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

What Family Lawyers Must Know About Modifying “Irrevocable” Trust Provisions

Sharon L. Klein |
Wealth Planning
A group of professionals having a meeting.

When irrevocable trusts are drafted in happier times, and then times change, is it possible to reduce or even eliminate the interest of an ex-spouse or soon to be ex-spouse? Trustees potentially have access to powerful tools that might change beneficial interests. Indeed, it might be said that there is no such thing as an “irrevocable” trust. In any event, family law practitioners should counsel clients to investigate the options.

Read More...


What Family Law Practitioners Must Know About Changing Trust Interests

Sharon L. Klein |
Wealth Planning
business-woman-sitting-at-desk.jpg

When irrevocable trusts include ex-spouses or soon to be ex-spouses as beneficiaries, family law practitioners should be aware that trust distributions can potentially be adjusted. Learn how that might happen in this article published in the March 13, 2020 edition of FamilyLawyerMagazine.com. Please see important disclosures at the end of the article. Read articlePlease visit our visit our Matrimonial and Divorce Advisory Solutions resource page for more timely divorce planning content.

Read More...


What Family Law Practitioners Must Know About Life Insurance

Sharon L. Klein |
Wealth Planning
Wedding rings on the figure of a broken heart from a tree, hammer of a judge on a wooden background. Divorce proceedings

The coronavirus pandemic, with its tragic attendant death toll, has focused people’s attention on mortality. Now more than ever, you will want to help ensure that your clients’ settlement obligations are secured with appropriate life insurance and probe its value as a marital asset. This article was published in the April 22, 2020 issue of FamilyLawyerMagazine.com.Please see important disclosures at the end of the article.

Read More...


Top 10 Considerations When Facing Divorce

Sharon L. Klein |
Wealth Planning
Reform and Divorce NC.jpg

The dissolution of marriage is one of the most stressful and difficult experiences you may face. The COVID-19 pandemic made the already challenging and uncertain journey of divorce more complicated for families and their advisors. With unpredictable court closings, hearing delays, the impact on employment and spousal support, and custody arrangements that involve child movement between households – now more than ever, trusted guidance and collaboration are key.

Read More...


Video: Divorce – Minimize the Impact/Maximize the Leverage

Sharon L. Klein |
Wealth Planning
Heckerling Klein.png

Practitioners and their clients need to be aware of the new tax treatment of alimony – and its implications – when planning a divorce. President of Family Wealth for Wilmington Trust’s Eastern U.S. Region, Sharon Klein, shares her insights on how today’s tax laws are reshaping the divorce landscape with Editor in Chief of Trusts & Estates magazine, Susan Lipp, at the 54th Annual Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning.

View Video...