Melissa A. Pezzino



Ms. Pezzino is special counsel in the firm’s Trusts and Estates Department.  She has over 15 years of experience in Elder Law, Estate Planning, Probate, and Estate Administration matters.  She holds a dual degree in law and social work, bringing a unique blend of legal expertise and compassion to every case.

Ms. Pezzino aims to provide personalized service, clear communication, and a deep understanding of each client's unique needs and goals. Her compassion, coupled with legal advocacy, have resulted in favorable outcomes for her clients in challenging legal situations.

Ms. Pezzino has represented hundreds of estates in probate and estate administration matters to ensure a smooth transition of assets after a loved one's passing. Her empathetic approach, coupled with a deep understanding of the legal intricacies involved, eases the burden for families during challenging times.  Ms. Pezzino represents estates in Surrogate’s Court proceedings, including contested and uncontested probate, administration, discovery, and judicial settlement proceedings.  She handles all areas of estate administration, including the preparation of estate accountings and Federal and New York estate tax returns. In contested matters, Ms. Pezzino negotiates complex settlements and mediations, resolving disputes amicably whenever possible. 

Ms. Pezzino also develops personalized estate plans uniquely tailored to the needs of each client to preserve and transfer wealth efficiently.  Her experience includes the preparation of wills, powers of attorney, and health care proxies in accordance with clients’ goals.  She also drafts revocable and irrevocable trusts, as well as supplemental needs trusts to protect her client’s assets.

Ms. Pezzino handles a variety of Elder Law matters, including representing clients in contested and uncontested Article 17A and Article 81 guardianship proceedings, and preparing initial reports and annual reports for guardians.

She received her Juris Doctor and Master of Social Work from the State University of New York at Buffalo, and graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Oswego, where she double majored in Psychology and Sociology.  

Court Admissions

Courts of the State of New York

United States District Court
   - Western District of New York

United States Bankruptcy Court
   - Western District of New York

Admitted to Practice

New York


University at Buffalo School of Law (J.D., 2004)

University at Buffalo School of Social Work (M.S.W., 2004)

State University of New York at Oswego (B.A., 2000, cum laude)

Professional Associations

New York State Bar Association

Bar Association of Erie County