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woman-saying-no-300You cannot be forced to accept an asset. The law has devised a very specific way to say "no" to a portion or all of a proposed gift or bequest. This technique is called a "Qualified Disclaimer."

To be "Qualified," the disclaimer must be structured in a particular manner to meet the requirements of Federal and State law. The actual statutory and regulatory framework is very complex and fraught with pitfalls. However, the results of your properly prepared and executed "Qualified" disclaimer can sometimes be an economic miracle for your family.

Essentially, a "Qualified" disclaimer must be irrevocable and in writing. Also, you must disclaim the asset within nine months from the time you are entitled to receive it. You may not control the disposition of the asset in any way.


Scenario 1: Fix a Defective Asset Allocation to Save Estate Taxes.

Beulah and Bertram were husband and wife, and together they had assets of approximately $5,000,000. Each had approximately $1,000,000 in his or her own name (separate assets,) and the balance of their assets were "joint." They created "bypass" trusts for each other intending to take advantage of both of their $2,000,000 exemptions.

A bypass trust is a trust that you create for your spouse with assets equal to your estate tax exemption. She can be the sole beneficiary of the Trust, receive all of the income, and have the principal available to her for her support and health care. She can even be the Trustee. The trust assets should not be included in your spouse's estate. This permits her to use her own exemption against her own assets. You cannot create a bypass trust with joint assets because they pass directly to your spouse.

Unfortunately, Bertram and Beulah's lawyer Ewald Eagle Eye, Esquire bought his estate planning software at Westfarms Mall and never bothered to re-arrange their holdings, so that each of them would own sufficient separate assets. Beulah died and was survived by Bertram and their sons, Bruno and Boniface.

If Bertram can disclaim $1,000,000 of the couple's $3,000,000 of joint assets, then those disclaimed assets might be available to fund the "bypass" share to the optimum level of $2,000,000. This would probably save Bruno and Boniface an additional $500,000 in tax when their father "goes west."

!!CAUTION:!! Disclaimers of "joint" assets can be a quite "tricky," depending upon whether the assets are real or personal property, or whether securities are in certificate form or in "street name."

Scenario 2: Keep Your Options Open.

Paul and Paula have total assets of $2,500,000. Their children Paulette and Pauline, are competent adults with stable marriages. If it weren't for taxes, Paul and Paula would leave everything to each other. However, they know that the cost of doing that would be a Connecticut estate tax of approximately $127,000 and a Federal tax of about $27,500.

Paul and Paul divide their assets equally (not "joint"). They leave everything to each other but provide for an alternative disposition to the extent that the survivor disclaims any portion of her or his bequest.

Suppose that Paula survives Paul. Any assets which she disclaims would pass to a bypass trust of which she is trustee. She would receive all of the income and could use the trust assets for her support and health care. After her lifetime, the trust assets pass to Paulette and Pauline.

This "contingent bypass trust" must be put into place while both spouses are alive and competent. If one of them dies or becomes disabled, a significant tax saving opportunity could be lost.

Planning in advance to use disclaimers to create bypass trusts allows you to keep all of your options open. If, when the first spouse dies, your total assets are greater than the State or Federal estate tax exemption, then the survivor can create a bypass trust to the extent necessary to avoid the tax at her death. If the exemption is greater than your assets or if the estate tax has been repealed, you have a choice to take your entire bequest or to let part or all of it pass to a bypass trust in case the estate tax were to be reenacted.


Scenario 3: Take What You Want. Leave the Rest.

Your Aunt Sally left you all of her jewelry and a bequest of $200,000. If you didn't survive her, those assets would pass to your children. You have a taxable estate (over $2,000,000) and want to have the cash pass to your children, who could really use it. If you took the cash and gave it to your children, you would have to use $200,000 of your exemption. This would eventually cost your family $100,000. You want to keep the jewelry. You disclaim the cash, which now goes to your children directly from your Aunt Sally. Since you didn't disclaim the jewelry, it passes to you.


These are just a few of the ways in which disclaimers can save taxes, both during people's lifetimes and in the administration of their estates. They can be used in many ways to achieve both tax and non-tax goals. For example, properly planned and executed disclaimers can save charitable deductions and allow beneficiaries of IRAs and other retirement plans to "stretch out" their minimum required distributions.


man-young-depressed-300It has become my mission to shine light upon the paradox of privilege and the unique practical and emotional challenges that can come with a substantial inheritance. There is another legacy phenomenon within multi-generational families that has a tremendous emotional cost and that is the experience of the disinherited.

With the exception of Louisiana, every state in the U.S. allows a parent to disinherit a minor or adult child for any or no reason at all. Disinheritance of even a single member affects the entire family and can cause relational fractures that last a lifetime.

For some, the experience of being disinherited is a badge of shame. At first there is the shock and confusion of parental rejection. What often remains is a lingering sense of being fundamentally flawed that informs how one shows up in the world and within relationships.

With such a blemish to a healthy sense of value as a human being many feel lost, disconnected from other family members. Anger and resentment can rear their ugly heads damaging or severing more family relationships. Some of the disinherited know precisely the transgression that resulted in disinheritance; others feel like they've been broadsided for no apparent reason.

There are any number of reasons given for disinheritance. Some justifiable, many are not. I had dinner the other night with an attorney who was accused by a greedy step-mother for behavior never committed in a successful ploy to cut him out of his portion of any future inheritance. Unfortunately I've heard - and witnessed - similar situations long enough to know how common it is for such a thing to happen.

The important thing is for parents to fully understand and come to terms with the severity of the emotional impact disinheritance can have on a child. Some never recover, never reach anything even close to their full potential. They wander through life forever as wounded souls.

Some adult children my have committed horrible acts that resulted in disinheritance and disconnection from the family. There are other incidents where a child who is disinherited in the will of a living parent re-establishes a good relationship with that parent. The parent has every intention of providing an inheritance. However the parent dies without having changed the will. An unfortunate fact of life is that death can arrive unexpectedly. Therefore it is essential to regularly update wills and estate plans to reflect any relationship changes.

I've seen a few of the disinherited process, transform and leverage the painful experience into a golden opportunity to define, enrich and empower their self-worth from the inside out. It gives them a freedom that can never be taken from them by anyone. The act of disinheritance, in these few cases, is the pivotal moment that ultimately creates a fulfilling life of purpose and significance beyond what any financial inheritance could have provided.

I know what disinheritance feels like. My Mother and I had a falling out in the aftermath of her divorce from my Father while I was a teenager. I was written out of her will. That day never came because she died suddenly of a brain aneurysm a couple of years later.

It took some inner work for me to shift that disempowering experience into one that made a meaningful and positive difference in my life. The money was never the source of pain; it was the rejection and disconnection between a mother and daughter that tore me apart for many years.

That experience, though, gave me great gifts even though I had to crawl on my knees to receive. The lessons and insights were ultimately worth the time spent knocked to the proverbial ground. Its one of the things that makes me understand, with certainty, that life happens for you - not to you.

Today, I understand that parents are human and have their own personal issues. They do what they think is right, even if woefully misguided. I feel my heart my Mother and I would have reconciled one day. I've chosen to hold that image, and the empowering lessons I learned, as my inheritance from her. And for that I am truly grateful.

If you've been disinherited, or know someone who has, I invite you to read the insights provided by Mary Beth Caschetta in the New York Times article "What Wasn't Passed On". She's transformed her personal story as a disinherited young adult into a mission to educate parents about the American culture of inheritance laws and the phenomenon of disinheritance.

Valery helps individuals and families transcend their unique emotional and practical challenges the come with wealth - the paradox of privilege - to help them define their worth from the inside out, reconnect with what they value most and invest their time, energy and financial resources in alignment with their personal and family mission so that they can leave a meaningful legacy that will last for generations to come. The life you lead is the legacy you leave.

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family-grieving-325Choosing an executor is a seemingly basic but sometimes overlooked decision in creating a last will. There is a difference between a good executor and a bad one. A few extra minutes of thought to appoint a good executor can avoid a host of problems down the line.

Similar to hiring an employee, you want to know the skills you are looking for and the personality you'd want when hiring somebody to take care of all your property. Though you may be deceased, they are still, in some respects, an employee of your estate.

An "executor" in an appointed person or business who then accepts the role after the passing of the decedent. A court nominated person can be called an "executor" or a "guardian of estate". The executor completes all paperwork and reports, pays debts out of the deceased person's assets, sells assets as needed or instructed, distributes assets to beneficiaries, and wraps up any legal matters after a passing.

When combined with an iron clad will, your estate will resolve with a minimalized chance of conflicts, save money in probate and lawyers fees, and get your assets to the people who need them the most in a few months instead of years inside probate. A good executor can help tremendously in the process. To maintain the best possible defense against conflicts, and to make sure your transition runs smoothly, an executor needs to have the skills necessary to process your affairs.

The typically client experience consists of an hour to two hour meeting, sometimes broken up into multiple consultations, with only the question as to executors with no real discussions of the client's options. Clients rarely even ask their nominees if they are willing to be executors prior to these meetings, and often select their closest friends, a spouse, or family member without anticipating the difficulty of the job.

In all cases your executor must be 18 years old when the duties of executor arise, and must be mentally competent. Let's discuss some of the skills most desirable to an executor, and a few options.

Skill Demands of an Executor

Executors should have a well-rounded experience and comfort level managing assets and a comfort level with basic finances, taxes and the upkeep of property. Often some basic skills are lacking in some individuals and should be avoided if better alternatives are available. Not every skill is required of any executor, but the more skilled the executor is, the less chance the executor will mess up. At the very least, the executor of a modest estate will not have to spend money from the estate hiring someone to provide for every single need.

Executors of more wealthy estates should have a significant understanding of property, though they are still encouraged to hire certified public accountants, real estate agents, and the expertise of bankers to accomplish settling an estate. Being able to discuss and take direction from professionals is also very valuable.

An executor should have some ability to pay bills, keep ledgers, inventory property, and be able to pay or understand income and property taxes. A surprising number of individuals do not pay their own bills. Often one person in a marriage takes control of the finances over another, so it's a good idea to find out before naming the wrong person as executor.

For people expecting to pass away owning real estate, One with some proficiency in yard work and house repairs is very valuable and can help to keep costs down if they are willing to keep up the house for free or a modest payment from the estate. Alternately, some comfort hiring a handyman and landscapers to do the work can suffice. When property needs to be sold, which can happen even if the intent was to keep the property or pass it along, necessitates some sort of experience selling real estate.


Personality is even more valuable than skill. Skill is good, but in a pinch an executor lacking in knowledge can hire professionals to do what needs to be done. An executor cannot hire a personality to take over his/her duties. The social equivalent of a "jerk" tends to have popularity and success in the roll of executor. No matter how peaceful you think your family would be in distributing your belongings, its best to assume the worst. Feuds happen over money all the time, and commonly over inheritance.

People change when they are staring down the barrel of an inheritance, and not just the ones you'd expect. Family members get emotional, their feelings get hurt, they blame others for their loss, and many become outright greedy when an estate of several hundred thousand dollars is up for grabs. Once more, every family member assumes they knew you the best, and know exactly how you would have wanted to give away your property, even in the face of a last will telling them the contrary. Time and time again feuds break out because decedents assumed their family would work things out peacefully. Word of warning; assume they won't.

Executors who cannot be persuaded easily or can stand up to bullying are invaluable. Every other skill can be either learned, or can be hired out to someone with knowledge - personality cannot be taught so easily.

Attorneys as Executors

If you can afford it, an attorney (or better yet an attorney limited to probate) can perform as an executor extremely efficiently. Probate attorneys already do just about everything an executor needs to do. Attorneys can carry out payment of debts and distributions much more quickly and efficiently than non-attorneys.

Attorney bound by their state's duties of loyalty, confidentiality, and duty to avoid conflicts of interest - creating an automatic check-and-balance so long as you do not sign a waiver. Beneficiaries can always sue an attorney, so it's in the attorney's best interest to do his job on the straight and narrow so as not.

Attorneys can come in a variety of personalities, and some attorneys are more difficult to get along with than others; and some attorneys are bad attorneys. So if you do want to go the attorney route, try to get a referral from a friend or relative who knows or has hired the attorney before.

Another benefit to an attorney is their station and the authority they command. As an authority in the law, they can usually avoid conflicts at the outset by explaining the law to disgruntled heirs, and use their authority to dissuade potential probate suits.

Lastly, hiring an attorney as an executor may not include the probate fees, so know what your contract is with the attorney before you make a decision. Is probate included? Is the fee hourly or a flat fee? What happens if the attorney dies before you or decides not to perform the duties? When do you pay the attorney - up front or out of the estate?

Finally, make sure the attorney you pick does not have any conflicts of interest with anyone in your family or people standing to inherit anything from you. Even with a waiver, an attorney with a conflict may feel pressure to ease his loyalty to you and your beneficiaries at large, and provide favoritism towards his other client.


Spouses are a common and often solid first choice since almost no very little work needs to be done in the great majority of cases. In community property states, absent an agreement to the contrary, most property will be community property, and will pass to the surviving spouse with no tax consequences.

States like Washington give a spouse an absolute right to act as executor over community property. The right supersedes the dead spouse's last will. However, the decedent can still name a different executor for any non-community property.

Since every state can be different you should talk to an attorney and get a tutorial on the property laws in your state to determine how much property will not go to a surviving spouse. In non-community property states, the spouse may still receive most or all of the separate property.

In more sophisticated circumstances like those with a significant amount of assets, those with a community property agreement, a large amount of separate property, a mixed family (children from multiple partners) or beneficiaries of a trust, additional work is often required, and unloading the burden to someone other than a grieving spouse is best.

If you are in a community property state, and a significant portion of your assets are separate, it may be a better idea in some circumstances to choose someone else to handle your separate property. However, if your spouse is well versed in property and money management, then a spouse should be sufficient.

Family Member

Family members are easy choices but for the sake of maintaining family social dynamics, alternatives may be better. It may be beneficial to decouple the burden of being an executor from the family altogether.

Family fights over inheritances happen across the country by the hundreds. Almost every person I talk to is convinced that their family will "figure it out". The numbers don't lie. Probate remains a very lucrative area of law for attorneys because families fight over inheritances.

Using a family member who is forced to stand in the middle of an inheritance fight and help to choose winners and losers puts the individual in a precarious position. Neutral individuals who will not have to deal with family after the estate is settled, like friends or attorneys, are in a better position to do the job, do it right, and without fear of long-term problems.

During the emotional time after a death, rationality can give way to hurt feelings very quickly. Money changes people. For that reason alone, I typically suggest a third party, who is not heavily tied to the family to carry out the duties as executor. Coupled with an iron clad will, relatives might get their feelings hurt, but it's you they have to be angry at, not each other. As sad as it is, being the martyr after your death probably the most selfless.


Outside of attorneys, friends are typically the best choice for executors if they have the necessary skills or will be outgoing enough to find professionals who can provide for any skill lacking. In addition, it's a good idea to choose a friend who is distanced from your family or knows enough about your family to put up with bickering and fighting if your heirs get aggressive.

Friends are often distanced from family squabbles. Their loyalty remains with the departed - not necessarily to the family. Less importantly, but something to note, an executor cannot receive any gifts by intestate succession (the default rules for distributing an estate if a Last Will is thrown out).


Some religious leaders do act as executors from time to time. Each source is free to make up their own policy on whether they participate as executors. Some clergy members only provide this service to poorer individuals who have little or no family, or in cases where the church is a significant beneficiary. A clergy can be an excellent choice, since church receptionists and secretaries have some skill in bookkeeping and money management - plus some technology helpful in settling an estate.

Guardians of your Children

Many parents often want to make the guardian of their children the executor of their estate. Bad move. There are a number of horror story cases where guardians with access to the parent's assets either abscond with the money altogether or spend the money inappropriately on vacations and luxuries. Most seem particular Mexico and the Caribbean.

Instead, try to make sure that no matter who your guardian is, someone else is in charge of your assets at all times until the money is distributed. Commonly trusts are a great way to make sure that the money is only going to the guardians little by little, and for the right things.


Take a few minutes to think about the job of an executor and who would do well in the job. The thought process shouldn't take too long, but you don't want to make a flippant decision without knowing the qualities and ramifications of choosing an executor.


About Matthew E. Johnson

When I graduated from law school I wanted to be a problem solver in the lives of the people I served. I moved back to Washington to be with my family. I worked in a few different law firms in the Seattle area, Like many attorneys, the law firms I worked for went the way of hourly billing and money at the cost of customer service. I decided to do something different. A unique business model geared towards creating top of the line services while eliminating hourly billing. That's right! No hourly rates. Ever. I firmly believe that hourly rates promote lazy attorneys, overbilling, and discourage open communication with clients. Clients can call me anytime with questions and never have to worry about getting a bill in the mail a few weeks later. This is a family firm creating lasting relationships with every client. Nobody in Washington provides the depth of knowledge to every individual demographic with the expertise I provide. The specific and unique challenges that face people at every stage in their life demands specific attention that I am passionate about my estate planning, and have the utmost compassion for my bankruptcy clients. I invite everyone to follow me on this website, educate yourself through articles, my videos, and ever expanding content that I develop exclusively for this site. Exclusively for you.

Education and Awards -Western Washington University: BA Political Science 2006 -Honor Roll: 2002, 2003 and 2005 -Western State University: Juris Doctorate 2009 (6th in his class) -Business Law Certificate: Awarded for Outstanding Work in the Area of Business Law


Jane-LehmannEthical wills are a chance to leave love and wisdom to those who follow.

Don't it always seem to go that we spend so much time worrying about our financial legacy, we don't always allocate enough time for our spiritual legacy (or even our historical legacy). An ethical will is a chance to put down what we care about most. An ethical will on video is the most accessible option for those interested in preserving more than just "things" after they pass.

For financial advisers engaged in estate planning, the importance of an ethical will on video (or in writing) should always be discussed with clients. And for clients disposing of substantial wealth, an ethical will can help the next generation become ethical stewards of the family funds. Accumulation of wealth was seldom an end in itself - the relevant founder almost always had a struggle in the background and a specific goal firmly in mind for the future. That should not be lost.

Ethical wills are not, at bottom, ever about wealth. They are about wisdom.

My Dear Children, I have dealt with my estate in the will I just now finished signing along with the associated arrangements. In due time you will see how I have divided my possessions. I trust and hope you will think it fair.

But now I want to turn to more important matters. I want to talk to you about what I think is truly important in life.

So might start an ethical will - a letter or video to children or other significant people in our lives telling them about what we have come to believe and what lessons we have learned in the course of our lives.

Some choose to record an ethical will on paper, others choose to record their message in a video ethical will.

First of all, thank you for all you have done. I didn't always say it, but I always felt it. I am so happy with how you turned out and the decisions you made. You have made me proud.

Some consultants advise expressing gratitude or praising children in an ethical will - setting the record straight once and for all. After all, we spend so much time advising and guiding, we often neglect to say - simply and directly - what we really feel.

Some care is needed in composing an ethical will on video - or in writing. Especially if you have in mind to mention individuals. For one thing, you will not be in a position to take back something that is poorly handled. Be careful about damning with faint praise, or favoring one child over another, or trying to define a child or grandchild. Always best to avoid that.

Also called "legacy letters" and "spiritual wills", an ethical will can set out your inner thoughts and personal philosophies.

People are good. Never believe the opposite.

You will see all kinds of foolish and selfish conduct from others. But remember that we are all struggling with the enormous burden of navigating our way through uncertain times. And sometimes the decisions we make are poor ones. But single decisions do not define us or anybody else. Our common humanity defines us.

The focus of most of our planning for the days when we are no long around is on our property: our real estate, our business, our savings, our personal treasures. And that is how it should be. What little we have gathered, or what abundance it has been our good fortune to acquire, must go to the right places.

And we live in a highly regulated, complex world. So our estate planning has to take into account issues of balancing our own present and future needs with those of our loved ones. An estate plan also needs to address issues of taxation, trusts perhaps and appropriate trustees, guardianship maybe if under-age children are involved, health care proxies, and of course the proper distribution of assets to family, friends and charity. And depending on where our assets are located, the laws of more than one State may be involved.But don't forget the ethical will. How many fathers have toiled selflessly for decades to be the "good provider" only to have children feel that they were neglected? It is important to explain decisions which may have had adverse consequences for children.

I worked a lot when you were all small. I grew up with very little and didn't want to see you go without.

I realize now that, while I was providing material comforts, I wasn't always the father I should have been. If I got that balance wrong in your thinking, know that I did it out of love and concern. I am trying to do better now.

Be careful about over stating what you know in an ethical will.

What is the point of it all? What is the point in our short lives here on earth?

Unfortunately, my advanced years have not brought me any special insight into that. I wish it had! Although, I do believe that age brings some wisdom, or perspective.

Whatever might ultimately be revealed of our reason for being here on earth, as far as I can see there is really only one sensible purpose to our short time here.

Ethical wills have been around in one form or another for millennia. They are part of our very human desire to use our experience and hard-earned lessons to benefit those around us. And the legacy letter, written to be read and reread after we have gone, is an especially powerful method of delivery. The most final and therefore the most potent.

Does that mean that an ethical will should only be read after our death?

In my work - helping people with ethical wills on video I find that sharing our thoughts about the big issues, the emotional issues, the stuff that is just so hard to talk about after a lunch or a dinner - should not wait until the end. Although, the impact of your words is likely to be highest after you are gone. They are then final and immutable.

As much as we can, we should make the lives of those around us, and those whose lives we can affect, as advantaged as possible. We must look after ourselves and our families of course. But we should do good for others.

It is only by doing good for others that we can meaningfully do good for ourselves.

When should a person start on an ethical will? None of us know the day or hour of our death so there is never any time to waste.

The simplest approach is to take paper and a pen and just get started. Once you have mapped out some ideas, you can write a longer letter. Some people choose to create an ethical will on video. That approach allows a personal, emotional delivery of the message. With professional help, the end product can cover personal and family history and give the ethical will priceless context.

I am not going to tell you how you should spend your time. All of us strive for the right mix of work and play.

But in my life, I found that my greatest happiness and my greatest satisfactions always came from achievement. They came from being productive.

I found that fun was the best fun when it was earned.

An ethical will on video or in writing. Don't let it be the missing piece of your estate plan.

About the Author:

Jane Lehmann co-founded Your Story Here Video Biography, a documentary production company that specializes in creating personal video biographies, life story & genealogy video, memorial videos as well as personal history documentary on DVD. Based in Orange County CA, she has delighted hundreds of customers with her private video work while her award-winning public films have been featured in festivals in the United States and Canada.


Old ManTestamentary capacity refers to the mental ability required to make a Will. Generally speaking, people possess testamentary capacity if, at the time that the Will is executed, they: (1) are of adult age (in most jurisdictions that means over 18 years old), (2) understand the nature and consequences of executing a Will, (3) know the nature and extent of their property, and (4) recognize the people who are their family and loved ones. (Many jurisdictions also require the ability to apply this knowledge to create a coherent plan to dispose of their property at death.)

The nature and consequences of executing a Will
The person must understand that what he or she is doing is signing a Will and a basic understanding of how a Will works. This is because we want to make sure that it is the person's intention to create a Will (not a contract, IOU, present gift, etc.). The person must understand that a Will transfers property at death and is binding once executed with the relevant legal formalities.

The nature and extent of the property
A person of sound mind is presumed to know the property he or she owns. So, for example, if a person makes a bequest of property that the person has never owned or does not currently own, this is an indication that the person does not have testamentary capacity.

Family and loved ones
The person must know the so-called natural objects of his bounty -- the people who would be the expected recipients of the person's assets. When a person cannot identify his nearest family and other loved ones, or tries, for example, to leave property to fictional characters or famous deceased people, this is an indication that the person does not have testamentary capacity. (Note: Pets may be loved ones to us, but for Will purposes they are legally considered property. Therefore, the best way to leave a bequest for the benefit of a pet is to set up a testamentary trust that funds and details the care and arrangements you want for your pet.)

Other mental issues
What about if a person has been diagnosed with dementia, or adjudicated incompetent, or has mental illness, or has a drug or alcohol addiction? Can that person still make a Will? Yes, so long as the components of testamentary capacity are met and/or the person did his Will during what is known as a lucid interval -- i.e., a period of time during which the person was coherent and the threshold for testamentary capacity is met. Similarly, an insane delusion - a belief contrary to all rational objective evidence - does not prevent a person from making a Will; the delusion only invalidates any effected parts of the Will.

Testamentary capacity has the lowest threshold
Testamentary capacity is often described as being the lowest level of capacity needed in law -- this is for public policy reasons: we want to encourage people to have Wills. Therefore, a person may not have enough mental capacity to, for example, enter into a contract, but can still do a Will as long as the elements of testamentary capacity are met.

About Jim D Sarlis, Esq

I am an Elder Law / Trusts & Estates attorney with 25 years' experience, servicing NYC and Long Island. Our motto is "Big firm knowledge, small firm attention" because we offer the big-city resources and background often found only in large law firms, coupled with the personal service only a small community-based practice can give. With a team of dedicated experts in a variety of fields, we help seniors and their families plan for the future and minimize the overwhelming stress and burdensome costs of serious or long-term illness, while working to preserve their assets. We can also put care in place at home or in a facility, often so that it is paid by Medicaid. I have taught Will drafting at NY Law School and paralegal courses at CUNY. Having attended Columbia University, Fordham University School of Law, and NYU School of Law for the post-graduate tax program, and having worked at prominent NYC law firms, I have the strong background to help you and your loved ones. I am also the son of immigrants, and grew up poor as I went to school on scholarships, so I understand how hard families work for everything they achieve, and can appreciate the struggles our clients face. We concentrate on Elder Law, Trusts, Wills, Estate Planning, Medicaid Planning, Special Needs Planning, Guardianship, and Advance Directives (Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy, Living Will).

Our office concentrates on Wills, Elder Law, Medicaid Planning, Trusts and Estates, Guardianship, Advance Directives, and Special Needs Planning. Contact us to discuss your particular situation: Tel. 718-276-0010 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Visit our website at for more information.




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