Practice Areas

Family/Life Planning & Small Estate Matters (NY Only)

At Galvis & Co., we understand that life is not just all about work!

Our business clients are often also planning for their future or dealing with certain personal legal matters, such as planning a wedding, starting a family, getting a divorce, caring for older relatives, or organizing their financial and legal affairs once they have a formed a new company or have embarked on a new business venture.  Allow us and our Of Counsel colleagues to help you plan for your and your family’s future while building your dream business. Some of the important documents and agreements we can help you gain or navigate are:

new york estate matters attorney

Family/Life Planning:

  • Prenuptial agreements (drafted and signed BEFORE you get married)
  • Post-nuptial agreements (drafted and signed AFTER you get married)
  • Separation and Divorce Agreements
  • Simple Wills & Trusts
  • Full/Limited Power of Attorney

NY Small Estate Probate Matters (only applicable to NY-based estates that are less than $50,000)

When a person or loved one dies, the next steps can be tricky depending on the property owned by that person, the value of that property, and whether they bothered to make a Will before they died. New York’s small estate probate program makes it easier for loved ones who are already dealing with so much emotion, grief, and funeral plans, to process their deceased loved one’s wishes (if a Will is available) and take posession of any personal property their loved ones may have left behind, with or without any instructions. We can help you determine if your loved one’s protperty at the time of their death qualifies for the Small Estate program, and if so, process this claim for you in New York’s courts so you can administer your loved one’s property or access funds that can sometimes help cover the costs of funeral, burial, medical, and other outstanding expenses.

FAQs about NY Estate Planning

Q: “Can you file a Small Estate proceeding?”

A: If a person dies and leaves behind less than $50,000 of personal property, New York courts consider this a “small estate”. If the person executed a Will before they died, it helps, but it is not necessary because their personal property are considered things that belonged to them personally, not like real property.  If your loved one passed away owning a home or land jointly with someone else and/or had less than $50,000 of personal property when they died, then their case qualifies as a Small Estate and we can help you navigate this shorter, simpler proceeding with NY’s surrogate court so you can take hold of your loved ones personal property quickly and without the cost, complexity, and delay of New York’s more formal probate proceedings.

Q: “When should a Small Estate NOT be considered?”

A: If you believe there is a risk of a wrongful death suit or other lawsuit in the future, the courts recommend a probate proceeding or an administration proceeding be filed instead, EVEN IF there is less than $50,000 of personal property when the person passes away. If the person owned a home or any land in their name only, and not in the name of anyone else, this also does NOT qualify as a small estate. If the person who passed away had a Will AND also owned real property in the form of land or a home, this is also an instance in which NY courts recommend a formal probate proceeding be filed. If a loved one left no Will and owned any real property before they died, again, NY courts recommend an administration proceeding be filed.