Estate Planning and Administration
Clients often find it difficult to plan their estate. The reasons are many.
Among them are: the discomfort of discussing death, complications that attend some family structures, and simply, the hectic lives most people lead. While preparation for retirement or end of life is often difficult to face, discussing issues and making the right decisions with your estate planning lawyer can also be a huge relief.
It is our goal to make the estate planning process as easy as possible, from the first meeting, to the last transfer of assets. Effective estate planning ensures that your assets are distributed according to your wishes in an expeditious manner and, at the same time, that the amount of taxes paid from your estate is minimized.
Estate planning is a specialty of our New York law firm. We have more than 80 years of combined experience helping clients decide what works best for their financial circumstances.
Estate Planning Options
Any number of methods may be used to achieve effective estate planning including wills, various types of trusts and charitable contributions. We will explain the options that are appropriate to your unique situation and tailor a plan suited to your individual needs.
Your family is prepared to deal with the elderly relative's diminished capacity to handle his or her own affairs by having in place:
- Durable power of attorney
- Living will
- Designation of a health care proxy
- Special needs trust
- Long-term care insurance
Probate is the process of passing the assets of a deceased person to his or her heirs through a Will. Administration is the same basic process except there is no will.
We represent personal representatives and beneficiaries in the probate and administration process statewide. Our Estate services include:
- Probate filing and Administration
- Probate Litigation
- Will Contests
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty and Beneficiary Rights
- Ancillary Probate
- Elective Share
- Abuse of a Power of Attorney
- Trust Litigation
- Wrongful Death Litigation
- Contesting the authenticity of a will
- Determine the rightful executor of a will
- Litigate disputes between a will’s executor and potential beneficiaries
- Petition for removal of executor due to abuse of fiduciary responsibilities
The authenticity of a will is one of the most frequently contested matters in estate litigation. If a will cannot be proved genuine and legitimate, questions arise as to the true intent of the decedent. If a will was composed under duress, undue influence, or pressure, the court cannot rely on the document to express the true intentions of the person who has passed on. Since this person can no longer speak for him or herself, we work with families, heirs, and descendants to determine how best to serve the final wishes of the deceased.
In probate, the management of an estate, many complicated factors can arise. Beneficiaries of a will may have disputes with a will’s executor over the title ownership of real property or converted property. They may disagree over the distribution of funds from a bank account, or over the division of personal items belonging to the deceased. We can help resolve these disputes in or out of court.
It is the responsibility of a will’s executor to submit proper papers to the court, pay taxes owed, resolve debts with creditors, and distribute funds to the beneficiaries. When an executor neglects these duties, abuses his or her position, or fails to follow established law, we will represent family members and beneficiaries in litigation to remove the executor.