Wills and Trusts

Weiss & Weiss drafts Wills, Codicils and Trusts, whether revocable or irrevocable, for our Estate practice clientele. Our attorneys are available to meet individuals in any location convenient to them, whether our office, their home or an assisted living or medical care facility. Most people would benefit from a consultation with one of our partners, even if they already have a document that they believe is a proper will. In particular, if a client has relied upon forms provided by anyone besides an attorney duly licensed in New York State, the document that they believe is a “will” may not be compliant with New York legal requirements and may not dispose of the person’s assets or protect the beneficiaries as intended. Changes in the tax law or family circumstances, such as marriage, divorce, birth of a child, alienation of a prior close relationship or obtaining additional assets all necessitate an estate evaluation. Same-sex partners require a Will so that their assets will be left to their partner, rather than to another person, as determined by New York State’s intestacy laws. In addition, we recommend review of existing documents to confirm proper legal execution procedures were followed. Depending upon the extent of the client’s proposed revisions, we will recommend either that a new Will be drafted or prepare a Codicil. In any case, a Codicil requires execution in the same manner as New York State requirements for the execution of a Will.

We suggest that our estate clients meet us to discuss their assets, liabilities, ideas for the disposition of their assets and selections for executors and guardians. After our meeting, we draft the proper legal documents, depending on whether a Will or Trust is appropriate. Some clients may require both a Will and a Trust. We will also discuss Living Wills and Health Care Proxies and prepare said documents if they meet the needs of our clients. A Living Will contains the general requests of a person as to health care to be administered should the person be unable to communicate his wishes. A Health Care Proxy specifically identifies those persons permitted to make decisions on behalf of the person in the event that the person is unable to identify his wishes. We engage in discussions with our clients as to their end of life wishes, such as would they wish that artificial feeding and hydration be withdrawn and would they want to receive the assistance of respiration and cardiac equipment. We will also consider whether a Power of Attorney should be drafted on our client's behalf.

At the time that a Will is drafted, we may also find it necessary to prepare a Family Tree with the client, which is used after death in cases where the person dies with few or no relatives. All drafted documents are sent to our client for review and may be revised as requested by the client, prior to another meeting to execute the documents. We supervise the execution of the documents in accordance with appropriate New York State statutes.

Upon the request of our clients, we will maintain estate documents in our safe deposit box which is located at a major financial institution. If desired by the client, we will also deliver copies of the documents to family members and medical providers.

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