Stephen J. Pagano


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 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 act as a trusted advisor.

Stephen serves as a Board Member for the Monmouth Park Charity Fund, which raises and distributes funds to nonprofit 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. He has presented at the New Jersey State Bar Association’s annual convention on gift and estate taxes, to the NJ Bankers Association on fiduciary law issues, and has attended to multiple 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., cum laude, from Seton Hall University School of Law, where he was a member of the Seton Hall Sports and Entertainment Law Journal. He earned a B.A. in Sociology from Boston College. He completed his LL.M. in Tax Law at New York University School of Law. Stephen is admitted to practice in both New Jersey and New York.

Areas of Emphasis

Trusts and Estates



Bar Admissions

New Jersey

New York


Seton Hall University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 2005

Boston College, B.A., 2002

New York University School of Law, LL.M., Taxation, 2017

Rankings & Recognitions

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.

Since 2022, Stephen has been included in The Best Lawyers in America®, a peer review of U.S. lawyers, in the Trusts and Estates Litigation and the Trusts and Estates fields.

From 2010 to 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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