Estate Planning

Estate Planning and Trust Administration We assist individuals and families in planning their estates. This involves not only reducing estate taxes, but also protecting the estate during life. We prepare wills designed to reduce or eliminate federal and New York State estate taxes, powers of attorney drafted to permit the effective management of assets and personal affairs, and advance medical directives (health care proxies with living will language) giving instructions to health care providers in the event of incapacity. Various kinds of revocable and irrevocable trusts are also prepared, if appropriate. We also advise heirs and fiduciaries on the process of probating estates. Probate administration is available in every county in New York State and may include: filing the petition for appointment of the executor, preparing and filing the inventory of estate assets, paying decedent’s debts, distributing assets, filing estate and income tax returns, and filing an accounting with the Surrogate’s Court.

Will and Probate Contests and Trust Disputes We represent parties who intend to file objections to the probate or other litigation related to probate of a Last Will and Testament in every county in New York State. We also defend fiduciaries against these objections in contested probate litigation. Additionally, we represent litigants in each phase of a trust dispute, including contesting the validity of a trust, removing a trustee, and accounting proceedings in every county in New York State. We also represent several banks and financial institutions in their capacity as corporate trustee across New York State.