Scott M. Sherman, a highly respected trusts and estates attorney in New York City and Westchester, died after a valiant, seven-year battle with an aggressive cancer on September 18, 2023. He was a longtime resident of Rye, N.Y.
Born on October 3, 1950, in New Jersey, he grew up in Andover, Massachusetts. He attended Phillips Academy at Andover where he developed into a self-described physics nerd. After graduating in 1968, he went on to Yale College where his academic interests broadened and he became an enthusiastic intramural athlete. He played basketball and football for his residential college teams. He received a B.A. in Political Science in 1972.
He put himself through night school at the Washington College of Law at American University in Washington, D.C., by working as a women’s shoe salesman and a bank teller. He received his Juris Doctor in 1977. Throughout his undergraduate and law school years, he also held a variety of summer jobs, including raising laboratory rats and selling dictionaries door-to-door in Michigan and Indiana.
After law school, he moved to Manhattan, where, as a young lawyer, he began to focus on tax-related issues, later specializing in trust and estate planning, and elder law. As he built his practice in what was a transformative era for trust and estate law, he was frequently a speaker in educational programs for lawyers and the public. Colleagues recall that Scott was very approachable and generous in sharing his extensive knowledge of the law with other attorneys. Clients too appreciated his ability to explain even the most complicated tax issues as he developed a plan to meet their particular requests.
In 2008 he established a solo practice in Rye Brook, N.Y., and recently transitioned his practice to Walsh and Amicucci of White Plains. He worked previously with Reed Smith in Manhattan and prior to that was a partner at Danziger & Markhoff in White Plains.
During his career, Mr. Sherman published a number of articles in his field of expertise. He drafted one of the first elder law trusts as a way to help aging clients preserve family assets and secure more favorable tax treatment. He was selected to serve as chair of the Westchester County Bar Association’s Trust and Estates Section and its Tax Section. He was also a member of the Westchester and New York City Estate Planning Councils and a past president of the Hudson Valley Council.
Above all, Scott Sherman was devoted to his family. He felt fortunate to have met his future wife, Dr. Phyllis Schmiedeberg, in 1986 while she was completing her Internal Medicine residency at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. They married in 1988 and settled in the Washington Heights area in northern Manhattan. Their son, Matthew, was born in 1995, and in 1998, they moved to Rye. Scott was especially proud of his son’s achievements in engineering and avidly followed his career. The family enjoyed traveling and appreciated the many cultural opportunities in nearby New York City.
Mr. Sherman was known to friends and family for his insightful, clever, and often quirky sense of humor. He enjoyed ironic humor and was particularly adept at finding such humor in the world around him. He was restless in his search for intellectual stimulation and was known to take a contrarian position just for the sake of argument and debate. A voracious reader, he often swapped books with family and friends. He was a Mets fan, and in addition to the occasional competent round of golf, he would unwind on weekends by treasure hunting at the Salvation Army and occasional estate sales. Though not all his finds were celebrated at home, he did love a good bargain.
Scott’s and Phyllis’ 35-year marriage was a true partnership and he could not have asked for a more dedicated caregiver over the last seven years. In addition to his wife and his son, Matthew Sherman of New York City, he is survived by his sisters, Lois Mann and Jean Sabean, both of Massachusetts, and their families.
His family extends special thanks to Memorial Sloan Kettering Medical Center for their extraordinary care.