Theodore Kaplan – New York Estate Planning Attorney

Theodore Kaplan |

Kaplan Fox

(800) 290-1952

800 Third Avenue
38th Floor
New York, NY 10022

Theodore Kaplan | Kaplan Fox


Firm Summary

Theodore Kaplan’s practice in real estate, trusts and estates, and general business law is a continuation of the firm’s original practice areas that was established many years ago. For that reason, it is no surprise that Mr. Kaplan provides a level of old-fashioned, personal attention to his client matters that is rarely seen today. In the real estate arena, Mr. Kaplan’s willingness to handle every detail of a transaction is extraordinarily valuable to his clients, many of whom live abroad. In addition to the typical elements of a real estate purchase, he often provides the unexpected—interviewing and contracting with architects, seeing to it that taxes and condominium fees are paid, and finding ways for his clients to work within building requirements and historic preservation laws. The same hands-on, detail-oriented approach is applied to Mr. Kaplan’s trusts and estates practice. For many of his clients, he operates much like a personal trust company, often providing advice and services that extend far beyond what one would expect from a law firm.

Mr. Kaplan has also developed a specialty in handling the often-complex estates of artists, writers, designers, musicians, and producers. Prior to joining Kaplan Fox, he served as general counsel and estates counsel to Sotheby’s, and today draws upon that experience to provide sound advice on the sale or auction of art.

In the general business arena, Mr. Kaplan represents writers and publishers, assisting them in the negotiation of publishing contracts and providing other services. In addition, he often works with young physicians interested in setting up practice, by handling practice purchases and drafting partnership agreements.

Mr. Kaplan’s involvement in the arts extends beyond his practice at Kaplan Fox. He served on the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Design; was a member of the board of the International Foundation for Art Research, and served as secretary for the board of the Ballet Foundation. He was a member of the board of the Heckscher Museum, and was a former president and board member of the New York Committee for Young Audiences.  He currently serves on the board of the Northport Historical Society.

In addition, Mr. Kaplan served as the chairman of the Planning Board of the Village of Northport, Long Island.

Mr. Kaplan lectures frequently on the planning of artists’ estates. For seven years, he held the position of adjunct professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, teaching art law in the school’s masters programs for gallery administration and museum studies.

He served as law clerk to the Hon. Sylvester J. Ryan, of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

He has been a partner in the firm since 1980 and is a member of the Century Association.


  • B.A., Reed College (1963)
  • M.A., University of Hawaii (1965)
  • J.D., New York University Law School (1968)
  • Post-graduate studies in comparative laws, University of London (1968-69)


  • Bar of the State of New York (1969)
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York


  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York (Committee on Art Law, 1983-1986, 1990-1993)