Estate Planning & Administration
Hurwitz & Fine, P.C. offers a full range of estate services including estate planning, retirement planning, wills and trust agreements, Medicaid and Medicare planning, powers of attorney, asset preservation, estate and trust accounting procedures. The firm recognizes that each estate plan must be unique, tailored to meet the needs, concerns, and goals of each client. Responsible attorneys develop and nurture a close working relationship between attorney and client, and deliver these services while creating a minimum of tax exposure.
This is an area that coincides with Estate Planning and is a substantial area of practice. Hurwitz & Fine, P.C. has represented many closely-held businesses, a significant segment of which are family businesses. The firm has developed successful strategies for its clients in matters involving succession planning, buy/sell agreements, deferred compensation plans, pension planning, and providing income for a surviving spouse.
The area of family business succession requires a knowledge of corporate law, estate and gift taxation, and perhaps above all, people skills. Many times an attorney is placed in a contentious situation where some members of the second generation are involved in a family business, and some are not. The question of how to be “fair” to all heirs frequently presents itself. Our attorneys are committed to developing and nurturing a close working relationship between attorney and client, and delivering these services in a cost efficient manner, considering tax effects.
Estate & Trust Administration
The firm handles the administration of trusts and estates as a corollary to the planning process. Probate and administration matters range from modest to complex in terms of financial and legal considerations and include both contested and uncontested cases. Members of the firm regularly represent clients in the full range of matters in Surrogate’s Court. The firm strives to chart the most appropriate course for each administration matter so as to minimize client effort and conflict and to maximize outcomes.
Hurwitz & Fine, P.C. has decades of experience advising elderly clients and their families with issues such as preserving their assets against the cost of long term care and applying for government benefits including Medicaid. Our experience has provided us with a depth of knowledge of the myriad of available options. Since each individual has his or her own circumstances and goals, we take the approach that each client deserves a customized plan which takes into account his or her finances (including those of limited means), and desires for independence and quality of life while simultaneously navigating often sensitive family dynamics. We have developed a network with other professionals, such as geriatric care managers, which allows us to assist clients and their families with selecting appropriate levels of care.
We have developed a great deal of experience concerning the Medicaid eligibility rules and use that knowledge to assist clients with qualifying for Medicaid, completing and submitting Medicaid applications and representing clients at Fair Hearings in the event an application has been denied.
Our attorneys regularly advise clients on advance planning techniques including determining the viability of long term care insurance, transferring assets to family members, life insurance considerations and establishing asset protection trusts. We also assist our clients in devising strategies to preserve at least a portion of his or her assets even after he or she has been institutionalized and no prior plan was in place.
We regularly assist clients with creating Powers of Attorney tailored to their specific needs and goals. We also draft Health Care Proxies and Living Wills which clearly articulate our clients’ individual preferences concerning health care decision-making, including decisions concerning the administration or withholding of life-sustaining treatment.
If a person is incapacitated and lacks advance directives such as Powers of Attorney and Health Care Proxies, it may be necessary to have the court appoint a Guardian to handle the person’s financial affairs and/or attend to his or her personal needs, such as medical decision-making. We have a wide range of experience in representing clients in all facets of Guardianship proceedings involving incapacitated persons. We also regularly assist parents and other family members with the appointment of Guardians for those with developmental disabilities.
A Supplemental or Special Needs Trust can be created to benefit a disabled person. Its purpose is to shelter the trust assets from consideration for government benefit eligibility (such as Medicaid) while enhancing the quality of life of the disabled person. Our firm regularly creates both “third party trusts” (those funded by someone other than the disabled beneficiary) and “first party trusts” (those funded with the disabled person’s own money).