plans, the New York Bankers Association Trust & Investment Division Executive Committee, the Estates, Gifts and Trusts Advisory Board for The Bureau of National Affairs and the Thomson Reuters Trusts & Estates Advisory Board. She chairs the Domestic Relations Committee of Trusts & Estates magazine, where she sits on the Board, and is on the Advisory Board of Family Lawyer Magazine. Sharon is a past chair of the New York City Bar Association’s Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Court Committee, and a past chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Trusts and Estates Law Section Taxation Committee. She served on the Board of the American Brain Foundation and was a member of its Finance Committee.

Prior to joining Wilmington Trust, Sharon was Managing Director at Lazard, the internationally renowned global investment banking and management company. As head of Wealth Advisory of Lazard Wealth Management, she led the delivery of all wealth advisory services. Before that, she headed the Estate department at Fiduciary Trust Company International. Sharon began her career as a trusts & estates attorney at Rosenman & Colin (now Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP).

Sharon, who holds U.S., British and Australian citizenships, earned a master of laws from the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley, received a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of laws from the University of New South Wales, Australia and is a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst.


By the Author

A Conversation with Estate Planning Hall of Famer Sharon Klein

Sharon L. Klein and William T. LaFond |
Wealth Planning

Bill LaFond, head of the Mid-Atlantic Region and the Family Wealth division for Wilmington Trust Wealth Management, sits down with Sharon Klein, president of the Eastern U.S. Region for Family Wealth, to discuss her approach in advising successful families and individuals, and to learn what has made her so successful in her career.

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Lessons from the Tax Court Decision in the Estate of Michael Jackson

Sharon L. Klein |
Wealth Planning
A red carpet is traditionally used to mark the route taken by heads of state on ceremonial and formal occasions

It’s a Thriller! What is a celebrity’s name and image worth after they die? Michael Jackson’s name and image was valued on his estate tax return at ~$2,000, by the IRS on audit at ~$435 million and by the Tax Court at ~$4 million. In this September 14, 2021 podcast hosted by ACTEC, Fellows Sharon Klein and Tom Abendroth discuss the implications of this landmark case, explore planning techniques to minimize taxes and review the status of post-mortem publicity rights across the country.

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New York’s Latest Legislative Session: What Passed, What Didn’t, What’s Next

Sharon L. Klein |
Wealth Planning

Learn about what passed, what didn’t, and what’s next for New York’s 2021-2022 legislative session with an overview of important new legislation and pending proposals, including: Highest income tax rates in the country enacted.New Power of Attorney form goes into effect, requires two disinterested witnesses and notary.On the heels of the recent Tax Court case valuing Michael Jackson’s name and image, brand new post-mortem publicity rights take effect in New York.

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