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 features Sharon as a Top Advisor in multiple categories since 2020. In 2022 she was selected as one of the Top 40 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 trust & 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. This award is considered the pinnacle of accomplishment in this field. Only 125 people across the U.S. have received this 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

How to Help Professional Athletes Make Their Money Last When They Retire

Sharon L. Klein |
Wealth Planning
Irresistible in attack. Multi sports collage about basketball, American football players and fit running woman. Conceptual photo with running athletes in motion or movement at stadium with sand, smoke

This article was published in the July 23, 2021 issue of MarketWatch. In it, Sharon Klein shares her insights on why many professional football players, and athletes in general, don’t enjoy the long-term financial stability of their dreams. While athletes are making more money than ever, they can be financially vulnerable, potentially depriving them of a secure, long-term financial future.

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Massive Fortune, Bitter Court Battles Surround Definition of Grandchild for Elizabeth Hurley’s Son

Sharon L. Klein |
Wealth Planning
Lawyer in office with gavel, symbol of justice. Legal authority rights concept

This article reprint was recently published in Steve Leimberg’s Estate Planning Newsletter. Sharon Klein shares her insights on a case that has garnered intense media attention involving the disinheritance of Elizabeth Hurley’s son: “Disinheritance around a massive fortune, bitter court battles, out-of-wedlock children, iconic models, suicide…a soap opera plot? Hardly.

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Podcast: Ten Tax Considerations in Divorce

Sharon L. Klein |
Wealth Planning

Taxes may not be your clients’ top priority when you are helping them through their divorce, but many decisions made during this time can affect their situation. Sometimes these decisions can be costly. Listen as Sharon Klein discusses ten tax considerations in divorce.Related reading:Ten Tax Considerations in Divorce ArticlePlease visit our visit our Matrimonial and Divorce Advisory Solutions resource page for more timely divorce planning content.

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Lessons Learned from the Bill and Melinda Gates Divorce

Sharon L. Klein |
Wealth Planning
Two broken golden wedding rings divorce decree document.

Sharon Klein shares her insights in this article originally published on June 8, 2021, in Divorce Law magazine. When billionaires Bill and Melinda Gates announced their divorce after 27 years of marriage, a media frenzy ensued over news, including how their stunning level of wealth would be divided. Although the complications of divorce are magnified with the breakup of this power couple, their divorce underscores many important lessons that couples generally are well-advised to heed.

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