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Estate Planning

Canandaigua Estate Planning Attorneys Help Clients Create a Legacy

Western New York lawyers develop instruments to shift assets efficiently

You work hard for your family, so knowing that you have planned for their long-term well-being and financial security can bring you comfort. When devising an estate plan, the lawyers of Kenyon & Kenyon in Canandaigua consider how best to protect your children, support your loved ones and contribute to the charitable causes that are special to you. We thoroughly analyze your estate and strategize to identify the best ways to transfer your assets, minimize taxes, establish guardianship for your children, care for your pets, support your personal philanthropic causes and protect the people closest to you.

Knowledgeable firm prepares wills, trusts and guardianship documents

Our trusts and estates attorneys have more than seven decades of combined experience providing knowledgeable assistance to Western New Yorkers by:

  • Creating and revising enforceable wills — Under state law, someone at least 18 years old and of sound mind can draft a will. It must be written and signed by the testator and two witnesses. We make sure the language is clear and your intentions are accurately reflected in the document. If you have a will but have not checked it recently, it’s worthwhile to review the terms so you can determine if revisions are necessary due to changed circumstances.  
  • Establishing trusts to protect and transfer assets — Trusts give their creators the opportunity to place assets in a specially created legal entity for a particular purpose. Some grantors wish to shift property to a living trust so they can access what they own during their lifetime and then, upon their death, pass what’s left to named recipients outside of the probate process. Our lawyers can explain these types of trusts as well as those established to lower one’s tax burden, direct funds for a specific purpose or provide financial support for a child with special needs.
  • Preparing guardianship documents — Parents of minor children should take great care to determine who should raise their sons and daughters in the event that a tragic event leaves them orphaned. When handling these issues, we develop clear documents that address guardianship and might also contain provisions relating to the children’s upbringing and education costs.

Each situation is unique, and we’ll work to find the combination of legal instruments that meet your estate planning needs in addition to other elder law concerns such as managing the costs of assisted living arrangements or nursing home care.

Proven advocates guide executors through the probate process

Serving as an executor of someone’s estate is a serious legal responsibility that comes at an already difficult time. Our lawyers take care of each aspect of the probate process, starting with the filing of the will and probate petition in the Surrogate’s Court in Ontario County or another county where the decedent resided. From there, we find the heirs named in the will or entitled to collect assets under New York’s intestacy law. After that, we transfer assets into the estate; see that debts, taxes and other expenses are paid; handle any communications with the court; and allocate the property among the beneficiaries. Should a dispute exist over the handling of probate duties or the validity of the will, our experienced advocates take decisive action in pursuit of a favorable result.

Thorough lawyers develop healthcare proxies and living wills

You deserve to control important decisions about your medical treatment even if your physical condition at the time prevents you from communicating your wishes. By completing an advance medical directive, such as a healthcare proxy or a living will, your directions will be clear and valid under New York law. Our firm advises clients who seek to appoint a trusted person as a proxy to make healthcare decisions should they lack the capacity to do so. In order to make your intentions clear regarding the end-of-life measures you want, and don’t want, we can also prepare an authoritative living will document.

Insightful attorneys assist individuals seeking to reduce their tax burden

During your lifetime, you can take active measures to reduce taxes linked to retirement accounts and other types of income. We can show you how trusts, well-planned gifts and other instruments might alleviate your tax burden. Under New York and federal law, no tax is assessed on estates where the value falls below a statutory threshold, which is now greater than $5 million for individuals. If you believe that your assets might approach that level, a detailed analysis is warranted because it’s easy to overlook or undervalue certain items.

Contact a trustworthy Western New York estate planning lawyer for an appointment

Kenyon & Kenyon advises New York clients on a wide range of estate planning matters. To schedule a discussion, please call 585-577-7577 or contact us online. Our office is in Canandaigua.

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Our Office
  • Canandaigua Office
    11 North Street
    Canandaigua, New York 14424
    Phone: 585-394-2068
    Fax: 585-394-5227