Estate Planning

WILLS, TRUSTS ESTATES AND PROBATE

Why do you need an estate plan?

Before we answer that question, you need to understand what an estate plan is. Estate planning is for everyone. It is the process by which you can arrange the transfer of assets in anticipation of your death or the death of a loved one. Estate planning is a vehicle in which you can decide who will care for your children, who will make decisions for you if you become incapacitated and what type of assets will be left to give your children and grandchildren if you go into a nursing home. These are just a few of the many directives we will discuss with you. If you do not have an estate plan, the state of New York will control how your assets are distributed after you pass away and will control who can make financial and medical decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated.

Estate planning can be as simple as a will or as complex as creating an irrevocable trust for Medicaid planning purposes. We have decades of experience in estate planning and will sit and explain all of your options to help you with these important decisions.

Experience is invaluable in estate planning. When developing an estate plan or working on an estate matter, we believe in working in close collaboration with our clients to gain a deeper understanding of their unique situations, needs and goals. Ms. Ponzini is a sought after lecturer in this field and will be happy to meet with you to custom tailor your estate planning needs.

PROBATE AND ESTATE ADMINISTRATION

The death of a loved one is a confusing and difficult time. In New York State, when a loved one dies who has a will, the will must be probated. Probate is the process by which an attorney goes about to establish the validity of the will. A petition is filed inĀ SurrogatesĀ Court and the Court will oversee the actions of the executor or executrix of the estate. The probate process can be confusing and complicated. In these situations, you will need an experienced attorney to guide you through this process.

An administrative proceeding occurs when a loved one dies without a will. Certain family members can file a petition to be named the administrator of the estate. Once appointed, the administrator acts in a similar capacity as the executor or executrix.

PROBATE LITIGATION, WILL CONTESTS

Occasionally, a dispute will arise between parties as to which will to probate or whether the will was properly executed. These issues are heard by the Surrogate’s Court. Our firm is experienced in handling all areas of probate litigation.