Wills & Trusts

Buffalo Estate Planning Lawyer

Full Service Family Law Firm Providing Personal Will and Estate Planning Services in Buffalo, NY

The primary reason for drafting a will or establishing a trust is to leave your property to those you love in the event of your death. If you plan properly, and have your plan reviewed periodically, you may lower or eliminate your tax burden and leave more assets to your beneficiaries. At the Law Offices of Randy H. Gugino, respected Estate Planning Attorney Randy Gugino guides you every step of the way through drafting a will or trust that is legally sound today and for years to come.

What Happens if I Die in New York Without a Will or Trust?

If you die without a will or trust in place, your property and assets will be distributed according to New York State law. Thus, dying without a will or trust can result in a situation wherein your spouse, children, and other loved ones may not be properly provided for. For instance, if you are survived by a spouse and descendants, your spouse takes the first $50,000 and only one-half the balance of your property, and the descendants share the rest. This could force the sale of property and result in unnecessary estate tax.

If you die leaving children under 18 years of age, a court-appointed guardian will be required to manage your child’s share. The Surrogate Court would probably appoint your spouse as guardian, and could require a bond be posted. Annual payments for a bond are costly. Prior court approval will be required for even ordinary costs, such as education, clothing and daily living expenses. The court requires annual accounting of income and expenses. In addition, investment of estate funds by the guardian will be limited. Since the guardianship lasts until the child is of legal age, the growth of the child’s funds may be adversely affected. A child 18 years old may not be ready to handle the proceeds of your estate.

Regardless of your situation, you can avoid passing on costly and time-consuming issues to future generations by hiring an dedicated Buffalo Estate Planning Attorney experienced in drafting wills and trusts.

Providing Legally Sound Wills and Trusts for Proper Estate Planning

At the Law Offices of Randy H. Gugino, we provide a full and comprehensive range of estate planning tools:

  • Simple and Complex Wills. Leave your assets to your spouse or to your children should your spouse predecease you. Establish guardians and trustees to take care of minor children and their share of your estate. Take advantage of estate planning techniques, such as marital deduction trust provisions.
  • Durable Power of Attorney. Appoint a trusted person to handle financial matters for you, particularly in the event of incapacity.
  • Health Care Proxy and Living Wills. Appoint a trusted person to make health-related decisions for you in NY, should you be unable to do so. Establish whether or not you want extraordinary means or heroic efforts utilized to extend your life.
  • Will and Estate Proceedings. Probate of legal wills in New York, intestate (without a will) proceedings, appointment of executors, administrators, guardians and trustees, release of liens, tax waivers and settlements.
  • Wrongful Death Proceedings. Litigation to recover financially for wrongful or negligent death of a loved one.
  • Guardianship. Have the court appoint a loved one to handle your affairs in the event of incapacity or for minor children.
  • Will Contestation. Contest the validity of a will submitted for probate. Was the will created properly or was the testator of sound mind or improperly influenced?
  • Living Trusts: Revocable and Irrevocable Trusts, Medicaid Trust. Help reduce probate costs, estate tax, nursing home and Medicaid liens and preserve confidentiality.
  • Elder Law. Takes advantage of Medicare and Medicaid benefits, exempt transfers of assets, private long-term care insurance, supplemental needs trust and Social Security benefits. Set up burial accounts and prepaid funeral accounts.

Full-Service Law Firm Providing Estate Planning Support to Buffalo Residents

At the Law Offices of Randy H. Gugino, our experienced Buffalo Estate Planning Attorney and dedicated support staff will personally assist you with all your estate planning needs. To schedule a free consultation with Attorney Randy Gugino, contact us today online or by phone at (716) 833-8455. Let our experience work for you.