Stephen J. Pagano, a partner with the Firm, practices in Riker Danzig's Tax and Trusts and Estates department.  He concentrates his practice in the areas of probate litigation and tax, trusts and estates matters.  Stephen utilizes his knowledge from years of estate, trust and tax planning to provide insight and strategy in probate litigation matters.  In addition, Stephen’s experience with probate litigation gives him a unique and advantageous perspective in planning for the Firm’s individual and business clients. Stephen also represents clients seeking to protect loved ones in guardianship proceedings pending before the New Jersey Superior Court and has received court appointments as counsel and guardian in such matters.   

Stephen also practices in the Firm’s Corporate department where he counsels closely-held businesses on a variety of corporate matters.  He routinely assists clients in planning the succession of their business to the next generation of leadership.  Stephen works closely with clients to learn their business, anticipate issues and be their trusted advisor.  

Stephen serves as a Board Member for the Monmouth Park Charity Fund, which raises and distributes funds to non-profit agencies in Monmouth County that provide services related to health, those at risk in the community, and those in need of special services.

Stephen is a graduate of the Monmouth County Haydn Proctor Inn of Court. He frequently speaks on probate and estate planning topics, including presentations at the annual New Jersey State Bar Association convention on gift and estate taxes, to the NJ Bankers Association on fiduciary law issues, and other speaking engagements.  Stephen is also a contributing author for LexisNexis Practice Advisors, providing his insights on estate planning topics to legal practitioners around the country. 

Stephen received a J.D. degree, cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law where he was a member of the Seton Hall Sports and Entertainment Law Journal, and earned a B.A. degree, in Sociology, from Boston College. He completed his LL.M. degree in Tax Law at New York University School of Law. Stephen is admitted to practice in New Jersey and New York.  In 2019, Stephen was named a “New Leader of the Bar” by the New Jersey Law Journal.  A high honor, the Law Journal selects for this recognition attorneys in their second decade of practice whose achievements in the workplace and public service involvement distinguish them from their peers.  Best Lawyers in America®, a peer review of U.S. lawyers, has included Stephen on its "Best Lawyers" list in the field of Trusts and Estates for 2022. From 2010 through 2015, he has been included on the Super Lawyers “Rising Star” list in the Estate Planning and Probate field by Thomson Reuters.  See Awards and Honors Methodology.

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