Law Offices of Katya Sverdlov

Law Offices of Katya Sverdlov

We Help Get Your Estate Planning, Long Term Care Planning and Probate Affairs in Order, Giving You the Piece of Mind You Deserve.

Firm Overview

A well-crafted plan should provide for your loved ones in an efficient manner by taking care of minor children, protecting special needs beneficiaries, avoiding guardianship during your lifetime, eliminating astronomical costs of long term care, reducing the need for probate at death, and minimizing estate and capital gains taxes.

You should consult a qualified estate planning attorney to review your family and financial situation, your goals and explain the various options available to you. Once your estate plan is in place, you will have peace of mind knowing that you have provided for yourself and your family.


We specialize in the following:
Wills
Revocable Trusts
Irrevocable Trusts
Long Term Care Planning (Medicaid Planning)
Planning for Children
Planning for Your Residence
Irrevocable Life Insurance Trusts
Charitable Trusts
Estate Tax Planning
Pet Trusts
Special Needs Planning
Guardianship


While nobody wants to think about death or disability, establishing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Proper estate planning not only puts you in charge of your finances, it can also spare your loved ones of the expense, delay and frustration associated with managing your affairs when you pass away or become disabled.

Avoiding Probate
If you leave your estate to your loved ones using a will, everything you own will pass through probate. The process is expensive, time-consuming and open to the public. The probate court is in control of the process until the estate has been settled and distributed. During this process, it is not unusual for the probate courts to freeze assets for weeks or even months while trying to determine the proper disposition of the estate, making it difficult for your family to pay for living expenses. If you are married and have children, you want to make certain that your surviving family has immediate access to cash to pay for living expenses while your estate is being settled. With proper planning, your assets can pass on to your loved ones without undergoing probate, in a manner that is quick, inexpensive and private.


Providing for Minor Children
It is important that your estate plan address issues regarding the upbringing of your children. If your children are young, you may want to consider implementing a plan that will allow your surviving spouse to devote more attention to your children, without the burden of work obligations. You may also want to provide for special counseling and resources for your spouse, if you believe they lack the experience or ability to handle financial and legal matters. You should also discuss with your attorney the possibility of both you and your spouse dying simultaneously, or within a short duration of time. A contingency plan should include a list of persons you'd like to manage your assets and name a guardian you'd like to nominate to raise your children in your absence. The person, or trustee, in charge of the finances need not be the same person as the guardian. In fact, in many situations, you may want to purposely designate different persons to maintain a system of checks and balances.

You should give careful thought to your choice of guardian, ensuring that he or she shares the values you want instilled in your children. You will also want to give consideration to the age and financial condition of a potential guardian. Some guardians may lack child-rearing skills you feel are necessary. If you fail to plan, the decision as to who will manage your finances and raise your children will be left to a court of law.

Another issue to consider during the planning process is whether you'd like your beneficiaries to receive your assets directly, or to have the assets placed in trust and distributed subject to conditions and circumstances such as age, need and even incentives based on behavior and education. All too often, children receive substantial assets before they are mature enough to handle them in a prudent manner.

Planning for Taxes
The IRS will want to review your estate at death to ensure you don't owe them that one final tax: the federal estate tax. Whether there will be any tax owed depends on the size of your estate and how your estate plan is structured. New York has its own separate estate tax that you need to be aware of. There are many effective strategies that can be implemented to reduce or eliminate estate taxes, but you must start the planning process early in order to properly implement many of these strategies.

Guardianships
For some members of our society, legal protection may be necessary even after they have entered adulthood. These individuals may have been injured in an accident, continue to suffer from an incapacitating physical illness or psychological disorder, or have some other condition that prevents them from caring for themselves. In these cases, a guardianship may be established.
Main Office
Main Office
159 20th Street
1B
Brooklyn  NY  11232
Phone
  • 212-709-8112
Fax
  • 718-228-5007
Websites

Other Offices

New York Office
30 Wall Street, 8th Floor
Phone: 212-709-8112 Fax: 718-228-5007
New York,  NY  10005
Estate Planning
We Help Get Your Estate Planning and Probate Affairs in Order, Giving You the Piece of Mind You Deserve.
While nobody wants to think about death or disability, establishing an estate plan is one of the most important steps you can take to protect yourself and your loved ones. Proper estate planning not only puts you in charge of your finances, it can also spare your loved ones of the expense, delay and frustration associated with managing your affairs when you pass away or become disabled.

Avoiding Probate
If you leave your estate to your loved ones using a will, everything you own will pass through probate. The process is expensive, time-consuming and open to the public. The probate court is in control of the process until the estate has been settled and distributed. During this process, it is not unusual for the probate courts to freeze assets for weeks or even months while trying to determine the proper disposition of the estate, making it difficult for your family to pay for living expenses. If you are married and have children, you want to make certain that your surviving family has immediate access to cash to pay for living expenses while your estate is being settled. With proper planning, your assets can pass on to your loved ones without undergoing probate, in a manner that is quick, inexpensive and private.

Estate Planning
Providing for Minor Children
It is important that your estate plan address issues regarding the upbringing of your children. If your children are young, you may want to consider implementing a plan that will allow your surviving spouse to devote more attention to your children, without the burden of work obligations. You may also want to provide for special counseling and resources for your spouse, if you believe they lack the experience or ability to handle financial and legal matters. You should also discuss with your attorney the possibility of both you and your spouse dying simultaneously, or within a short duration of time. A contingency plan should include a list of persons you'd like to manage your assets and name a guardian you'd like to nominate to raise your children in your absence. The person, or trustee, in charge of the finances need not be the same person as the guardian. In fact, in many situations, you may want to purposely designate different persons to maintain a system of checks and balances.

You should give careful thought to your choice of guardian, ensuring that he or she shares the values you want instilled in your children. You will also want to give consideration to the age and financial condition of a potential guardian. Some guardians may lack child-rearing skills you feel are necessary. If you fail to plan, the decision as to who will manage your finances and raise your children will be left to a court of law.

Another issue to consider during the planning process is whether you'd like your beneficiaries to receive your assets directly, or to have the assets placed in trust and distributed subject to conditions and circumstances such as age, need and even incentives based on behavior and education. All too often, children receive substantial assets before they are mature enough to handle them in a prudent manner.

Planning for Death Taxes
The IRS will want to review your estate at death to ensure you don't owe them that one final tax: the federal estate tax. Whether there will be any tax owed depends on the size of your estate and how your estate plan is structured. Many states have their own separate estate and inheritance taxes that you need to be aware of. There are many effective strategies that can be implemented to reduce or eliminate death taxes, but you must start the planning process early in order to properly implement many of these strategies.

Charitable Bequests Planned Giving
Do you want to benefit a charitable organization or cause? Your estate plan can provide support for such organizations in a variety of ways, either during your lifetime or at your death. Depending on how your planned giving is set up, it may also allow you to receive a stream of income for life, earn higher investment yield, or reduce your capital gains or estate taxes.

A well-crafted estate plan should provide for your loved ones in an effective and efficient manner by avoiding guardianship during your lifetime, probate at death, estate taxes and unnecessary delays. You should consult a qualified estate planning attorney to review your family and financial situation, your goals and explain the various options available to you. Once your estate plan is in place, you will have peace of mind knowing that you have provided for yourself and your family.


The Law Offices of Katya Sverdlov serves clients throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens New York.
Probate
We Help Get Your Estate Planning and Probate Affairs in Order, Giving You the Piece of Mind You Deserve.
When a loved one passes away, his or her estate often goes through a court-managed process called probate or estate administration where the assets of the deceased are managed and distributed. If the assets of the deceased were owned through a well drafted and properly funded living trust, it is likely that no court-managed administration is necessary, though the successor trustee needs to administer the distribution of the deceased's assets. The length of time needed to complete the probate of an estate depends on the size and complexity of the estate and the local rules and schedule of the probate court.

The probate process for each estate is unique, but usually involves the following steps:

Filing of a petition with the proper probate court.
Notice to heirs under the will or to statutory heirs (if no will exists).
Petition to appoint Executor (in the case of a will) or Administrator for the estate.
Inventory and appraisal of estate assets by Executor/Administrator.
Payment of estate debt to rightful creditors.
Sale of estate assets.
Payment of estate taxes, if applicable.
Final distribution of assets to heirs.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What happens if someone objects to the will?
An objection to a will, also known as a "will contest" is a fairly common occurrence during the probate proceedings and can be incredibly costly to litigate.

In order to contest a will, one has to have legal "standing" to raise objections. This usually occurs when, for example, children are to receive disproportionate shares under the will, or when distribution schemes change from a prior will to a later will. In addition to disputes over the tangible distributions, will contests can be a quarrel over the person designated to serve as Executor.

Does probate administer all property of the deceased?
Probate is primarily a process through which title is transferred from the name of the deceased to the names of the beneficiaries.

Certain types of assets are "non-probate assets" and do not go through probate. These include:

Property in which you own title as "joint tenants with right of survivorship". Such property passes to the co-owners by operation of law and do not go through probate.
Retirement accounts such as IRA and 401(k) accounts where there are designated beneficiaries.
Life insurance policies.
Bank accounts with "pay on death" (POD) designations or "in trust for" designations.
Property owned by a living trust. Legal title to such property passes to successor trustees without having to go through probate.
Do I get paid for serving as an Executor?
Executors are reimbursed for all legitimate out-of-pocket expenses incurred in the process of management and distribution of the deceased's estate. In addition, you may be entitled to statutory fees, which vary from location to location and on the size of the probate estate. The Executor has to fulfill his or her fiduciary duties on behalf of the estate with the highest degree of integrity and can be held liable for mismanagement of estate assets in his or her care. It is advised that the Executor retain an attorney and an accountant to advise and assist him with his or her duties.

How much does probate cost? How long does it take?
The cost and duration of probate can vary substantially depending on a number of factors such as the value and complexity of the estate, the existence of a will and the location of real property owned by the estate. Will contests or disputes with alleged creditors over the debts of the estate can also add significant cost and delay. Common expenses of an estate include Executors' fees, attorneys' fees, accounting fees, court fees, appraisal costs, and surety bonds. These typically add up to 5 to 7 percent of the total estate value. Most estates are settled though probate in about 9 to 18 months, assuming there is no litigation involved.


The Law Offices of Katya Sverdlov serves clients throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens New York.

Katya Sverdlov

Katya founded her law firm in order to provide her clients with more personal attention in resolving their legal matters in a timely and efficient way. Katya believes that one can enjoy life more fully when one's affairs are in order, the assets are protected and one's family is taken care of. Katya enjoys helping seniors and their loved ones in planning for long term care, quality of life, autonomy, and asset preservation. Her practice focuses on estate planning, probate and estate administration, Medicaid planning, elder law, and business succession matters.

Prior to law school, Katya spent twelve years working for several top Wall Street financial companies. Her experience includes senior positions in investment banking and securities industries, giving Katya a unique ability to deal with complicated financial matters. Katya, Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), can understand the tax problems, accounting issues, investment portfolios and general business matters of her clients. Prior to starting her own firm, Katya worked for two prominent law firms, representing dozens of clients with issues ranging from business succession planning and complicated estate tax matters to Medicaid planning and fraud investigations.

Katya holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Economics from Cornell University. She earned her Juris Doctor from the Brooklyn Law School, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She is admitted to practice in the State of New York. Katya is a member of the New York State Bar Association, New York City Bar Association, Brooklyn Bar Association, Trusts and Estates Law Section of New York State Bar Association, and the Elder Law Section of New York State Bar Association.

Aside from her dedication to the practice of law, Katya is also committed to her community. She emigrated from the Soviet Union as a child with her family and has called Brooklyn home for over two decades. Katya gives regular presentations to senior citizens through BrooklynBar Leap organization, was a volunteer in the Kings County Housing Court and is a board member of the Oceana condominium association. In her free time, Katya enjoys exercise, travel, reading, and spending time with her dog Broomer, kids, and husband (not necessarily in this order).

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