Cameron Bernard is a Syracuse-based attorney in the firm’s Trust and Estates and Employee Benefits Practice Groups.
Cameron understands that planning your estate can be a difficult task, especially where underlying family dynamics play a role. Cameron endeavors to learn about his client’s values and goals to develop an estate plan that suits their needs, which may include:
- wills and trusts that include provisions for tax and family management issues
- living wills, healthcare proxies and powers of attorney
- Medicaid planning
- creation of LLCs or trusts for the management of family property such as a camp
- gift and estate tax considerations
- providing for a loved one with special needs
Cameron also advises trustees in their administration of trusts and prepares fiduciary income tax returns for estates and trusts.
Cameron’s practice involves advising clients with respect to the design and implementation of pension and employee benefit plans, including tax-qualified retirement plans, 403(b) plans, non-qualified deferred compensation plans, cafeteria plans, and other fringe benefit plans.
Once implemented, pension and benefit plans must be administered in accordance with the stringent requirements of ERISA and federal tax law – an often daunting task for any organization. This is where Cameron’s in-depth knowledge of ERISA and the federal tax code can help clients administer their fiduciary duties in accordance with the law and maintain the tax benefits of a plan for both the employer and employees. Where a violation has occurred, Cameron’s extensive knowledge and experience with the Internal Revenue Service’s and Department of Labor’s correction programs will allow him to determine the best course of action to correct the problem and maintain the tax benefits provided by the plan.
Cameron also has experience terminating tax-qualified defined benefit and defined contribution plans as well as representing plans going through audits by the IRS, DOL and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.
In addition to advising entities, Cameron also advises other attorneys and individuals with respect to the division of retirement assets upon divorce. Retirement assets are often one of the most valuable assets an individual has, which makes it extremely important that the language in a separation agreement of judgment of divorce be both precise and fair. Cameron offers valuable counsel throughout the entire process, from drafting language for the separation agreement to preparing Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (“QDROs”) as well as Orders for non-qualified retirement plans, such as Federal, Military and New York State pensions.
Affiliations & Acknowledgements
- Super Lawyers Upstate New York Rising Star – 2023
- Hiscock Legal Aid Society – Chair, Board of Directors; Previously served as Treasurer on the Board
Cameron is a native of Hilton, NY, a small community northwest of Rochester and now resides in Liverpool, NY.
J.D., Syracuse University College of Law, 2015, cum laude
B.S., Business Administration, University at Buffalo, 2011, magna cum laude