Janis L. Cowhey ESQ.

Janis L. Cowhey is a Partner in the Firm’s New York City office. Her primary focus is on complex estate and gift planning, estate and trust administration, planning for same sex and unmarried couples, and providing business and transactional counsel to clients.

Ms. Cowhey has refined a broad range of effective estate planning tools including personal residence trusts, grantor retained annuity trusts, charitable trusts and intentionally defective grantor trusts. She works with high-net-worth individuals and families as well as with same sex and unmarried couples assisting them with their unique estate and income tax issues including, drafting Prenuptial, Postnuptial and Cohabitation agreements. She has also been instrumental in advising and representing clients on succession planning, sale/purchase of their business, real estate sale/purchase, shareholder agreements, operating agreements and buy/sell agreements.

Ms. Cowhey handles trust and estate administration and acts as the fiduciary’s trusted advisor handling all aspects of the administration process from probate to final distribution. She prepares Court ordered as well as informal trust and estate accountings. She guides families and fiduciaries through the complex administration process.

Ms. Cowhey has extensive experience in preparing estate tax returns, gift tax returns and representing clients before the IRS upon audit.

Ms. Cowhey frequently lectures on topics related to estate and gift tax issues, estate planning strategies and same-sex and unmarried couples' estate and income tax issues. She has appeared on Bloomberg TV and NY1 and has been quoted in print media including the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and Accounting Today.

Professional & Civic Affiliations
  • New York State Bar Association, Member, Trusts & Estates Section
  • New York City Bar Association, Former Member of LGBT Rights Committee
  • New York City Bar Association, Former Member Estate & Gift Tax Committee
  • Florida Bar Association, Member
  • District of Columbia Bar Association, Member
Articles, Seminars & Presentations
  • Same Sex Marriages: What You Need to Know in a Rapidly Changing Landscape
  • Tax & Legal Implications for Same Sex Couples
  • Election Outcomes & Estate Planning Considerations
  • Having the "Talk" With Your Company´s Owner Regarding Succession Planning
  • The New Estate & Gift Tax Legislation
  • Estate Planning 101
  • Interest Rates & Effects on Planning
  • The 709 Minefield
  • Shareholders Agreements, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly
  • Income Taxation of Trusts & Estates
  • New York State Bar
  • Florida State Bar
  • District of Columbia Bar
  • U.S. District Court, Southern and Eastern Districts
  • U.S. Supreme Court


Areas of Expertise
  • Estate & Gift Planning
  • Planning for the Modern Family
  • Estate & Trust Administration
  • Business Transactions
  • Real Estate
Key Clients
  • High-Net-Worth Individuals
    & Families
  • Same Sex Individuals & Couples
  • Unmarried Couples
  • Closely-Held Business Owners
  • Start-Up Entrepreneurs
  • Juris Doctor
    St. John's University School of Law
  • Bachelor of Arts, Mathematics
    State University of New York at Binghamton
  • Studied tax and accounting at St. John's University Graduate School