Estate Planning

You have worked hard to earn a living and to provide for yourself and your loved ones. You want your assets to be passed along according to your wishes. I can help you to achieve this goal. We will discuss your intentions and the best ways for you to avoid paying more than necessary to the federal and state governments.

The changes in the tax law enacted by Congress to avoid the “fiscal cliff” have provided some measure of clarity in estate planning, but there are still questions. The Federal Estate Tax exemption is $5,000,000. However, many New Yorkers are not aware that there is still a New York State Estate Tax on all estate amounts over $1,000,000. We can discuss strategies such as Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts designed to minimize your Estate Tax exposure and make sure that as much of your estate as possible goes where you want it to go and not to Uncle Sam.

Estate planning is about more than just avoiding estate taxes. In fact, it reflects your deeply held values such as providing guardians for your children, protecting your assets from creditors and spendthrift family members and preventing inter-family conflicts. We can also discuss gifting strategies that will dispose of your assets during your lifetime, with the added benefit of reducing your taxable estate.

I will prepare a last will and testament and other documents designed to leave your well-earned estate according to your wishes. I also prepare a health care proxy and power of attorney to assist you in case you become ill and are unable to attend to your health care and other life decisions.

If one of your loved ones passes away, leaving you as the Executor or Executrix of the estate, or if your loved one did not have a will and you need to attend to his or her affairs, I can assist you in the administration of the estate, whether through Probate (when there is a will) or administration (when there is no will).

I am a member of the Trusts and Estate Section of the New York State Bar Association.