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Category: Probate and Estates
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Latest News

Hon. Gail Prudenti Selected as a Top Lawyer in Long Island

We're excited to announce that Hon. Gail Prudenti has be recognized by the Long Island Herald as a 2024 Top Lawyer of Long Island award recipient for her excellence in the Trusts and Estates practice area.

April 22, 2024
Avoiding Probate with a Revocable Trust

Revocable Trusts have become increasingly popular estate planning tools to avoid probate. A trust allows for the orderly and private administration of your assets at death without court involvement.

December 15, 2023
Can You Sell a Home Bequeathed to You in a Last Will and Testament?

Q: My grandparents on my mom’s side are leaving me their house in their will after they both pass away, will I be able to sell it right away?

December 12, 2023
Guiding Your Executor: Navigating the Probate Process and Exploring Options

When you’ve taken the crucial step of drafting a Will, it’s equally vital to prepare your chosen executor for what lies ahead. Informing them ahead of time ensures a smoother process during what can be a challenging period.

October 2, 2023
What steps should I take with my loved one’s estate and my own planning?

Whenever a loved one passes, especially one that was depended on, it is often difficult for one to even consider the next steps, yet alone know what those steps are.

July 20, 2022
What is a Small Estate Proceeding?

Not all estates require a probate or full administration proceeding in New York State. A small estate proceeding, also known as a Voluntary Administration, is a simplified Surrogate’s Court procedure. Voluntary Administration is available if the decedent died with or without a Will.

July 1, 2022
Debunking Myths Surrounding Probate

The legalities surrounding a Last Will and Testament stem from Roman times, when six witnesses affixed their personal seals to a Will. The Will was later validated by examining these seals to make sure they remained intact.

May 11, 2022
Rights of a Surviving Spouse

Pursuant to New York State law, you cannot completely disinherit a spouse. A surviving spouse at the time of a decedent’s death has a statutory right to inherit an “elective share” of the deceased spouse’s assets.

April 6, 2022
Fixing an Old Trust to Avoid Capital Gains Tax for Heirs

One of the most disruptive proposals put forth last year by Congress was the elimination of the tax-free basis step up at death. Luckily for many of our clients, the legislation was never enacted.

March 25, 2022
Dying without a Will in New York State

Passing away without a Will is known as dying “intestate.” Many people mistakenly believe that if they die without a Will their assets go to the State.

February 25, 2022
Have you checked if you have unclaimed funds in New York state?

Did you know that banks, insurance companies, corporations and courts are required by law to report dormant accounts to the New York State Comptroller? These organizations must attempt to notify you by mail and publish this information in newspapers.

January 14, 2022

Our Blog

Thought Leadership

An Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (“ILIT”) is a valuable estate planning tool used to reduce estate taxes – known as death taxes during an election year. Whether you need an ILIT depends on how much your assets are worth now or what your potential net worth is in the future.

January 30, 2023 Read Article

Whether an executor needs to hire an attorney depends on the type of assets, size of the estate, family dynamics, estate tax considerations, and outstanding bills.

January 4, 2023 Read Article

Most people do not realize that a Will likely does not control who collects on a life insurance policy. The beneficiary named on the policy supersedes the Will. So long as the policy owner correctly designated a beneficiary on the policy, that designation controls.

December 7, 2022 Read Article

In New York State, a parent has no obligation to leave an inheritance to a child. Many other countries have “forced heirship” which prohibits parents from disinheriting children, but Louisiana is the only US state with such a law.

November 4, 2022 Read Article

The word is defined as “the ability to be easily moved,” but in the context of Trusts & Estates, it means much more. In this regard, portability is one of the strongest tools in the planner’s toolbox to reduce or eliminate federal estate taxes after the deaths of a married couple.

August 29, 2022 Read Article

Surrogate’s Court hears cases involving the affairs of decedents, the probate of wills, and the administration of estates. The Surrogate’s Court also handles certain types of guardianship petitions and adoptions.

August 3, 2022 Read Article