Carmela T. Montesano


New York
T +1.212.589.4627
F +1.212.589.4201


An established private wealth attorney, Carmela Montesano concentrates her practice on sophisticated estate, gift and generation-skipping transfer tax matters. Her practice focuses on federal and state transfer tax law, trust and estate administration law and related areas of state law relative to the transfer of ownership and control in family-owned businesses and properties.

Carmela advises her clients on all aspects of estate planning and assists them in the formation of estate, business and charitable plans designed to effectuate their objectives and maximize tax efficiencies.

Carmela offers comprehensive counsel to her clients, preparing estate planning instruments such as wills, revocable trusts, irrevocable life insurance trusts (ILITs), grantor retained annuity trusts (GRATs), qualified personal residence trusts (QPRTs), intentionally defective grantor trusts (IDGTs), qualified subchapter S trusts (QSSTs), electing small business trusts (ESBTs), sales to IDGTs, private annuity sales, modifications of irrevocable trusts (such as decantings), charitable trusts, family foundations and advance directives (including Durable General Powers of Attorney, Health Care Proxies and Living Will Declarations).

More »

Carmela's practice also includes the filing of federal and state estate and gift tax returns, participation in federal estate and gift tax audits and involvement in trust and estate litigation matters. She has presented on trusts and estate matters at the Nassau Academy of Law, the Suffolk County Columbian Lawyers' Association and for online webinars sponsored by the New York Law Journal and Strafford Publications.


  • Successful families and business succession: The practice group provides a pragmatic, holistic and multi-generational approach. Clients typically receive a document-driven, episodic and transactional engagement with their law firm. BakerHostetler instead offers a proprietary four-step process to develop and manage family legacies, culminating in a family summit.
  • Family offices: Using BakerHostetler's technology backbone, the practice group provides much more than trust agreements and Wills. They offer consulting advice using benchmarking and active management (rather than a passive approach).
  • Life insurance and investment management industries: The practice group serves as an industry bellwether, offering predictions into the future and lobbying, legislative and case updates with what’s trending, field training and advice, case design and transferable business ideas. Their unique vantage point gives them an edge.

Recognitions and Memberships


  • District of Columbia Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • Virginia State Bar Association
  • Suffolk County Columbian Lawyers Association (2014 to 2016)


  • Saints Phillip and James Church: Pastoral Council (2012 to 2016)

Featured Video

When Opportunity is Knocking: Legacy Planning with Low Interest Rates, Volatile Markets and High Transfer Tax Exemptions
Play Video

Hear how the economic environment provides opportunity for families to manage their legacies.


  • District of Columbia
  • New York
  • Virginia


  • J.D., Georgetown University Law Center, 1983, cum laude
  • B.A., Fairfield University, 1980, magna cum laude