Professional Advisor Spotlight: Larry Franco

From Buffalo to Albany and back again, Lawrence (Larry) C. Franco’s law career spans across New York State and nearly five decades.

Born and raised in Western New York, Larry attended law school in Albany, graduating in 1976 and landing positions at the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, Third Department and then the New York State Governor’s Office of Employee Relations. In 1979, he accepted a position at Hurwitz & Fine, P.C. and returned to Buffalo, where he eventually assumed roles in the management of the firm as vice-president and stayed as a well-regarded practitioner for the duration of his professional career.

As Larry’s career progressed, he narrowed his legal focus to working with business owners on commercial and business matters, and with clients on their estate planning and subsequent estate administration. “As a result, I developed a special focus in succession planning for business ownership because it really unites estate planning with representing businesses,” said Larry. “Then as part of the whole estate planning process, I expanded my interest in charitable planning. Clients had an interest in philanthropic giving and I helped coordinate that intention with them.”

An active community member who served on many local boards, Larry became familiar with the Community Foundation and sought out its deep local knowledge when his clients approached him looking for ways to meet their charitable goals. He noted many benefits of working together in this way, including the cost-effective partnership the Community Foundation offers clients, its role of helping clients identify and support their interests, and the learning opportunities it offers, including the Impact Bus Tours.

Additionally, he noted the power of the Community Foundation’s endowment. “The Community Foundation has developed a mature, established investment portfolio, which allows clients to maximize the impact of their giving,” Larry said.

Prior to joining the Community Foundation Board in 2013, Larry helped create the Community Foundation’s Professional Advisor Council, a group of local attorneys, certified public accountants and financial professionals.  The Council members’ agenda focused on working towards gaining a deeper understanding of the Community Foundation’s services and its role in Western New York, and providing feedback to enhance its ability to be a preeminent resource on charitable giving for the professional advisor field, serving as co-chair in its inaugural year. “I found it very stimulating to be with other advisors discussing charitable opportunities in the community,” said Larry. “Ultimately, the goal is to advise clients to the best of our ability, and being part of this Council really allows us to maximize our advice to clients.”

Today, nearing full retirement, Larry has just concluded his tenure over the last 10 years as a Community Foundation Board member, and most recently serving on the Executive Committee, but continues to partner with the Community Foundation to meet the charitable wishes of his clients. “There is a whole range of possibilities for clients– lifetime, death-time, publicly acknowledged, not publicly acknowledged giving—and the Community Foundation helps to create customized charitable solutions that are unique to each client.”

If you are interested in learning more about how the Community Foundation works with professional advisors, please contact Megan Sommerfeldt, Director, Gift Planning, at