Five attorneys, including a new co-chair, are joining Coughlin Midlige & Garland to serve in the firm’s expanding estate, trust and taxation group.

Joining the firm are Jill Lebowitz, as partner and co-chair of the estate, trust and taxation group; Amy M. George as an associate; and Abbey M. Horwitz, Maria A. Cestone and Michael T. Thompson, all as of counsel.

“When we rebranded our firm to be Coughlin Midlige & Garland, our plan was to grow our core practices and to continue to provide enhanced exceptional service to our clients,” managing partner Suzanne C. Midlige said in a press release. “The expansion of our estate, trust and taxation group does just that. We are excited to welcome this group of talented and experienced attorneys.”

Jill Lebowitz of Coughlin Midlige & Garland.

Lebowitz and Horwitz are both previously of Bridgewater’s Norris McLaughlin. Cestone, Thompson and George, are formerly of Cestone & Thompson, a boutique tax, trust and estates law firm.

“I am excited to have Jill, Abbey, Michael, Maria, and Amy join our existing group,” said James B. Garland, co-chair of Coughlin Midlige’s estate, trust and taxation group. “Not only are they outstanding lawyers, but they are also caring and compassionate people who always look our for the best interests of our clients.”

Lebowitz, who earned her law degree from Rutgers School of Law-Newark and her LL.M. in taxation from the New York University School of Law, has experience drafting sophisticated estate planning instruments and counseling individuals and families regarding estate, gift, and generation-skipping transfer tax issues, Coughlin Midlige & Garland said in the press release. She advises clients on the development of simple and complex estate plans, philanthropic planning, and business succession issues.

She is a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, a national organization of 2,500 lawyers elected to membership by demonstrating the highest level of integrity, competence, commitment, and experience as trust and estate counselors, and she is a member of the Board of Consultors.

“Having known Abbey, Maria and Michael for many years, I am thrilled to be working with Jim and this dynamic group, which also includes two experienced litigators,” Lebowitz said. “Plus the skills of each team member are so complementary, allowing us to handle any estate, tax, or related matters, including litigation, for our New Jersey and New York clients.”

Horwitz has a background in estate and tax planning in New Jersey and New York, handling all aspects of trust and estate administration, as well as guardianship matters.

“As a parent of a child with special needs, Horwitz is uniquely qualified to relate and to advise clients with planning for their special needs child,” the firm said. “Horwitz also prepares corporate and LLC filings for clients to ensure that their family businesses are distributed in accordance with their wishes, as well as shareholder agreements and corporate transfer documents.”

She obtained her law degree from the New York School of Law and her LL.M. in taxation from Villanova University. She is also a member of the P.G. Chambers School Board of Trustees and Development Committee.

Cestone concentrates her practice in the areas of domestic and international estate planning and administration; counseling of fiduciaries regarding estate, trust and charitable administration issues; and the creation, implementation and taxation of business succession plans.

Cestone is a graduate of Seton Hall University School of Law and she received her LL.M. in taxation from Boston University School of Law. She is also a member of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital Planned Giving Advisory Council, the Bergen County Estate Planning Council, the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners, and she also serves as the secretary of the board of directors of the Tahirih Justice Center, a national nonprofit that provides pro bono legal and social services to immigrant victims of gender-based violence.

Thompson, who obtained his law degree from Rutgers University Law School-Camden and his LL.M. in taxation from New York University Law School, focuses his practice in the areas of estate and tax planning, estate administration, disability planning, and elder law.

He is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and he is a frequent lecturer to legal, business and community groups.

George concentrates her practice in estate and trust administration and tax.

A Seton Hall University of Law School graduate, George has also served with the Internal Revenue Service, the Office of Chief Counsel in Newark, and with Judge Linda Lordi Cavanaugh of the New Jersey Superior Court Family Division.