Michael N. Gooen Partner

New YorkNew Jersey
T 973.597.2366 | F 973.597.2367

Michael designs and implements wealth transfer plans, including wills, trusts, and other estate plan instruments, for families and closely held businesses.

Michael is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), the preeminent organization of estate lawyers in the U.S. He has been praised by his peers as “extraordinarily smart” (Chambers USA). One source told Chambers, “Michael Gooen is probably the smartest guy in the room. He’s absolutely brilliant.”

Many of Michael’s clients are successful professionals with first-generation wealth. Unlike “old money” families–for whom estate planning is already an integral part of the culture–these clients are thinking about wealth transfer for the very first time. They frequently face the issue with some discomfort but recognize that taxes, intrafamily conflict, and other factors can lead to financial catastrophe. Michael helps navigate the complexities of business transitions and assists clients in passing their wealth as tax-efficiently as possible, with proper safeguards in place so that assets provide more benefits than burdens to future generations.

Clients with closely held businesses, including companies in the financial services industry, particularly value Michael’s substantial experience in transactional tax planning, including domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and partnership formations. He moves at the client’s pace, speaks the client’s language, and stays attuned to the complexities of each enterprise. Michael is particularly adept at designing complex ownership agreements for closely held entities and then advising the equity holders in their personal wealth transfer planning.

Representative Engagements

Counsels dozens of families in the optimal use of lifetime gift and generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions, thereby facilitating first-generation access, influencing second- and third-generation financial independence over time, and minimizing taxes.
Counsels international and domestic family offices on U.S. estate and income tax planning both for family members and for associated business entities.
Represents individuals before the IRS in estate and gift tax audits and in seeking private letter rulings relating to generation-skipping transfer tax exemptions.
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New Jersey Repeals Its Estate Tax
Trusts & Estates Client Alert, October 17, 2016
John Berger, Michael Gooen, Warren Racusin, Michael Vito
New IRS-Proposed Regulations Put a Damper on Discounts
Trusts & Estates Client Alert, August 15, 2016
Michael Gooen, Warren Racusin, Michael Vito
Tasty Freeze: Preferred Partnership Tax-Saving Recipe
Estate Planning Journal, May 2015
Michael Gooen, Tracy Snow
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Press Mentions

We are representing The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. in connection with the announced agreement to acquire Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, the storied fragrance brand established by the iconic perfumer Frédéric Malle (a grandson of Christian Dior).Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The transaction is expected to close in January 2015. The Lowenstein team includes Marita Makinen, Anthony Acevedo, Matt Savare, Michele Alexander, Michael Gooen, Christine Osvald-Mruz, Jeff ShapiroAnnie Nazarian Davydov, Randy Dorf and Lesley Adamo. , November 7, 2014
Lowenstein Sandler has won what may be an unprecedented victory in New Jersey probate litigation, representing beneficiaries of the Estate of Concetta Stone. The Superior Court of New Jersey ruled in our clients’ favor in a will contest, upholding the probated will and distributing the estate for the benefit of our clients. The court held that notes prepared by the decedent and found after her death did not constitute a valid will but rather were a “work in progress.” Partners Jeffrey J. Wild, Michael N. Gooen, and Associate Natalie F. Dallavalle led the team. , March 11, 2014
Michael N. Gooen is quoted in Barron’s about the importance of creating flexibility in family trusts. , Barron’s , March 1, 2014
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Related Areas

Investment Management
Trusts & Estates


Stanford Law School ( J.D. , 1990 ) , Moot Court Board, 1989
Harvard University ( B.A. , 1987 ) , magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa

Bar Admissions

New York
New Jersey


  • American College of Trust and Estate Counsel
    • Fellow
  • Estate Planning Council of New York City
    • Member, Board of Directors
  • Jewish Community Foundation of MetroWest New Jersey
    • Member, Board of Trustees
    • Chair Emeritus, Grant Review Committee
  • New Jersey Bar Association