James K. Estabrook
James K. Estabrook has developed several areas of emphasis including federal and state estate and gift taxation, ERISA and employee benefits law.
Jim Estabrook is a shareholder of the firm of Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, P.C. He has devoted most of his thirty-seven years with the firm attending to the legal requirements of privately held businesses. Jim has developed several areas of emphasis including federal and state estate and gift taxation, ERISA and employee benefits law.
Jim serves as general counsel for the firm to the Mechanical Contractors Association of New Jersey, Inc. and the Mechanical Contracting Industry Council of New Jersey. Through that role, Jim has served since 1982 as co-counsel to the Boards of Trustees of Pipefitters Local Union No. 274 Employee Benefit Funds, Steamfitters Local Union No. 475 Employee Benefit Funds, Plumbers Local Union No. 24 Employee Benefit Funds, and Plumbers and Pipefitters Local Union No. 9 Employee Benefit Funds.
Most recently, he acted as co-counsel to the IBEW Local 456 Employee Benefit Funds, IBEW Local 400 Employee Benefit Funds and the Teamsters Local 469 Employee Benefit Funds. Jim serves as a Professional Trustee for the IBEW Local 102 Employee Benefit Funds, IBEW Local 164 Employee Benefit Funds, the New Jersey Electrical Workers Temporary Disability Benefit Trust Fund, and the Plumbers Local Union No. 17 Employee Benefit Funds and U.A. Local Union No. 614 Employee Benefit Funds of Memphis, Tennessee. He has recently completed assignments as a Professional Trustee to the U.A. Local 502 Employee Benefit Funds of Louisville, Kentucky, and the Plumbers & Steamfitters UA Local 486 Pension and Medical Funds of Baltimore, Maryland.
He is approved counsel for all fiduciary liability insurance claims with St. Paul Travelers and defends Trustees of both single and multi-employer plans before the United States District Court and investigations by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Internal Revenue Service. In 2018 Jim was appointed as Chairman of the Probate Early Settlement Program of the Superior Court in Union County.
Jim’s most recent achievement was as legal counsel to the Construction Industry’s Financial Accounting Standards Board (“FASB”) Committee. The Committee developed financial disclosures, in a cooperative working relationship with FASB and its staff, for employers contributing to multiemployer Taft Hartley Plans without the necessity of calculating withdrawal liability.
Jim regularly speaks before clients and civic organizations on estate planning and employee benefits. In estate planning he has appeared before the National Council on Aging, Committee on Aging and the Law; New Jersey State Bar Association; Association of Professional Geriatric Care Managers of New Jersey; New Jersey Association of Area Agencies on Aging (Elder Abuse and Neglect Project); the Elder Law Committee of the Union County Bar Association; the National Society of Fund Raising Executives; and the assembled staffs of many of the firm’s clients.
On employee benefits, he has consistently appeared as a featured speaker before the International Conference and Specialized Conferences of the International Foundation of Employee Benefits; the Plumbing Contractors Association of Chicago; the Annual Conference of the Union Affiliated Contractors of the National Association of Plumbing-Heating-Cooling Contractors; the Taft-Hartley Trustee seminar sponsored by the United Association and the Mechanical Contractors Association of New Jersey, Inc.; the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Inc., Industry Improvement Funds Seminar; and the Plumbing and Mechanical Contractors of Northern Illinois Industry Promotion Fund Seminar.
Jim is the author of the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, Inc.’s Industry Improvement Fund Operations Guide, and co-author with the New Jersey Division of Taxation of the Mechanical Contractors Association of New Jersey, Inc.’s Sales and Use Tax Manual for New Jersey Mechanical Contractors.
Jim also serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of several of the firm’s clients including the Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce (legal counsel); Kean University Foundation; Community Foundation of New Jersey (Legal Advisory Committee); and Linden Industrial Association (Secretary). He recently completed his term as Chairman of the Kessler Foundation.
- J.D., Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law, 1981
- B.A., Denison University, 1977cum laude / Phi Betta Kappa
- New Jersey, 1982
- United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, 1986
- United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, 1982
- United States Tax Court, 1986
- The Best Lawyers in America©, Trusts & Estates (2020);
(This award is not approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey. Selection methodology is available here)
- Martindale-Hubbell (AV)
- Sales and Use Tax Manual for New Jersey Mechanical Contractors, a joint publication of the New Jersey Division of Taxation and the Mechanical Contractors Association of New Jersey, June, 2005; Revised June, 2008
- Industry Improvement Fund Operations Guide, for the Mechanical Contractors Association of America, November, 1998; Revised November, 2009
- American Bar Association
- Union County Probate Early Settlement Program