Estates & Wills


Estates And Wills

We will take the time to meet with you and determine your assets, goals, and most importantly, what would make you most comfortable when it comes to planning for your future and the future of your family. We can work with your investment adviser, accountant, or family to achieve your goals when it comes to estate planning. Your personal feelings and goals are the most important factor when planning for any future disability or in the event of your death.  

We will take the time to understand not only what you want in planning for the future, but more importantly why you want it a certain way. We can and will ensure that your wishes are followed in the event of disability or death. Once we understand what you want and why, your estate plan can be created to achieve your goals.

We strongly believe that estate planning is not simply a matter of assets, liabilities, and Medicaid planning. After meeting with one of our attorneys, that attorney will create a plan for you. You will feel secure in knowing your wishes are carried out beyond any disability or death.


What you do today could save your family time, money and most of all, allow them to focus on their loss. At the DeFilippo Law Firm, P.L.L.C. we have prepared estate plans for many clients and have seen the positive results of what our estate planning can do.

Every client is different and every client needs an experienced attorney to take the time to review their unique situation. Only then can we make a recommendation to suit your needs for today and well into the future.  

Our team is not only on top of the latest developments in the law, but we also bring proven judgment and perspective to each case. When we work with our clients, we invest time in understanding individual objectives and creatively and carefully tailoring solutions to achieve them.

Additionally, our team is supported by professionals who work with us routinely and are at the top of their fields in complex areas like taxation, retirement planning, and philanthropy.

At the DeFilippo Law Firm, P.L.L.C. we will help you plan for and protect your future and your family’s future through the use of the following documents:


No matter how old you are, it's important to have a plan for your future. If the worst happens, you'll want to be sure your assets and loved ones are protected. A will is the most important legal document a person can create. It allows a person to dictate who inherits their assets upon death and who will administer their estate.

Having to deal with the distribution of a loved one’s estate can be stressful for surviving family members and a clearly outlined will can help reduce this stress and deter potential conflicts among beneficiaries.  A will can be as simple as leaving your entire estate to one group of people, such as your children. Your will can be a vehicle to protect your assets in the form of a trust upon death, should your heirs have special needs.


A trust can be created in two ways.  The first is a trust created at your death as set forth in your will. The second is a lifetime trust. A trust created by your will is funded at your death using your assets for the benefit of your heirs. A trust created during your lifetime is funded with all or some of your assets. A lifetime trust can be controlled by you, and you can transfer assets and use the trust to take care of any of your needs during your lifetime.

Power of Attorney

You can appoint someone that you trust to be your Power of Attorney. Your Power of Attorney can virtually perform any task that you can. A Power of Attorney does not survive your death but does survive in the event of your disability. Should you be unable to pay your bills, manage your affairs, or simply be out of town your Power of Attorney can act for you.

Health Care Proxy

Similar to a Power of Attorney, you can appoint someone you trust to make decisions in the event you are faced with a life threatening illness and are unable to convey your wishes to medical personnel. You can explain to the person you appoint that you do not wish any medical treatment “that would only prolong your dying”.

Living Will

A living will is similar to a health care proxy.  A living will explains to your doctor or other medical personnel your wishes when it comes to decisions concerning severe medical conditions.

Lifetime Transfers

A lifetime transfer is one of the most common and widely used estate planning vehicles. Often your home is the asset you wish to protect. This can be transferred to your beneficiaries, and often we will recommend reserving a life use. By doing this, you can stay in your home, continue to receive the STAR Tax Exemption, and avoid having to probate your estate. This saves your beneficiaries time and money in the future and allows you to stay in your home.

Executor or Trustee

Being designated as a trustee or executor can be an honor, but it can also be overwhelming. Do you really know what you should be doing if you are named as someone’s executor or trustee?

As executor or trustee, it is your responsibility to ensure that the estate or trust is properly administered. The administration of an estate or trust can be difficult, especially when you are trusted with this task by a recently deceased family member.

If you are named by someone as an executor or trustee, you are required to:
(among other things)

  • Protect the assets for beneficiaries

  • Collect outstanding assets and income

  • Make sure valid bills are paid from the assets while minimizing costs

  • Follow the New York State Uniform Prudent Investor Act

  • Handle cleaning out the residence

  • Divide personal property

  • Make sure any required tax returns (both federal and state) are filed which could include personal income taxes, estate income taxes, estate and gift taxes and possibly others

  • Calculate tax basis for estate assets and provide it to the beneficiaries

  • File court reports and state reports

The attorneys at the DeFilippo Law Firm, P.L.L.C. will assist you and complete the difficult tasks that you may be emotionally unable to handle. Our attorneys will work with you, most importantly at your direction, to complete the estate or trust you have been charged with administering. 

“I arrived at Jim’s office with a folder of paperwork. I was the executor of not one but three separate estates that involved my family. This was a difficult time and the attorney I had retained was not moving the matter along. This only made the process more difficult. The estates involved properties in three different counties of New York State.

Upon retaining Jim, he and his staff determined what was needed and fully explained to me the process and what it would take to complete the process. As the process of handling these estates proceeded, I was constantly kept up to date on what was happening and informed of the next steps.

In the end the estates, real estate transactions and final details were completed efficiently and professionally.”*
— Mary C.

*Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome