The loss of a loved one is always difficult, and all the complicated business of settling an estate comes at just the time when it’s most difficult to handle. Assets, debts, taxes, and contention between family members can make estate administration a nightmare on top of a loss.
We have deep experience with estates that involve people in different cities, states and countries, keeping everyone informed and involved in the most efficient way possible. Many of our clients are families outside of New York who have had a loved one pass away in New York. At any given time, we may be handling the estate of someone with beneficiaries overseas, someone who lived in another country, or someone whose will has been probated in three different jurisdictions.
Please note, however, that since we only have offices in New York, we can only handle work pertaining to people who lived at least part-time in New York at the time of their death or who had assets in New York.
Handling the estate of a loved one is always a sensitive matter. Managing the different interests and emotions of all the people who may be involved in an estate requires a wise and careful touch. We’ve seen the whole range of situations and relationships and have special skill in dealing with the human dimension of estate administration. Ron set up this firm after years of work in corporate law, specifically so that he could focus on people. All of our firm’s services are focused on the needs of individuals, couples and families – it’s what we do, and it’s what we love to do.
Even in the most straightforward estates, there are a whole series of legally required procedures to follow. Sometimes the smallest estates are the most complicated ones to settle. And an executor who fails in any one of the steps can face serious personal liability. Whether you need just a little guidance, or someone to manage every check, bill, and phone call, we will get you through the process, cleanly from start to finish.
Unlike many other law firms, our practice encompasses all the different skills that may come up in estate administration. If it’s necessary to file an estate tax return (or two, or more), we can prepare the forms and do the filing. If there is a home or other property to be sold, we can negotiate and close the transaction. And if there are any disputes, we know how to explore options, defend your interests, and fight it out in court if need be.
Every estate is as unique as the person who has passed away. There are many special situations that we have navigated, many times over.
Some estates are insolvent – we know how to negotiate with the creditors to reduce the debts and get the best results for you. Some estates have property that is hard to sell – we know how to work with the mortgage bank to prevent foreclosure. Some family relationships are complicated – we know who is legally entitled to what, and how to negotiate to reach a result that makes everyone happy.
And some people’s relationships don’t come with legal rights. Ron was a leading practitioner in the special legal issues facing same-sex couples, for years before marriage-equality laws were passed. He has successfully raised challenges to the system and won great results for clients who would otherwise have been left out of their partners’ estates. Though the laws have changed, the problems have not all disappeared – we are still here to serve the LGBT community it is special challenges.