John Kearns, III

Top rated estate planning & probate attorney in West Hartford, Connecticut

Kearns & Kearns, PC
John Kearns, III
Kearns & Kearns, PC

Practice Areas: Estate planning & probate, Elder law

Licensed in Connecticut since: 1982

Education: Syracuse University College of Law

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2007, 2019 - 2022

Kearns & Kearns, PC

1121 New Britain Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06110 Visit website


Dedicated and compassionate elder law attorney and founder of the Hartford, Connecticut, law office of Kearns & Kearns, PC, John Kearns III has been assisting clients with legal matters pertaining to wills and trusts, probate and estate planning for nearly 40 years. He is one of the first lawyers to be certified in Connecticut as an elder law attorney by the National Elder Law Foundation. 

An exceptionally knowledgeable attorney in Connecticut, Mr. Kearns has the acuity to help his clients protect their freedom and safeguard their savings when facing the hurdles of old age and/or disability. Meticulous and thorough, he is unanimously rated as a top lawyer by his peers and clients. A go-to estate planning attorney, he serves on many boards and frequently addresses the legal community as a guest speaker.

A founding member and past president of the Special Needs Alliance, a national network of disability lawyers, he is significantly associated with many organizations that reflect his field of law. He is part of the board of directors of the National Elder Law Foundation, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Alzheimer’s Association’s Connecticut Chapter and Harc, Inc. 

A 1979 history graduate of Fordham University, Mr. Kearns later attended the Syracuse University College of Law and earned his Juris Doctor in 1982. Licensed to practice in Connecticut, he represents his clients before the United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit and the Supreme Court of the United States.

Mr. Kearns is rated AV Preeminent* through Martindale-Hubbell and is only one of two attorneys in Connecticut to be recognized as Fellows of the Academy by the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Often quoted in journals and other media, he has written and published articles about personal injury law and elder law through Connecticut Lawyer.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer-review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Ratings™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas

Estate planning & probate, Elder law
  • 50% Estate planning & probate
  • 50% Elder law

First Admitted: 1982, Connecticut

Other Outstanding Achievements:
  • Jay has been quoted in Modern Maturity, Business Week, Money and Kiplinger, and has appeared on CNNfn, NBC, CNN Radio, and The Wall Street Journal Radio Network for his insight into long-term care issues.
Special Licenses/Certifications:
  • Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA)
  • Phi Beta Kappa Society
  • Jay is 1 of 2 Connecticut attorneys selected as Fellows of the Academy., Fellow, National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, 1999
Pro bono/Community Service:
  • Board of Directors, The National Elder Law Foundation, 1996
  • Attorney Kearns volunteers his time with Connecticut autism & intellectual disabilities advocacy groups, and a statewide not for-profit home care agency 
  • Advisory Board, General Electric Center for Financial Learning, 1999
  • Board of Directors, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA), 1995
  • Board of Directors, Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, 2006
  • Appointed by the Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Developmental Services (DDS) to serve as a member of the state’s independent Division of Autism Spectrum Services Advisory Council (DASSAC), 2011
  • Board of Directors, HARC, a multi-service organization in Greater Hartford that serves people with intellectual disabilities and their families through support, education and advocacy, 2004
  • Founding Member/Past President, Special Needs Alliance, a national network of disability lawyers, 2005
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Author, “Protecting the Money of Your Client with Disabilities”, Connecticut Lawyer, magazine of the Connecticut Bar Association, 2011
  • Author, “Why Trial Lawyers Should Use §468B Settlement Funds”, Connecticut Lawyer - magazine of the Connecticut Bar Association, 2008
  • Author, “Preserving Your Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Settlement After Saunders”, Connecticut Lawyer - magazine of the Connecticut Bar Association, 2000

Office location for John Kearns, III

1121 New Britain Avenue
West Hartford, CT 06110

Phone: 860-233-1281


5 Years Super Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers: 2007, 2019 - 2022

Certificates and credentials

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