Christine Woodcock Dettor

“I can give people peace of mind that their friends and family will be taken care of.”

Christine’s extensive legal knowledge allows her to solve the problems that matter most to her clients. Christine offers people the peace of mind they’re seeking, putting them on the right path to achieving their goals and preparing for their future.


Christine is a member of Bousquet Holstein PLLC and served on the firm’s Board of Managers for seven years. Christine has over 25 years of experience in trusts and estates, elder law, and tax-exempt organizations. Her proficiency in these complex areas of law has equipped her with a unique understanding of matters where these domains intersect, such as charitable planning, and she is frequently invited to present within the community.

Throughout her career, Christine has dedicated herself to numerous local non-profit organizations, both as legal counsel and as a board member. This insider’s perspective makes her an invaluable asset for her non-profit clientele. Beyond her legal counsel, she gives her NFP clients comprehensive support on operational and interpersonal issues.

Trust and Estate Planning

Christine comes from a large family, which is one of the reasons she has chosen to focus on helping families achieve financial security through proper planning. In fact, Christine is adamant about doing more than becoming only your estate planning attorney: she’s passionate about teaching you how to optimize your planning, how to develop an intelligent plan for your future, protect your assets, and have the peace of mind that comes with putting your affairs in order—for yourself and your loved ones. She does not want to see anyone get caught unprepared by unexpected events.

Because she understands the family dynamics that can come into play when planning an estate, she thoroughly discusses your expectations, wishes, and vision for your estate in order to protect the ones you love. The total of your assets doesn’t matter, protecting them does.

She’ll help you with:

  • Anticipating future issues that you might not have considered
  • Drafting the appropriate documents, including wills, trusts, deed and account transfers and beneficiary designations
  • The transfer and funding of trusts
  • The transfer of assets to your children and grandchildren
  • Naming a guardian, executor, and trustee and the roles each play
  • Planning how to care for your elders in their later years
  • Advising estate Executors

Christine stresses one point above all else: It is imperative that you secure legal representation to get the appropriate documents in order, so that your loved ones can handle your affairs as you intend. Without the right documents in place, your family members may face great difficulty and expenses.

Elder Law and Special Needs Planning

At some point in our lives, many of us will care for an elderly or disabled parent. Often times, people put off planning for this part of their lives, and do not realize the burden it can become for their children or spouse. To help you prepare for this eventuality, Christine will work with you to bring order to your estate or your parents’ estate.

 She’ll help you with:

  • Planning for long term care
  • Supplemental needs trusts
  • Medicaid planning and guardianships
  • Living wills, healthcare proxies and powers of attorney
  • Revocable and irrevocable trusts
  • Asset Protection
  • Wills and trusts that include provisions for tax and family management
  • Beneficiary changes and account transfers
  • Document drafting
  • Gift and estate taxes

With your affairs and your family members’ legal affairs in place, you all will breathe easier.

Tax-Exempt Organizations & Non-Profits

Whether your not-for-profit is well established or needs to be created, your organization needs dependable counsel who will be with you through every phase of your organization. Christine’s background on numerous non-profit boards gives her an insider’s perspective on what a tax-exempt organization needs to be successful and makes her deeply knowledgeable about the operations, finances, governance, and the interpersonal issues of NFPs.

For new NFPs, Christine can advise you on:

  • How to create a not-for-profit corporation
  • Associated costs
  • Applying to New York State and the I.R.S.
  • Putting your organizational structure in place
  • How to raise money, reduce administrative overheard, and satisfy donors
  • Avoiding difficulties with the I.R.S. and NY Attorney General

For established NFPs, Christine can advise you on:

  • Formation, costs, and structure, including attaining IRS 501(c)3 status
  • Exempt organization tax and audit issues
  • Structuring of gifts to charity
  • Tax compliance
  • Board of directors’ issues and best practices
  • How to partner with other NFPs
  • Staying true to your mission
  • Setting executive compensation
  • Structuring business relationships to accomplish charitable goals

Affiliations and Acknowledgements

  • Bousquet Holstein Board of Managers, 2016-2023
  • New York State Bar Association – Co-Chair of the Charitable Organizations Committee, Trusts & Estates Section, Executive Committee Member
  • New York State Bar Association – Trusts & Estates, Health Law and Elder Law Sections, Executive Committee Member, Past Audit Committee Member
  • Onondaga County Bar Association – Surrogates Court Committee
  • Central New York Women’s Bar Association
  • Estate Planning Council of Central New York – Member
  • National Association of Estate Planners and Councils – Accredited Estate Planner (AEP)
  • Leadership Greater Syracuse – Class of 2003
  • Central New York Business Journal “40 Under 40” Award Recipient, 2006
  • Super Lawyers, Upstate New York State Edition 2014-2019; 2021-2023
  • Best Lawyers in America – Non-Profit/Charities Law, Trusts and Estates, 2016-2024
  • Best Lawyers of America “Lawyer of the Year” Award, 2023

Community Involvement

  • Onondaga Historical Association – Vice President, Board of Directors
  • Loretto Management Corporation (Loretto) – Board of Directors
  • Syracuse Stage – Past Member, Board of Directors
  • Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse – Past Member, Board of Directors
  • Auburn Public Theater – Past Member – Board of Directors
  • Central New York Community Foundation – Past Chair of the Board of Directors Audit Committee Member and Co-Chair of the Professional Advisors Council
  • Friends of Jowonio – Past Board of Directors
  • Central New York Chapter of the Autism Society of America – Past Board of Directors
  • Manlius Pebble Hill School, Member – PastBoard of Trustees; Past Planned Giving Committee Member and Past Alumnae Board Member
  • Wellesley College, Past Alumnae Admissions Representative


J.D., Syracuse University College of Law, 1996
B.A., Wellesley College, 1992


New York

Christine Woodcock Dettor

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