Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon

Claire H. Fortin

Claire H. Fortin


p: 716-566-1583

f: 716-566-4070

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Buffalo Office

The Avant Building
200 Delaware Avenue
Buffalo, New York 14202

Claire Fortin focuses her practice on trusts and estates matters, with experience in trusts, estates and guardianships. Her estate planning experience includes drafting wills, powers of attorney, health care proxies, living wills, and supplemental needs trusts, both inter vivos and testamentary.

Prior to joining Barclay Damon, Claire also had experience in special education law and not-for-profit corporation law as an Associate attorney at Goldstein Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP. In addition, she was chosen by the New York State Bar Foundation as an inaugural Trusts and Estates Law Section Fellow, which allowed her to serve as a Law Fellow in the New York Surrogate Court to the Hon. Barbara Howe. In that capacity, Claire assisted in preliminary research and drafting on decisions including a motion for summary judgment, and processed numerous probate and administration petitions by identifying and analyzing pertinent issues.

Claire is a cum laude graduate of the State of New York University at Buffalo Law School where she was Casenote Editor and Executive Editor for the Buffalo Public Interest Law Journal and a magna cum laude undergraduate from the State University of New York at Albany.

Representative Experience

  • Advised and assisted clients regarding estate planning and protection of assets
  • Represented clients in appointment of Guardians pursuant to Article 81 of Mental Hygiene Law, as well as pursuant to Article 17-A of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act
  • Represented clients in obtaining legal name changes
  • Represented client in successfully obtaining Italian citizenship
  • Advised clients regarding protection of governmental benefits through the preparation and utilization of First Party and Third Party Supplemental Needs Trusts
  • Created and maintained estate plans for diverse clients, utilizing health care proxies, living wills, powers of attorney, statutory gifts riders, wills, and trusts
  • Advised and assisted clients with estate administration through probate, administration, and voluntary administration proceedings in Surrogate’s Court
  • Practiced in Surrogate’s Court regarding intestate and probate matters, contested proceedings, accounting proceedings, and discovery proceedings
  • Advised clients in matters regarding misappropriation of estate funds and the settlement of the same
  • Represented client on successful will reformation
  • Assisted and advised clients with loss of U.S. citizenship issues, including preparation of documents for relinquishment and renunciation of U.S. citizenship, and obtaining Certificates of Loss of Nationality on behalf of clients
  • Advised and assisted clients regarding foreign tax reporting requirements
  • Advised Not-for-Profit Corporation and successfully obtained tax-exempt status
  • Prepared Qualified Domestic Relations Orders for clients and assisted clients with carrying out the terms of such Orders
  • Prepared trust and estate accountings, and successfully judicially settled accounts of fiduciary clients

Practice Areas


  • SUNY Buffalo Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2012
  • State University of New York at Albany, B.A., magna cum laude, 2008

Admitted To Practice

  • New York, 2013

Memberships & Affiliations

  • New York State Bar Association, Trusts & Estates Law Section
  • Erie County Bar Association

Civic Activities

  • Women Lawyers of Western New York, Board Member
  • Legal Services for the Elderly, Disabled, and Disadvantaged of WNY, Board Member

Speaking & Publications

  • A Breeding Ground for Communicable Disease: What to do About Public Health Hazards in New York Prisons, 29 Buff. Pub. Int. L.J. 153 (2011)


  • Mugel National Tax Court Competition, semi-finalist

Prior Experience

  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Associate
  • Goldstein Ackerhalt & Pletcher, LLP, Associate
  • Hon. Barbara Howe, New York State Surrogate's Court, New York State Bar Foundation Trusts and Estates Section Law Fellow