Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.

Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.

Hurwitz & Fine, P.C. is a business and litigation law firm with broad areas of practice, headquartered in Buffalo, and providing legal services to clients throughout Western New York, New York State and the nation.

Firm Overview

Hurwitz & Fine, P.C. offers a full range of estate services including estate planning, retirement planning, wills and trust agreements, Medicaid and Medicare planning, powers of attorney, asset preservation, estate and trust accounting procedures. The firm recognizes that each estate plan must be unique, tailored to meet the needs, concerns, and goals of each client. Responsible attorneys develop and nurture a close working relationship between attorney and client, and deliver these services while creating a minimum of tax exposure.

More about Hurwitz & Fine:
Nationally, Hurwitz & Fine, P.C. has the highest ranking of “highly qualified” by the independent legal peer review and assessment agency Martindale Hubbell, and is listed in its Bar Register of Pre-Eminent Law Firms which lists the top 5% most qualified law firms in the country. Today we are one of the most highly regarded law firms in the state of New York, having been named the Top Midsize Law Firm in New York State by Super Lawyers Magazine Business Edition for excellence in Business and Litigation. Our attorneys are regularly included in Best Lawyers in America, New York Super Lawyers Magazine, and Legal Elite in business publications. Our reputation throughout the state is a positive one and our representation before the federal and state judiciary is excellent. We are dedicated to scholarship and excellence in all we do.

We are a dynamic, aggressive and highly responsive group of attorneys who pride ourselves on delivering top quality legal services in the most efficient manner. We believe in striving for long term relationships and work hard to earn our client’s continued trust and business in every matter we handle. A results oriented law firm, Hurwitz & Fine, P.C. is keenly aware that each legal matter, regardless of complexity, demands careful attention to circumstance and detail.

Main Office

Headquarters
1300 Liberty Building
Buffalo NY 14202

Phone

(716) 849-8900

Fees

Office Information

Office Hours

8:30 a.m.

Office Manager

5:00 p.m.

Other Offices

Amherst Office
5500 Main Street
Williamsville

Estate Planning

Hurwitz & Fine, P.C. offers a full range of estate services including estate planning, retirement planning, wills and trust agreements, Medicaid and Medicare planning, powers of attorney, asset preservation, estate and trust accounting procedures.

Estate Planning
Hurwitz & Fine, P.C. offers a full range of estate services including estate planning, retirement planning, wills and trust agreements, Medicaid and Medicare planning, powers of attorney, asset preservation, estate and trust accounting procedures. The firm recognizes that each estate plan must be unique, tailored to meet the needs, concerns, and goals of each client. Responsible attorneys develop and nurture a close working relationship between attorney and client, and deliver these services while creating a minimum of tax exposure.

Succession Planning
This is an area that coincides with Estate Planning and is a substantial area of practice. Hurwitz & Fine, P.C. has represented many closely-held businesses, a significant segment of which are family businesses. The firm has developed successful strategies for its clients in matters involving succession planning, buy/sell agreements, deferred compensation plans, pension planning, and providing income for a surviving spouse.

The area of family business succession requires a knowledge of corporate law, estate and gift taxation, and perhaps above all, people skills. Many times an attorney is placed in a contentious situation where some members of the second generation are involved in a family business, and some are not. The question of how to be “fair” to all heirs frequently presents itself. Our attorneys are committed to developing and nurturing a close working relationship between attorney and client, and delivering these services in a cost efficient manner, considering tax effects.
Estate & Trust Administration

The firm handles the administration of trusts and estates as a corollary to the planning process. Probate and administration matters range from modest to complex in terms of financial and legal considerations and include both contested and uncontested cases. Members of the firm regularly represent clients in the full range of matters in Surrogate’s Court. The firm strives to chart the most appropriate course for each administration matter so as to minimize client effort and conflict and to maximize outcomes.

Elder Law
Hurwitz & Fine, P.C. has decades of experience advising elderly clients and their families with issues such as preserving their assets against the cost of long term care and applying for government benefits including Medicaid. Our experience has provided us with a depth of knowledge of the myriad of available options. Since each individual has his or her own circumstances and goals, we take the approach that each client deserves a customized plan which takes into account his or her finances (including those of limited means), and desires for independence and quality of life while simultaneously navigating often sensitive family dynamics. We have developed a network with other professionals, such as geriatric care managers, which allows us to assist clients and their families with selecting appropriate levels of care.

We have developed a great deal of experience concerning the Medicaid eligibility rules and use that knowledge to assist clients with qualifying for Medicaid, completing and submitting Medicaid applications and representing clients at Fair Hearings in the event an application has been denied.

Our attorneys regularly advise clients on advance planning techniques including determining the viability of long term care insurance, transferring assets to family members, life insurance considerations and establishing asset protection trusts. We also assist our clients in devising strategies to preserve at least a portion of his or her assets even after he or she has been institutionalized and no prior plan was in place.

We regularly assist clients with creating Powers of Attorney tailored to their specific needs and goals. We also draft Health Care Proxies and Living Wills which clearly articulate our clients’ individual preferences concerning health care decision-making, including decisions concerning the administration or withholding of life-sustaining treatment.

If a person is incapacitated and lacks advance directives such as Powers of Attorney and Health Care Proxies, it may be necessary to have the court appoint a Guardian to handle the person’s financial affairs and/or attend to his or her personal needs, such as medical decision-making. We have a wide range of experience in representing clients in all facets of Guardianship proceedings involving incapacitated persons. We also regularly assist parents and other family members with the appointment of Guardians for those with developmental disabilities.

A Supplemental or Special Needs Trust can be created to benefit a disabled person. Its purpose is to shelter the trust assets from consideration for government benefit eligibility (such as Medicaid) while enhancing the quality of life of the disabled person. Our firm regularly creates both “third party trusts” (those funded by someone other than the disabled beneficiary) and “first party trusts” (those funded with the disabled person’s own money).

Edward C. Robinson

Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.

Mr. Robinson is a member of the firm's Estate Planning Department. Mr. Robinson has over 30 years of experience advising clients in the full range of Estate Planning, Estate Administration and Elder Law issues.

With respect to his Estate Planning practice, Mr. Robinson has extensive experience completing estate plans for clients from modest means to those with significant wealth. Specifically, he has implemented estate plans utilizing simple and complex wills, living wills, health care proxies, powers of attorney, both revocable and irrevocable living trusts, irrevocable insurance trusts, charitable remainder trusts, qualified personal residence trusts, family limited partnerships, limited liability companies and supplemental needs trusts.

Mr. Robinson has overseen the probate and administration of hundreds of estates and trusts, from uncontested matters through complex contested matters. As a result, he has gained expertise in the preparation of federal and state estate tax returns and fiduciary income tax returns.

Mr. Robinson also has extensive experience in Medicaid and long term care pre-planning. He has helped many clients in developing plans designed to protect their assets, utilizing trusts, real property transfers and gifting strategies. He has also aided clients in submitting Medicaid applications and through representation in Medicaid Fair Hearings. He has lectured extensively on estate planning, estate administration and elder law topics in numerous seminars directed toward consumers, attorneys, financial planners and accountants.

In addition to estate planning, Mr. Robinson is also experienced in helping business owners develop business succession plans that ensure a smooth transition of ownership. His business succession plans take into account family dynamics, management styles, maintaining key employees, as well as the tax implications of wealth transfer while preserving operating funds.

Mr. Robinson is a cum laude graduate of Hobart College where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics. He then earned his Juris Doctor degree from the State University at Buffalo Law School in 1983.

Currently, Mr. Robinson serves as president of the Financial Planning Counselors of WNY. In 2017, Mr. Robinson was named Pro Bono Attorney of the Year by the Center for Elder Law & Justice for his dedication to the organization where he serves on the Board of Directors. Mr. Robinson serves as a member of the management committee of the WNY Coalition Pooled Trusts. He also serves as a member of the Elder Law Committee and of the Practice and Procedure in Surrogate's Court Committee of the Erie County Bar Association. In addition, he is a member of the Estate Analysts of WNY.

Carly M. Speyer

Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.

Ms. Speyer is an attorney in the firm's Estate Planning, Elder Law, Business and Real Estate practice groups. She has experience drafting wills, powers of attorney, health care proxies and trusts. She also has experience preparing Medicaid applications and assisting with estate administration and probate documents.

Ms. Speyer has counseled clients regarding contract matters and various business issues, including audits and compliance. She has also assisted clients in managing and resolving federal and state tax debt.

She has significant experience in community association law, representing developers in the process of establishing condominiums and homeowners’ associations. She has also worked with community association boards on document interpretation and revision and a wide range of association governance issues.

Ms. Speyer earned her Juris Doctor cum laude at the University at Buffalo where she served on the Buffalo Law Review. She earned her Bachelors of Arts in political science cum laude at the State University of New York at Buffalo.

Ms. Speyer is a member of the Erie County and New York State Bar Associations.

Lawrence C. Franco

Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.

Mr. Franco represents clients in complex business transactions including the purchase and sale of businesses and transactions involving financial and commercial institutions. He also has diverse experience in estate planning and financial administration matters. Mr. Franco is active in the representation of long-term business clients and frequently is engaged by clients to develop and implement succession plans for their businesses.

Highly active and regarded in the financial community, he has spoken on numerous business topics, including business and estate planning, qualified retirement plans, and employee fringe benefits before such groups as Financial Planning Counselors of Western New York, Annual Tax Institute of the Bar Association and the Western New York Chapter of Certified Public Accountants. Mr. Franco served as an instructor for the American College of Certified Life Underwriters teaching its Pension Planning Course, and was the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award of the Buffalo Chapter of Certified Life Underwriters and Chartered Financial Consultants. In 2012, he was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the Buffalo Chapter Society of Financial Service Professionals. In addition, he has lectured to different groups, including state and local bar associations, accounting and other professional organizations on corporate, estate planning, pension planning, and tax law subjects.

Mr. Franco served a Director of the Erie County Bar Association (2008-2011) and is a member of its Taxation Committee, Corporation Law Committee, and the Cooperation with the Accounting Profession Committee which he previously chaired. He is also a member of the New York State Bar Association's Banking, Corporation and Business Law Committees. Mr. Franco served as Chair of the Judging Panel of the Buffalo Niagara Business Ethics Award from 2009-2011. He is also a member and past president of the Financial Planning Counselors of Western New York, and is a member of the Estate Analysts of Western New York.

An active member of the legal community and well regarded by his peers, Mr. Franco was named one of the Top 50 lawyers in all of New York State (outside of New York City) by New York Super Lawyer's Magazine and has also been named to the list of the Best Lawyers in America and the Business First list of Who's Who in Law and the Legal Elite of Western New York.

Also active in a variety of community organizations, he serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo. He is Past President of the Board of the Jewish Community Center of Greater Buffalo and serves on the Board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo, Inc. Mr. Franco also served on the Board of Trustees of the Foundation for Jewish Philanthropies and continues to be active in the annual United Jewish Fund campaign in a variety of leadership roles.

Prior to joining the firm in 1981, Mr. Franco served as law clerk for the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Third Judicial Department, in Albany, New York, and as Assistant Counsel in the Governor's Office of Employee Relations.

Patty A. Rauh

Hurwitz & Fine, P.C.

Ms. Rauh is an attorney in the firm's Estate Planning and Administration Department. Her practice is primarily focused in the areas of estate planning, estate administration and elder law. In her estate planning practice, Ms. Rauh assists clients with creating wills, trusts, powers of attorney and health care proxies. Ms. Rauh's estate administration practice includes assisting clients with the probate of wills and providing advice with respect to the administration and distribution of estates. Her elder law practice focuses on assisting clients with processing Medicaid applications.

Ms. Rauh volunteered her time as a student attorney in the University at Buffalo School of Law Community Justice Clinic, where she provided legal representation to undocumented immigrants and unaccompanied minors and appeared on their behalf in the Executive Office of Immigration Review to help them obtain legal immigration status in the U.S. At her law school commencement, Ms. Rauh was awarded the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA) Outstanding Student Award for her work in the Community Justice Clinic.

Ms. Rauh earned her Juris Doctor from the University at Buffalo Law School where she completed an externship in the Domestic Violence Bureau at the Erie County District Attorney's Office. She also volunteered her time in Erie County Family Court, as well as Journey's End Refugee Services, where she assisted individuals who were seeking asylum in the U.S. Ms. Rauh earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from SUNY Buffalo.

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