WILLS, TRUSTS & ESTATES

When most people think of estate planning they focus on drafting a will. Wills are certainly the foundation for most estate plans but they aren't the only options. An effective estate plan is made up of multiple documents, each geared toward a distinct set of goals.

The information on this page is meant to provide a brief introduction to our services. We encourage you to contact us to schedule an appointment.

wills-cropped.jpg

WILLS

You should have a will to ensure you property is distributed according to your wishes and values. As attorney well-versed in estate law, we take into consideration your marital, immigration and residency status as well as your intended beneficiaries. Dual-nationals, permanent residents and U.S. citizens often have different tax considerations and estate planning goals.  We are here to help you draft the will that meets your needs.


TRUSTS & OTHER ESTATE PLANNING VEHICLES

In addition to wills there are many other useful estate planning tools including trusts, beneficiary and payable-on-death designations and lifetime transfers. We help you choose the right instruments to manage your assets and incorporate your wishes for inheritance.


POWER OF ATTORNEY

A power of attorney allows another person to act as your agent, giving them authority to handle some or all of your financial and legal matters while you are still alive. You must sign this document in the presence of witnesses, and your Agent must express consent to act on your behalf. 

Since the grant of this authority carries a great deal of responsibility, we highly recommend that you seek legal counsel before granting someone Power of Attorney. Should you decide you want or need a power of attorney our attorneys will assist you in drafting a power that meets your needs.


LIVING WILLS & HEALTHCARE PROXIES

Another important aspect of estate planning is preparing for the possibility of incapacity. Although it is often uncomfortable to talk about, good estate plans should address issues such as catastrophic illness or injury, dementia and end-of-life care.

Key estate planning documents for addressing these issues may include a living will, a health care proxy and a power of attorney.

We work with you to fashion an estate plan that best suits your needs to protect your assets and provide for loved one. We are here to help you accomplish your goals and provide piece of mind.


PROBATE & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION

Dealing with the loss of a loved one is an emotionally difficult and stressful experience. Handling the administration and probate process often adds to this highly emotional and demanding circumstance.  Probate, which involves numerous and complex steps, is the official proving of a will and involves, among other the things, the distribution of a decedent’s assets. The probate is usually overseen by the named executor of a Will.  If you have been named the executor of an estate or you are a surviving loved one whose family member died without a will, you will need competent and skilled counsel to help you through the probate or administration process. We have extensive experience with probate and administration and handling simple and complex estates. We do our best to make the process easier for you and your family.

ANCILLARY PROBATE
Ancillary probate is the process of obtaining the legal authority to distribute out of state assets. In most cases it will be necessary to file a secondary probate proceeding in the state or country where the property is located. We regularly handle estates where a loved one died while living abroad or outside the state but had New York assets. Moreover, we are very familiar with and deal with circumstances wherein a New York resident dies with property located outside the state or in another country.  Given the complexity of these matters, it is imperative to have local counsel who can handle the nuances of multi-state or multi-country probate cases. We provide experienced and streamlined representation to conclude estate matters as swiftly and efficiently as possible.

WILL CONTESTS
A will contest can be extremely stressful and threaten family relationships. Nevertheless, it may be necessary act to protect and carry out your loved one’s final wishes. If you are concerned your loved one was under duress when he or she change or drafted their will or if you were eliminated from a loved one’s will under unusual circumstances, we strongly urge you to seek our advice. We will review with you your concerns and address any allegations that might result in grounds to contest a will, including improper execution, undue influence or duress, lack of capacity or fraud. In most instances, we can help resolve family disputes involving the validity or terms of a will without resorting to litigation. However, when that is not possible we are committed to zealously protecting our client’s interests.