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

Estate Planning for the Modern Family: Why Trusts Still Matter

Sharon L. Klein |
Wealth Planning
Multi racial step family preparing for barbecued lunch in garden, bonding, togetherness, food and drink

Comprehensive estate planning allows individuals and couples to maximize control over where their assets will go upon their death — while helping to minimize taxes so they can leave as much as possible to each other, their loved ones, and charitable causes.While this sounds simple enough, most laws regarding how estates are handled are designed with a traditional nuclear family in mind—a husband and wife and their biological children. Although the U.S.

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Suddenly Single? How Women Can Thrive After Divorce or Spousal Loss

Sharon L. Klein |
Wealth Planning

While divorce or loss of a spouse is challenging for everyone involved, it’s often a tougher burden for women who may not have been intimately involved in the family’s finances, actively participating in a family business, or even privy to the various professionals who helped manage and protect the family’s wealth.When couples face divorce, there are myriad issues and concerns that need to be navigated. When a wealthy couple divorces, those issues become imminently more complex.

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Paying for the (Grand) Child’s Education: Making Educated Choices

Sharon L. Klein |
Wealth Planning

This article reprint was published in Wealth Counsel Quarterly and discusses college education funding alternatives. When the older generation of a family wants to make a positive difference in the lives of the younger generations, providing funds for their education is often seen as a way of leaving them with a lasting legacy. However, the cost of education is rising precipitously.

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