Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon


Karen Schaefer


p: 585.295.4473

f: 585.295.8437

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Rochester Office

2000 Five Star Bank Plaza
100 Chestnut Street
Rochester, New York 14604

Karen serves as Barclay Damon’s Trusts & Estates Practice Area co-chair, primarily concentrating her practice on providing clients with comprehensive counsel on all aspects of estate planning, administration, and business succession matters. She advises on estate planning and estate and trust administration strategies, including estate, gift and income-tax planning opportunities as well as options for asset protection. Karen recommends, designs, and implements comprehensive plans that consider legal and tax-code complexities relevant to clients’ objectives and concerns to best meet their unique needs as well as those of their families and businesses.

Karen has extensive experience preparing estate-planning documents, including wills, revocable-living trusts, irrevocable trusts, durable powers of attorney, health care proxies, and beneficiary designations. She also provides guidance on pre- and post-nuptial agreements that are necessary to safeguard estate plans and helps family limited partnerships, limited liability companies, and corporations with liability protection and transition of ownership. Karen routinely uses Excel spreadsheets and flow charts to provide clients with simple visual explanations of how each distinct estate plan works.

Karen also counsels business owners on legal and tax issues, including succession planning; tax planning; financial transactions; mergers and acquisitions; general business matters; the formation and structuring of business entities, including C and S corporations, limited liability companies, partnerships, professional corporations, and other entities for licensed professionals; and developing owner agreements such as operating, shareholder, and buy-sell agreements to achieve business and estate- planning goals and to prevent future disputes and litigation. In the event of a dispute, though, Karen fiercely advocates for her clients, whether through negotiation or the court system.

Practice Areas


  • Albany Law School, J.D.
  • Michigan State University, B.A.

Admitted To Practice

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Barclay Damon Women's Forum
  • Monroe County Bar Association, Former Business Law Council Chair and Trusts and Estates Section Executive Council Member
  • New York State Bar Association, Trusts and Estates and Business Law Sections
  • Estate Planning Council of Rochester
  • Greater Rochester Association of Women Attorneys

Civic Activities

  • Education Success Network, Inc., Board of Directors Member
  • Encompass: Resources for Learning, Inc., Board of Directors Member

Speaking & Publications

  • Presented for various groups, including the Monroe County Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, and the Estate Planning Council of Rochester for CLE programs on estate planning and business succession planning topics; multiple financial institutions for seminars to financial advisors and clients; and community and charitable groups for enhancing awareness of the importance of estate planning and charitable-giving techniques.


  • The Best Lawyers in America®: Trusts and Estates and Corporate Law, 2010-2019
  • Selected to Super Lawyers Upstate New York: Estate Planning and Probate, 2009-2012 and 2014-2018
  • The Daily Record, Top Women in Law, 2014

Prior Experience

  • Lacy Katzen LLP, Partner and Management Committee Member