Staten Island Wills Attorney

At DiVernieri, DiVernieri and Cotter, LLP, we assist clients throughout the Staten Island Region with preparing wills. Although many are aware of the importance of having a will, people often put off creating one until it’s too late. In fact, a recent survey found that nearly 60 percent of Americans do not have a will. While confronting our own mortality is daunting, creating a will as part of a comprehensive estate plan is the prudent thing to do.

When you consult with us, we will take the time to understand your concerns and address those concerns by providing you with trustworthy advice and caring, efficient service. Contact our office today for a consultation with one of our experienced wills, trusts, and estate attorneys.


The Benefits of Having a Will in Staten Island

A Last Will and Testament (commonly known as a will) serves the fundamental purpose of ensuring that your estate assets are managed and distributed according to your wishes after your passing. One of the key features of a will is the ability to appoint an executor, who is responsible for carrying out your instructions. It is crucial to select a trustworthy and capable person, even if it's not a spouse or adult child.

Moreover, a well-crafted will can help achieve other objectives, including:

  • Naming guardians for minor children: A will is the only estate planning tool that allows you to appoint a guardian for your minor children in the event that you become incapacitated or both parents pass away simultaneously.
  • Providing for the care of minor children: With a will, you can establish a trust (either inter vivos or testamentary) to set aside assets for your children. A trustee is named to manage the assets for your children until they reach a specific age.
  • Establishing funeral and burial plans: A will enables you to outline your funeral and burial preferences, relieving surviving family members of that responsibility.


The Risks of Not Having a Will in Staten Island

Failing to have a will in place can lead to undesirable consequences. If you pass away without a will (intestate), the court will appoint someone, usually a surviving spouse or family member, to serve as the estate administrator. This person will be responsible for distributing your assets according to New York's intestacy laws, which prioritize spouses, children, and parents. Unfortunately, this may result in the wrong people inheriting your assets. Additionally, if you have minor children, the court may appoint a guardian who does not share your values or parenting style, leaving your children in the care of someone you did not choose.

The absence of a will also increases the likelihood of disputes among surviving family members over asset distribution, adding to the emotional burden they already face after your passing. To protect yourself, your assets, and your loved ones, it is essential to create a will.


How DiVernieri, DiVernieri and Cotter, LLP Can Help

Using estate planning documents found on the internet may not comply with state legal requirements, which can lead to an invalid will. A will must be correctly prepared and executed to be recognized by the court and ensure your wishes are carried out.

Partnering with an experienced wills attorney can help you avoid costly mistakes and minimize legal challenges from unhappy family members. Our law firm's attorneys have significant experience in drafting wills and can assist you in creating other vital estate planning documents such as durable power of attorney, advance health care directive (health care proxy), revocable living trust, special needs trust (to provide for a disabled loved one), Medicaid trust, and guardianship.

We do not just prepare documents; our estate planning practice aims to understand your needs and tailor an estate plan that meets your objectives.


Other Important Facts About Wills in Staten Island

It's essential to keep in mind that wills need to go through probate, a court-supervised process that involves administering and distributing the estate assets. Although state probate law aims to streamline the process, there are specific requirements that must be met before closing the estate. Additionally, probate exposes your will to public scrutiny, which some clients may prefer to avoid. Therefore, in addition to having a will, many of our clients can benefit from setting up trusts to ensure their assets are appropriately distributed.


Contact Our Experienced Staten Island Wills, Trusts, and Estates Attorneys

Whether you are creating a will for the first time or need to update an existing one, it is advisable to work with the estate planning team at DiVernieri, DiVernieri and Cotter, LLP. As our client, you can be confident that your assets will be distributed according to your wishes, ensuring that your loved ones receive the inheritance you intended for them. Please reach out to our office today to schedule a consultation.

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  •  Ted was always there for me guiding me through the process. He was patient and knowledgeable and always took the time to answer my questions. The cost was reasonable and worth every penny
    -Jennifer M
  • He took the time to explain each step of the process and addressed any questions and concerns we had along the way. He put us at ease as we knew he was looking out for our best interests at all times.
    -Patrick K
  • Ted Cotter was extremely professional, knowledgeable and responsive throughout the duration of my apartment closing. He instills confidence that things will be completed in a timely and efficient manner.
    -Nathan K

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