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Real Estate Contracts

 The traditional way of selling real estate continues to change exponentially because of 1) the desire for more transparency in the sale transaction 2) the desire for more control in the real estate transaction 3) lack of housing inventory has created a situation where the demand for properties far exceeds the supply of properties making it much easier for sellers to find a buyer. 

Deeds

 To effectively understand what gets transferred or conveyed by signing a deed, it is important to understand the interest owned by the Grantor of the deed. In most real estate transactions involving a Purchaser, Seller, and Lending Institution, the type of interest being conveyed is called Fee Simple Interest. 

Estate Planning Law

 ESTATE PLANNING is the process of anticipating and arranging, during a person's life, for the
management and disposal of that person’s estate during the person's life and at and after death, while minimizing gift, estate, generation skipping transfer, and income tax. Estate planning includes planning for incapacity as well as a process of reducing or eliminating uncertainties over the administration of and probate and maximizing the value of the estate by reducing taxes and other expenses. The goal of estate planning can be determined by the specific goals of the client and may be as simple or complex as the client's needs dictate. Guardians are often designated for minor children and beneficiaries in incapacity. The law of estate planning overlaps to some degree with elder law, which additionally includes other provisions such as long term care. 

Probate

 

Countries whose legal systems evolved from the British common law system, like the United States, typically use the probate system for distributing property at death. Probate is a process where:

  1. the decedent's purported will, if any, is entered in court
  2. after hearing evidence from the representative of the estate, the court decides if the will is
    valid
  3. a personal representative is appointed by the court as a fiduciary to gather and take control
    of the estate's assets
  4. known and unknown creditors are notified (through direct notice or publication in the media)
    to file any claims against the estate
  5. claims are paid out (if funds remain) in the order or priority governed by state statute
  6. remaining funds are distributed to beneficiaries named in the will, or heirs (next-of- kin) if
    there is no will
  7. the probate judge closes out the estate.

Wills and Trust

 Wills are a common estate planning tool and are usually the simplest device for planning the
distribution of an estate. It is important that a will be created and executed in compliance with the laws of the jurisdiction where it is created. If it is possible that probate proceedings will occur in a different jurisdiction, it is important also to ensure that the will complies with the laws of that jurisdiction or that the jurisdiction will follow the provisions of a valid out-of- state will even if they might be invalid for a will executed in that jurisdiction. 


 A trust may be used as an estate planning tool, to direct the distribution of assets after the person who creates the trust passes away. Trusts may be used to provide for the distribution of funds for the benefit of minor children or developmentally disabled children. For example, a spendthrift trust may be used to prevent wasteful spending by a spendthrift child, or a special needs trust may be used for developmentally disabled children or adults. Trusts offer a high degree of control over management and disposition of assets.  Furthermore, certain types of trust provisions can provide for the management of wealth for several generations past the settlor. Typically referred to as dynasty planning, these types of trust provisions allow for the protection of wealth for several generations after a person's death.