Trusts and Estates
Our goal in planning is to advise and assist our clients, whether of significant wealth or of more modest means, in making appropriate decisions to build and preserve their assets and establish appropriate vehicles for the transfer of the client’s estate to those people (and/or charitable organizations) of their choosing.
We bring our breadth of knowledge and personal service to create a unique and customized plan for each client. We are adept at preparing Wills, both simple and complex, Trusts, Family Limited Partnerships and Charitable Foundations. We have particular expertise in the field of planning for persons with disabilities through the use of supplemental (special) needs trusts (SNT). We take a team approach to planning, to include the client’s other advisors (such as accountants and insurance experts) to maximize every planning opportunity for estate, gift and income tax savings.
With respect to the probate and administration of estates, our office transforms the difficulties faced by the client who is a fiduciary (executor, administrator, trustee) into manageable matters. Our staff is specially trained in the field of trust and estate administration, from the filing of probate papers through the preparation and filing of formal judicial accountings. Our experience also extends to post-mortem tax planning and the preparation and filing of state and federal estate tax returns. We have experience administering estates of modest sizes to multi-million dollar estates in the Surrogate’s Courts of almost every down-state county, with particular focus in Nassau, Suffolk, Queens and New York Counties.
In some cases, estate and/or trust administration involves litigation in the Surrogate’s Court. We have particular expertise in representing both petitioners and respondents in litigated estate matters. We represent clients in Will contests, formal judicial accountings, fiduciary removal proceedings, turnover and recovery of estate assets, wrongful death compromise proceedings and other disputes arising in the context of a decedent’s estate. Our Partners have also been appointed by the Surrogate’s Courts as Guardian ad Litem in numerous matters and are well-known to the Surrogates and the Court staff.
Most all of our estate plans also include the drafting and implementation of advance directives: Inter-Vivos Trusts, Health Care Proxies, Living Wills and Powers of Attorney. These important instruments enable the people you trust to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable to make those decisions yourself. In many respects, the advance directives can be more important to the client than a Last Will.