Wills and Estates


Syracuse, NY Estate Planning Attorneys Protect Your Interests

Almost everyone should at the very least have a simple will. Imagine your family’s distress at losing you and how that could be magnified by having to deal with disposing of your estate without guidance or legal standing.

A will allows you to create a personal plan that makes provisions for the future in the event of your death or disability. You can appoint an executor, who is a friend or relative, and you, not the state, may make provisions for the orderly disposition of your estate and care of minor children.

Of course more complex financial circumstances and goals require more complex wills and estate plans.

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Providing personal, knowledgeable legal counsel to our clients

At Meggesto, Crossett & Valerino, LLP, the attorneys take the time to get to know our clients and evaluate their needs and circumstances. We create a will or estate plan that ensures our clients’ hard-earned assets are distributed as they wish.

Similarly the firm’s estate administration attorneys take great care in carrying out the provisions of a will or estate plan. We work with the executor and/or trustee to ensure an orderly estate administration that is compliant with the wishes of the decedent or the grantor of the trust.

We create critical documents for clients including:

  • Wills
  • Living wills
  • Revocable trusts
  • Irrevocable trust
  • Charitable trusts
  • Special needs trusts
  • Charitable gift annuities
  • Durable powers of attorney
  • Medical powers of attorney
  • Pre-nuptial agreements
  • Post-nuptial agreements

What happens if I die without a will?

In the event that you die without a will your property is divided according to New York law.

Generally, if you are survived by:

  • Spouse and descendants, your spouse is entitled to the first $50,000 and one half of the balance of the property. Your descendants share the rest
  • Spouse, but no descendants, your spouse receives everything
  • Descendants (children) and no spouse, the descendants share all assets equally
  • A parent or parents, but no spouse or descendants, the parent or parents receive all assets

What happens if I die without a will and leave young children?

If you die and leave children under 18 years old and are also survived by a spouse, your spouse receives the first $50,000, plus one half of the balance. The other half of your estate is divided among your children. A guardian is appointed by the court to manage the children’s share if they are under 18. The court requires that the guardian post a bond and file annual accountings of the income and expenses. The bond and accounting fees can become expensive.

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