Will and Estates

Trust your Legacy to Us!

Experienced Estate Lawyers in Buffalo, NY & Beyond

A will is a written declaration of a person’s wishes as to the arrangement of their property after their death. A will also names an executor who is the person responsible for carrying out the terms of your will. While you may not want to think about leaving your belongings and family behind, it’s important to not leave your loved ones with the stress of dispersing your belongings. Be sure that your assets are distributed according to your specific wishes with our probate and estate attorney.

Our estate attorney will properly draft your will and estate plan to ensure that your wishes are followed after your death. Our attorney will guide you through the process of choosing an executor and successor executor, guardian for underage children, recipient of your property, naming of a charitable organization as a beneficiary, and more. Our attorney is readily available to help anyone throughout the West Seneca, NY; Cheektowaga, NY; Hamburg, NY; Orchard Park, NY; Tonawanda, NY; and Lancaster, NY areas with peace of mind that you’re leaving your loved ones with less stress and contention.

Leave Your Legacy in the Hands of Your Loved Ones

Without a proper will, after your passing, an administrator is appointed by the court who performs the same duties as an executor. Your estate will then be distributed to your heirs as specified by New York State Law. If you’re named an executor in a will and formally appointed by the court, your primary duties are to collect and liquidate the estate assets, pay all the legitimate expenses and debts of the estate, and distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries as stated in the estate plan. The executor or administrator has a duty to utilize their best judgment and efforts in acting on behalf of the estate and their beneficiaries.

How Taxes Affect Your Inheritance on an Estate

Any property that you have received as a gift or inherited is not included in your income for tax purposes. If for some reason the property becomes profitable for you, for example as a result of you renting it out, making dividends, or others, that income does become taxable.

It’s the executor’s or administrator’s responsibility to file the following tax returns on behalf of the decedent and/or the estate:

  • Final Personal Income Tax Returns for the Decedent:
    The personal representative must file the appropriate final income tax returns for the decedent for the year of death and any returns not filed for preceding years. If the decedent left a surviving spouse, the executor or administrator and the surviving spouse can generally file a joint return for the decedent and the surviving spouse.
  • Federal and State Fiduciary Income Tax Returns for the Estate:
    Generally speaking, any income generated on a decedent’s assets after the date of death is required to be reported on a federal and state fiduciary income tax return for the estate. When an individual dies, their estate becomes a separate entity for taxation purposes. The fiduciary income tax returns are required to be filed when the estate generates $600 or more of gross income during a tax year.
  • Federal (United States) and State Estate Tax Returns:
    It is necessary to file a federal estate tax for the estate of every U.S. citizen or resident whose “gross estate” and adjusted taxable gifts made during the decedent’s lifetime are more than $3.5 million. Currently, an individual can gift or transfer up to $13,000 each to any number of individuals per taxable year without any gift tax consequences.