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Securing Your Legacy Through Comprehensive Will Drafting

A will is one of the most well-known estate planning documents and often the first thing people think about when planning for their family’s future—and for good reason. With a will, you can achieve a multitude of estate planning goals, including detailing who will receive your property and assets after you’ve passed away, nominating guardians for minor children, and appointing an executor of your estate.

So, when it comes time to formally put your wishes in writing, cookie-cutter online wills just won’t cut it. This is something you want to get right. That’s why it’s crucial to work with experienced estate planning attorneys who can ensure your will captures the finer details and nuances of your specific situation.

The NY wills lawyers at the Katz Law Firm help clients draft and execute their testamentary documents to accurately reflect their wishes and comply with New York state law. With our experience guiding the drafting process, you can have full confidence that your will properly documents how you want your assets distributed when the time comes. Don’t settle for a one-size-fits-all approach on such an important matter. Contact us today.

Consequences of Not Having a Will in New York

Every New Yorker should know the answer to this fundamental estate planning question:

What happens if you pass away without a will in New York?

Without this fundamental legal document in your arsenal, the courts will distribute your real property and assets according to the state’s intestacy laws, which may not align with your wishes.

This process can lead to unintended consequences and family disputes.

Consider the following unintended scenarios:

  • Your spouse may inherit only some of your assets, especially if you have children from a previous relationship.
  • If you’re unmarried, your assets may go to your parents or siblings rather than your partner or close friends.
  • The court will appoint a guardian to manage your minor children’s inheritances until they reach adulthood, which may not be the person you would have chosen.

To avoid these outcomes, you must work with a knowledgeable NY wills lawyer to help you create legally valid testamentary documents that reflect where you want your property to go.

Executors and Trustees in Estate Planning

When creating a will or trust, one of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing an executor or trustee to manage your affairs after you’re gone.

These fiduciary roles come with significant legal responsibilities, so choosing someone you trust to fulfill your wishes is necessary.

An executor is responsible for:

  • Locating and inventorying your assets.
  • Paying debts and taxes owed by your estate.
  • Distributing your assets to your beneficiaries according to the terms of your will.

On the other hand, a trustee is responsible for managing the assets held in a trust for the benefit of your beneficiaries by:

  • Investing trust assets prudently to generate income and growth.
  • Distributing trust assets to beneficiaries according to the terms of the trust.
  • Keeping accurate records and filing tax returns for the trust.

When choosing a fiduciary, consider someone responsible, organized, and capable of handling complex financial matters.

Your NY wills lawyer can guide you in selecting the right person for these crucial roles.

Why Work with a NY Wills Lawyer?

Creating a will is not a one-size-fits-all process. Every individual has unique circumstances and goals to consider when drafting testamentary documents.

The Katz Law Firm provides personalized guidance so the courts will declare your testamentary documents valid and enforce them should any disputes arise after you’ve passed away.

Other key benefits our New York estate planning law firm offers include:

1. Compliance with New York Law

New York has specific requirements that you must comply with for the courts to consider a will valid. Our NY wills lawyers have a thorough understanding of the state’s “Law of Wills” and can ensure that yours is properly drafted and executed.

2. Avoid Probate Complications

Probate is the complex legal process of administering an estate after someone dies. If you pass without a will or with improperly executed testamentary documents, the courts will subject your estate to lengthy, costly intestate probate proceedings. The Katz Law Firm can help you create a will that minimizes the likelihood of probate complications.

3. Protect Your Assets

A well-drafted will protects your assets from creditors, lawsuits, excessive taxes, and other potential challenges. Our New York estate planning law firm can advise you on strategies for safeguarding your assets and ensuring your executor distributes them according to your wishes.

4. Provide for Minor Children

If you have minor children, you should have a will that nominates a guardian to care for them if something happens to you. We help you choose a suitable guardian and ensure that he or she provides for your children financially.

5. Plan for Incapacity

Estate planning isn’t just about what happens after your death. It’s also about planning for the possibility of incapacity. Your legal counsel can create a living will, healthcare proxy, and power of attorney that guarantees your healthcare and financial affairs are managed according to your wishes if you cannot decide things for yourself.

The Role of Trusts in Estate Planning

In addition to wills, trusts are also important instruments to have in your estate planning toolkit. A trust is a legal arrangement in which a trustee holds and manages assets to benefit one or more beneficiaries.

There are many different types of trusts, each designed to achieve specific goals.

Revocable Living Trusts

A revocable living trust is one you create during your lifetime, and you can change or revoke the document at any time. It allows you to transfer assets into the trust while retaining complete control over them. Upon your death, your trustee will distribute the trust assets to your beneficiaries without going through probate.

Irrevocable Trusts

An irrevocable trust cannot be changed or revoked after you create it. You use this instrument for several purposes, such as minimizing estate taxes, protecting assets from creditors, and providing for loved ones with special needs.

Charitable Trusts

You create this trust to benefit a charitable organization. It can provide tax benefits while also supporting a cause that is important to you.

Life Insurance Trusts

This trust is a regular life insurance policy that minimizes estate taxes and ensures that the policy proceeds go directly to your named beneficiaries, effectively avoiding probate.

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The Benefits of Charitable Giving in Your Will

For many people, leaving a lasting legacy includes supporting the causes and organizations they care about.

Incorporating charitable gifting into your will can benefit the charities you support and provide tax advantages for your estate and heirs.

Some options for charitable giving include:

  • Leaving a bequest to a charity in your will.
  • Naming a charity as a beneficiary of your retirement account or life insurance policy.
  • Creating a charitable trust that provides income to your beneficiaries for a set period before distributing the remaining assets to a charity.
  • Establishing a donor-advised fund that allows your heirs to recommend charitable grants in your name.

A NY wills lawyer can help you explore the various options for charitable giving and create a plan that aligns with your values and financial goals.

The Cedarhurst Law Firm Difference

Our Cedarhurst estate planning law firm provides exceptional will drafting services to clients throughout New York.

Below, we’ve listed some benefits that set us apart.

Personalized Attention

The Katz Law Firm understands that every client’s estate is different. That’s why we take the time to get to know you and your assets so we can create a will tailored to your specific needs and goals.

Comprehensive Services

Our law firm offers a full range of estate planning services, including wills, trusts, powers of attorney, healthcare proxies, and more. We can help you create a comprehensive plan that addresses all of your needs.


We have years of combined experience in estate planning and stay current on the latest changes in New York estates, power, and trust law.


We have offices throughout New York, including Cedarhurst, Manhattan, and Brooklyn. We also offer confidential consultations for clients who prefer to meet with us privately.

Compassionate Approach

We understand that will planning can be a sensitive and emotional process. That’s why we approach every client with compassion and understanding and work to create testamentary documents that provide peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Reviewing and Updating Your Will

Creating an estate plan is a necessary first step, but it’s not the end of the process.

Your life circumstances may change over time, and it’s important to review and update your will regularly to ensure that it continues to meet your needs.

Here are some situations that may require a codicil (modification or revocation) to your testamentary documents:

  • Marriage or Divorce: If you get married or divorced, you may need to update your will and other estate planning documents to reflect your new marital status.
  • Birth or Adoption of a Child: You’ll want to update your will to ensure you provided for a new or adopted child and have nominated a guardian for him or her.
  • Changes in Assets: You may need to update your estate plan to ensure your testamentary documents address asset acquisitions or sales.
  • Changes in the Law: Estate planning laws can change over time, and your plan must always comply with current New York rules.

The Katz Law Firm recommends reviewing your estate plan every three to five years or whenever you experience a significant life event.

Our team of NY wills lawyers review and update estate plans as needed.

Contact Our Cedarhurst Law Firm Today

To learn more about how the Katz Law Firm can help you draft and properly execute comprehensive testamentary documents, contact us today to schedule a consultation.

Please don’t wait until it’s too late to start planning for the future. Contact our Cedarhurst law firm today and take the first step towards protecting your legacy.

Adam Katz has been nothing but great from the moment I contacted him. He keeps me updated and informed of the details regarding my case. He is extremely knowledgeable, resourceful, and compassionate. Attorney Katz and his staff are working diligently on my behalf. I highly recommend this firm!

Rickey L.

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Our Process


Crafting a lasting legacy that reflects your values and aspirations starts with a purpose-driven plan.


Start your journey with a personal consultation to discuss your estate planning needs and questions.


Define your legacy with clear goals for asset distribution, family protection, and wealth preservation.


Craft a tailored estate plan that aligns with your objectives and provides legal protection for your assets.


Finalize a secure, comprehensive plan for future certainty and peace of mind for you and your loved ones.

Let’s Get Started!


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Who We Help


As Your Life Changes, So Should Your Estate Plan. Our Flexible Solutions Adapt To Your Unique Needs, Providing Ongoing Peace Of Mind.

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Meet Our Dedicated Estate Planning Attorney


Our lead estate planning attorney, Adam Katz, is passionate about helping families and individuals navigate the complex world of estate planning with compassion and a personal touch.

With more than 17 years of experience in estate planning and probate law, Adam Katz has helped countless clients achieve peace of mind by crafting comprehensive plans tailored to their unique needs and goals. He takes the time to listen to your concerns, explain your options in plain language, and guide you through every step of the process.

Adam Katz believes that estate planning should be an empowering experience, not a daunting one. He is committed to building long- lasting relationships with clients, ensuring that your plan evolves as your life changes. Whether you’re just starting your estate planning journey or need to update an existing plan, Adam Katz is here to provide the knowledgeable guidance and support you deserve.

At Katz Law Firm, we understand that estate planning is not just about drafting documents; it’s about building relationships and creating a lasting impact.

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