Greenbaum Rowe Smith & Davis LLP

Michael A. Backer

Michael A.  Backer

Partner, Chair, Tax, Trusts & Estates Department

Practice Focus

Mr. Backer concentrates his practice in trust and estate litigation where he aggressively manages will contest, will construction, accounting, and other fiduciary litigation for individuals and all major New Jersey bank trust departments. He also advises and implements wealth transfer strategies for high net worth individuals and owners of closely-held businesses to help them achieve their estate planning objectives while minimizing their transfer tax liabilities. With 38 years of specialized experience, he also counsels individual and corporate fiduciaries on all facets of estate and trust administration, preparation of state and federal death and fiduciary income tax returns, post-mortem tax planning and fiduciary accountings.

Professional Activities / Honors

  • Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel.
  • Selected as Best Lawyers' 2014 Woodbridge "Lawyer of the Year" in Trusts & Estates and as 2013 Woodbridge "Lawyer of the Year" in Litigation - Trusts & Estates.
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the Trusts & Estates and Litigation: Trusts & Estates categories and rated by his peers as one of the "Top 100"  Lawyers in New Jersey.
  • Listed in New Jersey Super Lawyers in the Estate Planning & Probate practice area (2005-present).
  • Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent.
  • Member of the New Jersey State and American Bar Associations.
  • Past officer of the Board of Consultors of the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law Section of the New Jersey State Bar Association.
  • Past Chairman of the New Jersey Probate Code Revision and Reform Committee of the New Jersey State Bar Association.

Publications / Articles / Presentations

  • New Jersey Rules Governing Trust Investing Significantly Revised by Prudent Investor Act
  • Revised Principal and Income Act
  • New Jersey’s Uniform Principal and Income Act
  • New Jersey’s Prudent Investor Act


  • He is a draftsperson of significant portions of Title 3B, New Jersey’s estate and probate law, including New Jersey’s Principal and Income Act, New Jersey’s Prudent Investor Act and the soon to be enacted New Jersey Uniform Trust Code.
  • He is a frequent lecturer on trust investment law, trends in probate litigation, new developments in New Jersey probate law and various aspects of estate and tax planning.
  • He serves as an expert witness and is available to mediate complex, contested estate litigation.

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1969
  • New York, 1983       
  • U.S. Tax Court, 1983


Metro Corporate Campus One
P.O. Box 5600
Woodbridge, New Jersey 07095-0988
Direct Dial: 732-476-2450
Direct Fax: 732-476-2451
Download vCard


Tax, Trusts & Estates


Rutgers University School of Law, Newark, J.D., 1969
Rutgers University, A.B., 1966

Bar Admissions








Printer-friendly page »