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Best Estate Planning Attorneys in Buffalo

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Duggan Pawlowski & Cooke LLP logo
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Duggan Pawlowski & Cooke LLP

403 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Duggan Pawlowski & Cooke LLP is a Buffalo-based law firm that handles estate planning and probate for individuals, real estate owners, and business owners. It also offers real estate representation and provides counsel on adverse possession cases and boundary issues. Other practice areas include property damage and bodily injury claim, insurance defense, contract dispute, and business formation. Its attorneys, James Duggan, Neil Pawlowski, Jesse Cooke, and Rodger Doyle, are members of the New York State Bar Association.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.1
Facebook
4.0 / 5 (6)
Google
4.0 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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Duke, Holzman, Photiadis & Gresens LLP logo
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Duke, Holzman, Photiadis & Gresens LLP

Buffalo, NY 14210
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Business Description

Duke, Holzman, Photiadis & Gresens LLP is a team of results-driven Buffalo attorneys who are committed to providing clients with efficient and cost-effective services. Areas of practice include estate planning, trusts, taxation, labor and employment law, civil litigation, and business and corporate law. Duke, Holzman, Photiadis & Gresens LLP is registered with the Bar Association of Erie County and the New York State Bar Associaton.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Dwan Counter, Attorneys at Law logo
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Dwan Counter, Attorneys at Law

Buffalo, NY 14201
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Business Description

Dwan Counter, Attorneys at Law is a Buffalo-based law firm that has been delivering efficient, cost-effective legal advice and representation to individuals and families in the community for many years. The firm's experienced professionals can assist with estate planning, real estate law, criminal defense, civil litigation, and more. Dwan Counter, Attorneys at Law also offers a free consultation.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Ed Northwood & Associates logo
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Ed Northwood & Associates

Buffalo, NY 14222
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Business Description

Ed Northwood & Associates is a boutique law firm that has been serving individuals, families, and businesses in the greater Buffalo area since 2007. It offers quality legal advice and representation in matters involving tax and estate planning, trust and estate administration, international tax planning and counseling, and international tax compliance. Ed Northwood & Associates was recognized by Corporate INTL as a Global Awards winner in 2016.

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Hogan Willig, PLLC logo
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Hogan Willig, PLLC

Amherst, NY 14068
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Business Description

Hogan Willig, PLLC is a full-service law firm in Amherst, NY that takes pride in providing its clients with high-quality and cost-effective legal services. Its lawyers are knowledgeable and experienced in estate planning, civil litigation, criminal defense, international law, matrimonial and family law, corporate and business law, and more. Hogan Willig, PLLC was featured in U.S. News & World Report as one of the Best Law Firms in New York in 2016.

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Law Office of Kathryn M Kirsch PLLC logo
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Law Office of Kathryn M Kirsch PLLC

295 Main Street, Buffalo, NY 14203
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  • Estate Planning

Business Description

Law Office of Kathryn M Kirsch PLLC is a Buffalo-based law firm providing personalized estate planning services. It assists clients in drafting living wills, last wills and testaments, powers of attorney, and health care proxies. Its team of lawyers also carries out the provision of the client's will or estate plan. The firm's principal lawyer, Kathryn Kirsch, offers over 25 years of expertise in New York State workers' compensation and social security disability laws.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.4
Google
4.0 / 5 (16)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (10)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Law Office of Ruth P. George logo
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Law Office of Ruth P. George

1323 North Forest Road, Buffalo, NY 14221
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  • Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration
  • Probate

Business Description

Law Office of Ruth P. George is an estate planning law firm that serves clients in Buffalo. It helps customers with legal matters regarding simple and complex wills, powers of attorney, health care proxies, and trusts. Owner Ruth George also assists with business succession planning, real estate transfer, beneficiary designation review, and income tax planning. She earned her Juris Doctor at the University at Buffalo School of Law and was accepted to the New York State Bar in January 2001.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (8)
Lifetime Wealth Management Group logo
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Lifetime Wealth Management Group

Buffalo, NY 14225
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Business Description

Lifetime Wealth Management Group is a team of trusted financial advisors in Cheektowaga, NY that strives to provide its clients with high-quality services at reasonable rates. Services include estate planning, financial planning, retirement planning, and wealth management. Lifetime Wealth Management Group is registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and the Better Business Bureau.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Restaino Reddien, LLP logo
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Restaino Reddien, LLP

Niagara Falls, NY 14304
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Business Description

Restaino Reddien, LLP is a law firm in Niagara Falls, NY that is composed of knowledgeable and experienced professionals who are dedicated to providing clients with quality, innovative, and personalized legal services. This firm specializes in estate planning, real estate law, and personal injury. Restaino Reddien, LLP's lawyers are registered with the New York State Bar.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (16)
Stamm Law Firm logo
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Stamm Law Firm

Williamsville, NY 14221
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Business Description

Stamm Law Firm is a family-owned legal practice in Williamsville, NY that specializes in estate planning as well as elder law, Medicaid assistance, and personal injury litigation. This law firm has been serving the community for over 40 years. Stamm Law Firm is composed of experienced and highly-skilled professionals who are committed to providing quality legal services at reasonable rates.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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The Law Offices of Melissa A. Tocha logo
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The Law Offices of Melissa A. Tocha

Amherst, NY 14226
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Business Description

The Law Offices of Melissa A. Tocha has been providing quality and cost-effective legal services in Amherst, NY and communities nearby for over 10 years. It offers legal advice and representation in matters involving estate planning, residential real estate, lender representation, and power of attorney. The Law Offices of Melissa A. Tocha is registered with the Erie County Bar Association.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.1
Facebook
4.8 / 5 (5)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
The Tarantino Law Firm, LLP logo
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The Tarantino Law Firm, LLP

Buffalo, NY 14203
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Business Description

The Tarantino Law Firm, LLP is a law firm in Buffalo, NY that takes pride in providing its clients with comprehensive, client-centered legal services at reasonable rates. It is composed of experienced Buffalo attorneys who specialize in handling matters involving estate planning, business law, business litigation, professional licensing and privileging investigations, medical malpractice defense, and more. This law firm has been featured in US News & World Report and Super Lawyers Business Edition.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.3
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Voelkl Law PC logo
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Voelkl Law PC

19 South Long Street, Williamsville, NY 14221
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  • Estate Planning
  • Probate

Business Description

Voelkl Law, PC, is a full-service estate planning and probate law firm in Buffalo. It specializes in drafting comprehensive estate plans and trust solutions and resolving issues on litigated estates. It also helps clients create or update wills, plan for nursing home care, protect assets, minimize death taxes, and establish guardianship. In addition, the firm provides legal counsel regarding real estate issues and business law matters. Its principal attorney, Jeffrey Voelkl, has been practicing estate planning, estate administration, and probate litigation since 1993.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.0
Google
4.0 / 5 (50)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
Webster & Dubs logo
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Webster & Dubs

41 Delaware Road, Kenmore, NY 14217
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  • Probate

Business Description

Webster & Dubs is a law firm in Kenmore that serves clients coming from the Buffalo area and other parts of Western New York. It is a general practice firm that offers various services such as estate planning, living wills, long-term care planning, and Medicaid planning. The firm was established by lawyers Joshua E. Dubs and Daniel F. Webster. Daniel worked for The Center for Elder Law & Justice for nine years before he decided to partner with Joshua.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.1
Google
4.0 / 5 (26)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
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Frequently Asked Questions

What does an estate planning attorney do?

An estate consists of the total assets that form an individual’s net worth, no matter how large or small. Estate planning attorneys use their in-depth knowledge of state and federal laws to help people best manage what will happen with their estates after they die or become incapacitated. Estate planning attorneys can prepare wills, form trusts, reduce estate tax burdens, and decrease or eliminate the need for probate court.

What are valuable estate planning services an attorney can provide?

With the many intricacies of assets, taxes, and state and federal laws that can affect a person’s estate, an estate planning lawyer can be a valuable professional asset, no matter how large or small a person’s estate may be. An estate planning attorney can:

  • Create a comprehensive plan to protect a client's legacy, that includes a will, power of attorney, trusts, life insurance, and advanced medical directives
  • Optimize an estate plan as tax laws, life events, assets, and goals change over time
  • Protect a client’s loved ones by preventing assets from entering probate
  • Help clients designate a person to make important health decisions for them if they become incapacitated

Can estate planning attorneys help create trusts/wills?

Estate planning attorneys can create trusts and wills. Through a will, an attorney can help a client designate their estate’s beneficiaries and assign an executor to represent the will in probate court. These attorneys can also create trusts, allowing a client to assign a trustee to oversee the estate, potentially avoiding probate court and holding assets to be distributed over time.

Is estate planning the same as drafting a will?

While both estate plans and wills officially document how their owners wish to allocate certain assets after their death, there are key differences. In estate planning, a will is often just one of several documents that form a comprehensive plan. In a will, people must designate a person responsible for executing their will after their death. The will can include guardians for their children when they die and beneficiaries to receive an inheritance of money, property, and other assets.

What are the steps involved in estate planning?

To create a thorough and effective estate plan, individuals should follow these steps:

  • Prepare a will that designates an estate executor; indicate who will receive what assets, and assign a trust and guardians for any children. Consider using an attorney if the will is in any way complex.
  • To avoid probate, have an attorney create a revocable living trust.
  • Assign beneficiaries to other assets, such as life insurance policies, retirement plans, and securities.
  • Use an attorney to prepare a living will, name a health care proxy, and create a HIPAA release form.
  • Update the plan every five years.

How long does the estate planning process last?

The length of the process can vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the estate, the specific law office, and whether there’s an emergency or urgent need. If you’re using an attorney, you can generally expect it to take one to five weeks. You may be able to speed up the process by immediately providing your attorney with any bank statements or other documents they need.

What is a trust?

A trust is an agreement between a grantor, a trustee, and a beneficiary. In this agreement, the grantor allocates funds or real property assets to the trustee to be held either until the grantor passes away or until a specific, agreed-upon date. At that point, it's the responsibility of the trustee to distribute funds or property to the beneficiary or beneficiaries. While there are similarities between a will and a trust, a will is a more comprehensive document that typically requires probate court, while a trust allows assets to pass to the beneficiary without probate.

How does a trust fund work?

When opening a trust fund, a grantor allocates a trustee to oversee and manage assets in the account. This trustee can sometimes be a relative, an estate lawyer, or a bank that acts as the legal owner of the trust. While holding assets, the trustee is required to file taxes on trust assets.

How does a living trust work?

A living trust enables a grantor to manage their assets through a trustee while still alive. They can continually add funds and/or property to their trust fund by transferring them to the trustee, who accepts ownership of everything held in the fund. The grantor can name a beneficiary for their trust, and their assets will be automatically transferred to that person or establishment upon their death.

Do I need a lawyer for a will?

No, a lawyer is not required to draft or complete a will. However, there are some scenarios in which hiring an estate lawyer to assist with a will is a good idea, including when children or high-value assets are involved. Additionally, an estate lawyer can help to reduce probate fees and taxes paid by loved ones after a person dies. It's also best to work with a professional to ensure that the will addresses everything necessary, such as funeral plans, guardianship, and asset distribution.

Can you have both a will and a living trust?

Yes, and individuals who have a living trust should also have a will. While a living trust enables a person to leave funds and assets to a loved one when they're gone, a will is required to cover any assets that aren't included in the trust, such as guardianship of dependents, funeral plans, and forgiveness of outstanding debts, if applicable.

How much does it cost to set up a trust?

The cost of setting up a trust varies quite a bit depending on a variety of factors, including terms that are in place, special provisions for minor beneficiaries, and trustees' basic fees. In most cases, the minimum cost of setting up a trust is about $1,500, but depending on the factors mentioned above, this cost can increase by thousands of dollars.

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