Contact Us

Offices Located At:
326 Walt Whitman Road, Suite 205
Huntington Station, NY 11746

Mailing Address:
PO Box 575
Northport, NY 11768

Phone & Fax:
Toll Free: 1.800.437.8833 

Estate Planning

Dan Engstrand, Esq.When you have worked hard during a lifetime to accumulate your assets, now is the time to insure that these assets are protected.

At Doniger & Engstrand, let Dan Engstrand help you with your estate planning needs and how you want to preserve your estate.  This involves drafting Wills to preparing trusts when young children need to be provided for.  If your children are less than eighteen years of age, they cannot hold property in their own name.  Therefore, a trust must be set up.  Even if your children are eighteen years of age, it might not be a wise idea to give them a sizable bequest of money outright lest they squander it.  In that event, a trust could insure that their educational and health care needs are provided for.  A trust instrument is also useful to hold and invest monies, keeping them out of immature hands, until such time as it is safe to assume that these young adults have sufficiently matured and can prudently handle such sums on their own. 

Wills dictate what is to become of your property at your death.  But what happens in the event you should ever lapse into a chronic vegatative state?  Can a family member step in and make decisions for you when you mentally/physically cannot?  And if so, will the hospital listen or will the medical industry do what it thinks is best to protect their own self-interest which is not always what is best for you?  Remember the poor family in the Terri Schiavo case?  Everyone but Terri Schiavo had their say about what this poor woman would have wanted because their was no Health Care Proxy.  A Health Care Proxy can eliminate most problems in this regard.  With a properly drafted Health Care Proxy, hospitals and doctors will defer to your agent knowing that the law will support that agent's choice.  

If you want to really make your intentions known, although a Health Care Proxy should suffice for most, then you would want a Living Will.  A Living Will sets forth in black and white what your wishes are with respect to your health care needs should various calamities befall you.  Unfortunately, even the best drafted Living Wills do not cover every conceivable event.  Therefore, it is always wise to have a Health Care Proxy in place to fill in where the Living Will might leave a void.

Now what about your property should you ever become mentally/physically incapacited?  As previously stated, Wills dictate what is to become of your property at death.  Wills do not have any say over what should become of your property in the event that you are not dead, but are instead severely incapacitated and can no longer make decisions on your own.  A Power of Attorney that survives disability is the proper mechanism to appoint an agent to run your affairs in your absence.  If you have not provided for a Power of Attorney and then become mentally incapacited, the court will appoint a guardian to run your affairs.  If you want to plan in advance and choose who you want to run your affairs when you are mentally unable to, rather than have the court appoint someone you might not want, then a Power of Attorney is the proper planning document for you. 

Oftentimes parties going through divorce need to make adjustments in their estate plans to insure that when the time comes that those who should take under your Will, do and those who should not, don't.  Estranged spouses routinely exercise their spousal right of election even if you left them nothing in the Will.  If you are still legally married and not legally separated at the time of your death, the law will allow your estranged spouse to come in an claim from one-third to one-half of your estate.  We can help you draft a Will to severely curtail this spousal right of election which will allow you to leave your money to whoever you want.

Dan Engstrand can help you in all your estate planning and litigation needs to help you perserve your estate to insure that it is properly passed on in the manner in which you intended.