Michael F. Buckley
Mr. Buckley concentrates his practice on complex estate planning, business succession and estate and trust administration.
Practice Areas


J.D., Cornell University (1968)
B.A., Dartmouth College (1965)


Mike Buckley is a member of the American College of Trusts & Estates Counsel; Trusts & Estates Sections of the New York, Florida and Monroe County Bar Associations; Estate Planning Council of Rochester; and the International Association of Financial Planners.


Prior to joining Boylan Code, Mike was a partner at Harter Secrest & Emery LLP. He concentrates his practice on complex estate planning, business succession, and estate and trust administration. Mike provides a complete range of estate planning as well as estate and trust administration services. Within this practice area, Mike concentrates on insurance trust and estate and tax planning for professionals and owners of closely held businesses. He is a member of the firm’s Trusts and Estates Group, which focuses on using state-of-the-art, highly leveraged techniques for succession and business planning. His experience includes the following:

  • Representing charities and others in estate litigation, including representing St. John Fisher College in the Matter of Pioch, which decided favorably in the New York Court of Appeals.
  • Advising clients and drafting documents to pass family property to the next generation while avoiding or reducing estate and gift taxes on that property.
  • Tax and succession planning for physicians and other professionals, as well as closely held business owners.
  • Preparing and implementing life insurance trusts to avoid transfer tax on the insurance proceeds and provide liquidity for estate needs.
  • Analyzing various corporate planning techniques and their impact on the owner’s estate plan.
  • Acting as Of counsel to several attorneys in the community with respect to complex estate planning and administration issues.

Honors & Achievements

  • Selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® (1989-2023) in the field of Trusts & Estates
  • Current Listing, Who’s Who In America
  • Current Listing, Who’s Who In The World
  • Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award as a leader in the legal industry
  • Achieved highest AV Rating by Martindale Hubbell
  • Selected for inclusion in Super Lawyers® 2007-2020 in the field of Estate Planning & Probate
  • Named Rochester’s Lawyer of the Year for 2014 by The Best Lawyers In America in Trusts and Estates
  • Recipient of the Joe V. Posner Award by the Rochester Area Community Foundation
  • Recipient of Leadership Award from Highland Hospital, Rochester, New York
  • Recipient of the John N. Wilder Award by the University of Rochester, Rochester, New York

Professional & Civic Activities


  • Member, American College of Trusts & Estates Counsel
  • Member, Trusts & Estates Section, New York State Bar Association
  • Member, Trusts & Estates Section, Monroe County Bar Association (former Chair)
  • Member, Trusts & Estates Section, Florida Bar Association
  • Member, Estate Planning Council of Rochester
  • Member, International Association of Financial Planners
  • Board Member & President, Daystar For Medically Fragile Children, Inc.
  • Board Member, University of Rochester Medical Center
  • Board Member & Legal Counsel, James P. Wilmot Foundation
  • Board Member, Golisano Children’s Hospital


  • Board Member & Chair, Highland Hospital, Member of Capital Campaign Committee
  • Board Member & Chair, Highland Hospital Foundation
  • Board Member & Chair, Strong Partners Health System, Inc.
  • Board Member, Legal Counsel, Rochester Area Community Foundation
  • Board Member, YMCA of Greater Rochester
  • Board Member, Wilmot Cancer Institute

Speaking Engagements

Lectures extensively on estate and tax planning and related matters for the New York State Bar Association, the National Business Institute, the Estate Planning Council of Western New York, and several corporations and other groups.


  • Contributing Author, Estate Planning and Probate in New York
  • Co-Editor, Administration of New York Estates
  • Author, Counsel Trust

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