Practice Areas

ESTATE PLANNING & TRUST SERVICES:

One of the most difficult conversations to have with your family is how to deal with asset and financial planning following death. Early preparation is crucial for all individuals. People are often surprised that by operation of law, New York State will draft a Last Will and Testament for those people who die without a Will or proper estate planning.  Essentially, your estate may go to people whom you may not have chosen to receive your assets. In addition, you may not be able to take advantage of tax saving opportunities.last-will-300x235

  1. What is a Last Will and Testament?  A Last Will and Testament is also called a Will. A Will is a written statement of what a person wants done with their property after they pass away.  A Will gives directions for how property should be divided and names an Executor to carry out those wishes. You can also appoint a guardian for your children in your Will.
  2. What is a Trust?  A Trust is a legal relationship that divides legal ownership and economic ownership of trust property between a trustee and one or more beneficiaries respectively.  At death, a trust can act very much like a Last Will and Testament but, without involving Surrogate’s Court.

While there are various types of trusts, the four most popular types are:

  1. Revocable Trust or Living Trust is a trust which can be amended or restated during the lifetime of the settlor/grantor (that is the person making the trust).
  2. Irrevocable Trust is a trust which can not be amended or restated by the settlor/grantor after it has been created.  The Irrevocable Trust is often used for Medicaid planning purposes.
  3. Testamentary Trust is a trust created within a person’s Last Will and Testament
  4. Supplemental Needs Trust is a trust which is created for persons with a disability to protect the person with the disability while keeping the person eligible to receive government benefits to pay for the cost of his or her medical care.18954926_m-3

In a Trust, the property is conveyed to a person or institution that serves as trustee.  The trustee is legally bound to adhere to the terms of a legal document known as the Trust Instrument.  The trustee is only empowered to manage the property in the way the Trust Instrument permits.

In a Revocable Trust, you are often the beneficiary and trustee while you are alive.  You completely control the trust.  The Revocable Trust is then controlled by whomever you direct at the time of your incapacity or death.

INCAPACITY AND GUARDIANSHIP:

An estate plan should contemplate the possibility of incapacity.  Avoidance of Guardianship Proceedings in Supreme Court is often easily accomplished with a well thought out estate plan.  This includes the preparation of a Durable Power of Attorney and the appointment of a Health Care Proxy.  Many estate plans fail to incorporate the possibility of a person’s incapacity and subsequent death.  This could come at a great cost to your family, both emotionally and financially. signing-will

  1. What is a “Durable Power of Attorney”? The “Durable Power of Attorney” (POA) is one of the most powerful planning tools that an attorney can recommend to a client. When a person (the principal) signs a Durable Power of Attorney, they are giving another person (the agent) the power to act in their place and manage their assets and affairs. The POA remains effective after the principal’s incapacity which means that the agent can act immediately to manage their assets.  Without a POA in place, your family would have to initiate a guardianship proceeding to obtain the court’s authorization for such transactions to be handled.
  2. What is a Health Care Proxy?  A Health Care Proxy helps to ensure you receive the care you want when you do not have the ability to manage your own health care decisions. You appoint someone you trust, a family member or close friend, to be the proxy to make medical decisions for you when you no longer can. Your proxy can also decide how your wishes apply as your condition changes. Appointing a proxy ensures that providers follow your wishes.

ELDER LAW:

As our population ages gracefully and people enjoy a much longer life thanks to advancements in science and healthcare, Elder Law becomes increasingly more relevant.  nursing-home-abuse-neglect-300x90-minThese advancements in healthcare do not necessarily correlate to advancements in Federal and New York State Law.  For this reason engaging an Elder Law attorney to properly protect your estate sooner, rather than later, is important.

Our firm is prepared to help you address the concerns of aging family members and those who may face catastrophic medical expenses.  oklahoma-nursing-home-abuse-lawyer-505x337We can help you in both long term and short term emergency planning and guide you through the Medicaid benefits process to cover the cost of long term care.  In short, we seek to smoothly guide our clients and their families through the various legal issues which can result from growing older.

PROBATE & ESTATE ADMINISTRATION:

When a loved one dies, grieving families are often on an emotional roller coaster.  Not only does the surviving spouse or family members have to deal with the very real and immediate question of funeral and burial arrangements,5201850_f520 they have to deal with the daunting task of securing the appointment of a fiduciary to administer the estate of the deceased.

Our office handles all phases of estate administration and will work to reduce the burden on the family.  We will work to settle the estate expeditiously in an effort to minimize any financial burdens to the family and beneficiaries.

ESTATE LITIGATION:

In most estate, fiduciaries are appointed and the assets of an estate are distributed according to a decedent’s Last Will and Testament or by operation of law.  When that is not the case, our firm represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries in a variety of estate litigation matters including contested Wills and/or accounting and issues involving competency.

REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS

(Residential and Commercial):

We understand that selling and buying a home, condominium, cooperative, or commercial property is a stressful experience.  A real estate sale or purchase represents our client’s single greatest asset. When you are dealing with your single greatest asset, you want a law firm that has over 18 years of expertise in handling real estate to make your experience as simple and easy as possible.  a52c9863ad949513082591e9897a7cf2We will guide you through every step of the process. During your real estate transaction, you will never be further than a phone call or e-mail away from our experienced real estate professionals.  We believe that there is no question too big or small to ask us. cincinnati real estate attorneys

Our law office provides advice and representation including, but not limited to:

–     Purchases and sales for single family and second homes, Co-ops and                                        Condominiums, vacant land and new construction

–     Commercial property purchases and sales

–     Commercial and/or Residential Lease Agreements

–     Deed Transfers

–     Private Money Mortgages and Security Agreements

–     Land Use and Zoning advice along with preparation of applications2823455_0

–     Promissory Notes and Mortgages, UCC and Bulk Sale transactions

–     Construction Agreements

–     Development of Properties

–     Title Issues

FARMLAND PRESERVATION:

Sean Walter brings almost two decades of experience working with local governments and the20170405_170704.jpg agricultural community to preserve and protect farmland and open space.  One of Mr. Walter’s first tasks as a Riverhead Deputy Town Attorney was to acquire for preservation, the development rights on 1,000 acres of farmland.

Preserving farmland ensures a way of life on the east end of Long Island that was lost to the towns to the west.  Farmers were the first 20180215_110211environmentalists because their way of life and their family’s futures rested on how they maintained the environment.

When you think of farmland preservation, think of our firm.  We bring the experience and creativity necessary for the challenges that lay ahead for the farming community when it comes to the sale of development rights and conservation easements.

MUNICIPAL LAW,

LAND USE,

ZONING & PLANNING:

After eighteen years of practice in the area of zoning and planning, there are very few situations that Sean Walter has not seen.  Using research, analysis, and experience, along with strong relationships with the Town of Brookhaven and all five East End towns and villages, he can advise developers in ways that other firms can not. lirr-riverhead-station-12-31_3

Sean Walter’s knowledge of municipal law started early on in his career while working for a prominent Southampton municipal/zoning and planning lawyer.  That experience led to working for six years as a Town of Riverhead Deputy Town Attorney which culminated in serving as Riverhead Town Supervisor from 2010-2017.  Mr. Walter’s knowledge of municipal law and zoning and planning is unparalleled in the legal community today.  His experience sitting on “both sides of the isle” makes him well-suited to advise clients who face major regulatory battles.

As the former Riverhead Town Supervisor (2010-2017), Sean Walter presided over the subdivision of the largest tract of land on Long Island.Enterprise Park.jpg  Mr. Walter was directly responsible for the Enterprise Park at Calverton (EPCAL) Reuse and Revitalization Law which enabled a 90 day default approval of projects located at EPCAL.

This combined with directly working with developers to bring over $100,000.000 in investment to the Riverhead downtown area in a one year period makes him uniquely suited to represent clients with their development projects on Long Island.

We understand that time is money in the business community and that most developers strive to make the best products to eventually turn out a profit.  Our aim is to express a pragmatic approach to projects while protecting our client’s rights.

COMMERCIAL & REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT:

As the former Riverhead Town Supervisor (2010-2017), Sean Walter presided over the subdivision of the largest tract of land on Long Island.  Mr. Walter was directly responsible for the Enterprise Park at Calverton (EPCAL) Reuse and Revitalization Law which enabled a 90 day default approval of projects located at EPCAL. Screen-Shot-2014-10-15-at-8_34_36-AM

This combined with directly working with developers to bring over $100,000.000 in investment to the Riverhead downtown area in a one year period makes him uniquely suited to represent clients with their development projects on Long Island.

BUSINESS LAW:

Business-Law-attorney-750x315Before a business can operate, new owners must select the type of business structure necessary for success.  Because of this, business owners face legal decisions everyday.  Our firm provides advice and representation involving, but not limited to:

–  Business formation

–  Operating Agreements

–  Partnership Agreements

–  Buy/Sell Agreements

–  Purchase/Sale of Business

–  Business Succession

–  Licensing

–  Professional Entities (PC, LLC, PLLC or LLP)

–  Business Dissolutions

–  Franchise Purchases

–  Non-Compete and Non-Disclosure Agreements

– Shareholder and Membership Agreements