Tara Anne Pleat, Esq.
Tara Anne Pleat practices in the areas of special needs estate planning and administration, traditional estate planning and administration, long-term care planning, and elder law.
Tara is admitted to practice in New York, Florida, and Massachusetts as well as the United States Tax Court and the U.S. Federal District Court in the Northern District of New York. She graduated cum laude from Albany Law School and earned her undergraduate degree from the State University of New York at Albany.
After undergraduate school, Tara began working as an estate planning paralegal in Albany. She quickly realized that she enjoyed the connection with families that position provided her and wanted to further develop those skills. She graduated from Albany Law School in 2002 with honors in the estate planning concentration and was fortunate to begin her legal career already with six years of meaningful hands-on experience behind her.
“I began working with Ed in 2004, which offered me an introduction to special needs law. However, my passion for this area of the law was solidified when my son was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome (an autism spectrum disorder) several years ago.”
I feel very fortunate to have a practice that allows me to be a better mother to and advocate for my son. While no two family’s experiences will be identical, there are shared concerns. Understanding those concerns as a mother makes me a better lawyer.”
Dedicated to serving her community and helping others to navigate the complex world of special needs law, her many local, statewide and national affiliations include : Chair of the Elder Law and Special Needs Section of the New York State Bar Association; active member of the Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, member of the Special Needs Alliance, an invitation-only, national network of leading attorneys dedicated to the practice of disability and public benefits law, where she co-chairs the Publications Committee; member of the Estate Planning Council of Eastern New York, Inc., (serving as President for the 2013/2014 year); Member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA); and Member of the Academy of Special Needs Planners.
In March of 2016, Tara was elected to Fellowship in the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). ACTEC is a non-profit association of attorneys and law professors dedicated to Trust and estate practice. Attorneys are elected to be fellows based on outstanding reputation, exceptional skill and substantial contributions to the trusts and estates field.
She is a member of the Board of Directors of AIM Services, Inc., an organization serving individuals with disabilities and their families in Saratoga, Warren and Washington Counties; Member of the Board of Trustees of the Wesley Community and the Wesley Foundation of Saratoga Springs; and co-chair of the Planned Giving Committee of the Board of Directors of the Wildwood Foundation. Tara is a Member of the ARC New York’s Statewide Guardianship Committee and is also a member of Supported Decision-Making New York’s Advisory Committee.
She is a graduate of Leadership Saratoga’s Class of 2006 and currently holds the position of Secretary/Treasurer on the Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.
Tara is a writer and presenter on numerous topics in her field and is “AV” rated by Martindale-Hubbell—the highest rating for expertise and ethics given by the independent rating service of the legal profession. In the fall of 2012 Tara was appointed as an Adjunct Professor of Law at Albany Law School, where she teaches a course on estate and financial planning for the elderly and individuals with special needs. In May of 2015, Tara was honored as one of Saratoga County’s Women of Influence by Saratoga Today.
On June 5, 2019, Tara received the Lisa Niles Distinguished Alumni Award from Leadership Saratoga Alumni Association.
You may see Tara around town running in charity races with members of the Wilcenski & Pleat “running team” as well as playing in scramble golf tournaments with colleagues, friends and family. Tara and her family roam the Adirondacks every chance they get. They hike during the spring, summer and fall months and ski in the winter. Tara hopes that she along with her son and daughter will finish their quest to become Adirondack 46ers in the next several years.
“About three years ago a friend gave me a book that she authored about the history of the women’s movement in Saratoga, Warren, and Washington counties. Her insignia to me read: ‘Remember, you’re a mother, a daughter, a sister, and a friend—and at the end of the day what we all really have and can rely on are our family, our friends, and our faith.’
That has stayed with me and in someone else’s words, sums up entirely what’s most important to me.”