Russell Adler is highly regarded for his insight and guidance on trusts and estates, income tax planning, elder law and planning for persons with disabilities. Russell advises individuals and organizations, including athletes, closely held businesses, nonprofits, financial institutions, domestic government agencies and the State of Israel.

Estate Planning

Working closely with clients, Russell analyzes estate, retirement, disability, tax and business succession issues and develops comprehensive and sophisticated planning strategies. He counsels both domestic and international clients, from planning through preparation of wills, trusts, powers of attorney and health care directives, as well as establishing entities such as limited liability corporations (LLCs).

Estate Administration

Russell eases clients’ burdens by administering estates, from probate through final distribution and postmortem estate planning. Coordinating with clients and their professionals, he handles tax audits, court appearances, judicial conferences, will construction proceedings and preparation of all instruments, including estate tax returns.

Estate Litigation

If disputes arise, Russell is skilled at helping clients resolve issues favorably. He is experienced in all estate and guardianship litigation, including alternative dispute resolution and, if necessary, Surrogate’s Court litigation, such as will contests, construction proceedings and contested accountings, in which he has successfully protected corporate and individual fiduciaries and beneficiaries with judgments in excess of one million dollars.

Elder Law and Planning for Persons with Disabilities

Russell is renowned for his experience and insight on elder law and planning for persons with disabilities. He assists clients with Medicaid planning, fair hearings, guardianship proceedings, federal and state supplemental needs trusts and health care instruments, managing pooled trusts for nonprofit organizations and litigation involving undue influence and trusts with potential Medicaid beneficiaries.

Representative Experience

  • Administer inter vivos and testamentary trusts, including meeting with beneficiaries and trustees and financial advisors, preparation and review of accountings, tax planning
  • Draft receipts, release and refunding agreements and legal opinions, and related litigation
  • Counsel charities in planned giving, including consultations with clients, meetings with development personnel, establishing foundations and drafting charitable instruments and seminar presentations
  • Assist in matrimonial cases, including research of issues and drafting of pre-marital, post-marital and separation agreements
  • Handle all New Jersey estate planning, estate administration and elder law matters
  • Tax litigation cases, including tax protest regarding Section 6672 penalty, tax refund claims and tax audit concerning charitable deductions
  • Draft articles and present seminars on elder law and estate planning matters


Bar Admissions

New Jersey
New York


New York University School of Law
J.D. (1988)

Yeshiva University
B.A. (1985)

Leadership & Community

Pro Bono

  • Advisory Board, Hatzalah of Middlesex County (First Responders)
  • Board member and past president, Congregation Ohr Torah
  • Board member, Yeshiva Tiferes Naftali

Professional Associations

  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York — Legal Problems of the Aging Committee (Chair, 2008-11)
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York — Trusts, Estates and Surrogate’s Courts Committee (Member, 2011-14)
  • National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
  • New York State Bar Association, Elder Law Section — Executive Committee (Member-at-large, 2009-12)

Civic Activities

  • Yeshiva University, Planned Giving Committee

Firm Leadership

  • Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP — Chair, Private Client Group (New York Office)


  • Best Lawyers®  — Elder Law, 2007-24
  • New York Super Lawyers — 2007-21
  • New York University School of Law — American Jurisprudence Award, Property Law, 1988
Awards Methodology
No aspect of these recognitions has been approved by the highest court of any state.
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