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November 2007 Archives

Trusts & Estates Horror Story

Here is the outline of a current case that all you practitioners can use as a horror story to scare your clients into completing their estate plan (or your colleagues; we all know how few attorneys actually have a current estate or business succession plan in place). We represented a husband and wife, who had a living trust. Both spouses died in the past year, and the successor trustee was their only son. Because they had a trust, the administration of their estates went smoothly, and the son transferred all the assets to himself pursuant to the trust. All that remained was for us to file trust income tax returns when the son suddenly died. The next named trustee was a niece of the grantors, so the trust administration could still be completed without much trouble. However, not only did the son not have his own trust, he didn't even have a will. Despite numerous entreaties from our firm, the son had never completed any sort of estate plan. He just didn't want to think about planning for his own death. Now we had an intestate probate estate containing all of the assets of the parents that, through the planning we had done, had just bypassed probate entirely. Worse, we didn't know who would, or even could be appointed to administer the son's estate. He was an only child. The father was an only child. And the mother had some distant siblings, only one of whom was living, and some nieces and nephews. The niece who had been named as successor trustee of the parents' trust agreed to handle the son's estate and petitioned to be appointed administrator. She was the daughter of the mother's surviving sister, and therefore, not a distributee who was eligible to be appointed pursuant to the statute (S.C.P.A. §1001(1)). However, if her mother and surviving cousins (only about half of whom had been located) consented to her appointment, the surrogate's court could grant her petition (S.C.P.A. §1001(6)). And then her mother died... Stay tuned to find out if we locate the missing cousins, whether we have to hold money in trust for them, and whether we need to probate the aunt's will so that the niece can make distributions from the estate to herself. 

  • I wanted to write to say how pleased my wife and I were at your professional handling of our estate planning and preparation of new wills. We were put at ease by your visit to our home for an interview and were pleased that you listened to us and captured the things that we felt were important.

    --Robert and Christine Simonson, Fairport
  • In order to finalize the documents we came to your office and were greeted in a very professional manner and we could not have asked for finer service. We left with copies of everything we needed and feel very confident our needs have been met. Thanks again. We will surely recommend you should the opportunity arise.

    — Christine and Robert Simonson, Fairport
  • I have been working with Weinstein & Randisi for about two years now. Elizabeth Randisi, through a very thorough process, has helped my wife and me determine what is really important in our lives. Thus, we were able to draft a living will that reflected our most important values regarding our estate.

    --David and Ajia Cherry, Fairport
  • I would like to give a testimony for Elizabeth Randisi, an estate attorney with Weinstein & Randisi. Her knowledge of wills and estate planning was clearly demonstrated in her presentation to us. Realizing our need for a will, my husband and I went to see Elizabeth.

    --Kathy and Gary Gray, Webster
  • Filing for Medicaid is never an easy or fun process. However, working with the Weinstein & Randisi firm made the process simple and streamlined. We were able to obtain all files and records regarding Medicaid enrollment within a few days using specially prepared checklists and verbiage recommended by our assigned paralegal.

    --Ajia and David Cherry, Fairport
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290 Linden Oaks, Ste. 200
Rochester, NY 14625

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Phone: 585-310-1578
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