An effective, cohesive and fully integrated Will is indispensible for everyone.

Among other things, a Will may contain directives dealing with the following:

• Funeral arrangements and burial details, including payment for the perpetual care of the headstone and grave;

• Final directives for the payment or transfer to heirs (Legatees) of sums of money, real estate, and other financial assets;

• Final directives relating to family heirlooms or items of special or unique value such as a wedding ring;

• Directives appointing a Guardian for minor children;

• Other directives which may impose conditions on the property bequeathed, such as a Trust (“Testamentary    Trust”).

New York State has rigorous requirements relating to the proper signing and witnessing of a Will (“execution requirements”).

All Wills prepared and executed by us receive a legal “back”, “jacket” (envelope) and completed affidavit attesting to the execution of the Will supervised by an attorney admitted to practice in New York State (“Self-proving Affidavit”).

In almost all cases, a proper self proving Affidavit will allow the Surrogates Court to dispense with the costly need to conduct a hearing about the Will.

While the motivation to save money and utilize a “self-help” advertised computer generated Will program is understandable, the failure to employ an attorney to ensure the proper drafting and execution of the Will may prove more costly to the heirs.

In our office, we also advise clients that we will file the original Will with the Surrogates Court located in their jurisdiction, if such steps are in the best interest of the client.


Not everyone needs or benefits from the creation of a Trust; however we will explain the advantages or disadvantages of each type of Trust and our clients make the final decision as to whether a specific type of Trust is appropriate for them.

There are generally two types of Trusts; “revocable Trusts” and “irrevocable Trusts”.

A “revocable Trust” is generally used to avoid probate and the fees involved therein, or to obtain a greater degree of privacy, as Wills are filed with the Surrogate Court and are public documents. Generally, revocable Trusts are not designed to effect estate tax savings.

An “irrevocable Trust” is generally used in conjunction with estate tax planning, or due to other legitimate considerations, which may be due to a concern about creditors or due to specific needs of family members or others beneficiaries.


One common yet complicated Trust is the Life Insurance Trust. The purpose of such Trust is usually to provide sufficient funding to pay for any estate taxes which may be due and payable, usually within nine months after the date of death. These Trusts must be carefully drafted and managed in order to obtain its objectives. It is imperative that a client seek the advise of a competent attorney.

If you need a competent, experienced Wills and Trusts attorney, please contact us at (212) 406-2811 or by email at