New York Office

Who We Are:
How We're Different

Explaining how our practice is different from others requires an explanation of what the old or "traditional" experience with an estate planning lawyer is like. If you've worked with a lawyer to prepare estate planning documents in the past, this might sound familiar.

Here is a common scenario for the "traditional" experience: You go into an office and meet with a lawyer who hurriedly asks you some questions, listens to your answers, and then tells you what you need for your estate plan. You nod as if you understand everything, and hope your concerns and wishes were conveyed. You leave the office and come back in a few weeks later to sign your documents, feeling relieved you've gotten in done. You take your documents home, stick them in a drawer, mark "estate planning" off your to-do list, and will probably never think about it again.

Except that you might remember your lawyer saying something about moving your bank accounts into your trust. So you go to the bank, but forget exactly what it was you were supposed to do, so you call your lawyer's office, leave a message, have to leave the bank and wait for a call back (which sometimes takes several days) and by that time, you've gotten busy with other things and you never get around to moving the bank account into the trust.

A few weeks later, you'll get a bill in the mail for 15 minutes of your lawyer's time for returning your call and answering a few questions on the phone and you make a mental note - never call lawyer again.

Several years later, you might refinance your home, or sell it and move, and forget that you were supposed to let your lawyer know of the change so that you can keep your home in your trust. Your children get older, making your guardianship choices outdated. You hear something about a change in tax law, but you figure surely you'd get a notice from your lawyer if it was something that affected you, so you don't worry about it. Plus, you don't want to call because you dread getting that hourly bill in the mail.

It's not until later when you become incapacitated, or die, and your family finds the folder you stuck in the drawer years before, that they'll realize your plan is so outdated that it has nothing to do with your life, your assets or the current state of the law at the time of your death.

Your family is at a loss. They don't know where to turn or what to do, so they contact the same lawyer that you used to prepare the documents, who is happy to now charge them for probating your assets which never got titled properly or made it into your trust.

HOW DO I KNOW ALL THIS?

Because we practice probate administration and litigation, and we see it all the time. But we don't want it to happen to you.

Unfortunately, what I discovered is that the estate planning industry was not designed to serve younger families who owned assets and wanted to be prepared for life. It was designed to serve the elderly who were preparing for death. The problem with that now, is that many young families are inheriting from their parents, or enjoying success early in their adult lives. They have assets and children that need to be protected in order to pass on their family wealth and legacies to their children, their children's children, and so on. They need help realizing how they can protect and preserve their wealth, allowing it to grow for future generations. They need peace of mind knowing that if and when something happens to them, their families will be taken care of. They won't be left with the mess of locating unorganized assets, no plan, and caught up in probate court.

OUR FIRM HELPS YOU PREPARE FOR LIFE.

What makes our firm different is that we are here not just to create a set of documents that you will likely never update or look at again. We are here to ensure your loved ones have someone to turn to when you are no longer here. And, to support you in planning for not jus tyour legacy (what you leave behind when you're gone), but for life as well.

We understand that you are busy, but you also want that peace of mind knowing that you've taken the time to get your affairs in order and prepare for the inevitable during your lifetime, so that your family doesn't have the stress of sorting it all out after you're gone. You want to make sure your children would be taken care of in the best way possible and will be properly prepared to receive your wealth when it is time.

That's our focus, too. We've developed unique systems to give you the same access to a personal family lawyer as was previously only available to the ultra-wealthy, so that you can have the guidance you need to build and maintain a life of prosperity and leave a legacy of family wealth.

Most lawyers only focus on transferring your financial wealth to the next generation. We focus on identifying, building and preserving your family wealth during your lifetime, so thst you can leave a legacy that goes beyond money after you're gone. "Family wealth" is more than financial wealth. It really encompasses who you are and what's important to you - your values, your insights, your stories and experiences - your intellectual, spiritual and human assets. As part of our planning process, we guide you to consider and plan for those most-often-lost assets.

WE ARE HERE FOR YOU.

We also encourage communication with our clients. Our estate planning is billed on a flat-fee basis, agreed to in advance, so you'll never receive a surprise bill in the mail for a 15 minute phone call.

If you're worried about cost, you'll be able to decide in our meeting whether investing in an estate plan now would save your family more money than it would cost them later. Our clients find that what they get out of the Family Wealth Planning Session alone is invaluable, because it provides great clarity about what you need, and what you don't need, when it comes to the lifelong well-being and care of you and your family. If you do choose to move forward with your planning, you will choose your fee based on your needs and your budget.

Finally, we will make sure that the most important details of your planning are followed through, and that your plan continues to work throughout your lifetime. We offer assistance to make sure your assets are owned the right way, and that none of your assets will end up stuck in the probate process or lost to the state department of unclaimed property.

We've also created a unique maintenance program to keep your plan up-to-date, year after year, as well as to give you access to our trusted team of legal and financial experts for guidance on any legal or financial matter.

Our Affiliations

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