Practice Areas

Estate Planning

Estate Planning is the process of identifying how you want your estate to be distributed upon your death, and then establishing a plan to implement that decision. Good estate planning includes a will, power of attorney, health care proxy, living will and a document describing the means of disposition of your remains upon your death. It may also include the preparation of one or more trusts, which may be set up during your life or may be established by your will after your death.

The typical goals of estate planning are to distribute your assets according to your intentions; to avoid, as much as possible, the imposition of estate taxes against those assets; to preserve your assets against the claims of creditors, either creditors of your estate or creditors of your heirs and other beneficiaries; to preserve and manage assets for the benefit of those who are too young or inexperienced to take them outright; and to do so as efficiently and quickly as possible, either during your life or upon your death.

Estate planning begins with a long and thorough discussion of your needs and intentions, and the gathering of detailed information about your family and your assets. Only after we fully understand your situation and your intentions do we recommend an estate plan. Your estate plan will be designed to carry out your intentions as efficiently and economically as possible.

We are members of "WealthCounsel," a nationwide organization of attorneys who share news and information and estate planning techniques and strategies. We are affiliated with the Pierro Law Group of Albany, who are recognized national leaders in estate planning. These relationships, along with our own experience and attention to your needs, allow us to prepare estate plans that meet your needs.

Elder Law

King, Adang, Arpey, Strickland & Thompson Elder law is similar to estate planning but also includes particular attention to your power of attorney and health care proxy; to protecting and enhancing your eligibility for Medicaid to pay for long-term care (either in a nursing home or at home) and to preserving your property in case you need to apply for Medicaid to cover the costs of your care. It may also include the appointment of a guardian to care for you and your property if you become unable to care for yourself and your financial affairs. We typically work with your loved ones and those you designate as your agent to help you with your elder law plan.

A good elder law plan is tailored to meet your needs. The typical goals are to help you qualify for Medicaid without losing your property. Your plan may include a specially designed will and trust to preserve your property and help you qualify for Medicaid, a power of attorney with very specific powers that help your agent carry out your plan, and other techniques that we have developed to help you move your property to your loved ones while preserving and enhancing your Medicaid eligibility. Everything we do in this regard is allowed under the Medicaid laws and regulations, which are extremely complicated.

In some cases, your elder law plan may also require advocacy before the Department of Social Services in your county, which administers the Medicaid program, or before an independent hearing officer.

Our firm is experienced in all areas of elder law. We maintain an affiliation with the Pierro Law Group of Albany, who are also recognized leaders in this field. We are members of "ElderCounsel," a national group of attorneys that shares ideas and experience in serving elder clients. Through these affiliations, and through our own careful work with you, we can provide an elder law plan that will meet your needs.

Estate Administration And Probate

Estate administration is the process of distributing your property after your death if you do not have a will. It includes the appointment of an administrator to handle the work.

The probate process is the process of distributing your property after your death if you have a will. The executor whom you nominate in your will is appointed by the court to settle the estate.

The settlement of an estate is a complicated and time-consuming process, and the need typically arises in the middle of the grieving process. For this reason, it is unusually difficult for families. We recognize this, and we take the time to carefully and compassionately explain the necessary work, the time it will take and the costs. Our client is the person who is appointed by the court to serve as administrator or executor. Our goal is to help you (or your administrator or executor) work through this process in a manner that complies with the law's requirements and respects the rights of the beneficiaries while also helping your administrator or executor meet their responsibilities and avoid problems or liability arising from the settlement process.

The process includes reviewing the will (if you left one), identifying the beneficiaries and immediate family, gathering, preserving and managing the property, paying bills and taxes, hiring and working with other professionals (for example, accountants or appraisers), preparing an inventory of the estate, developing an accounting of the property, the income, and the expenses of the estate, and distributing the property to the beneficiaries.

We have many years of experience in the settlement of estates, and we offer a full range of services to help families through the settlement process.

Estate Litigation

You may find yourself involved in a situation in which a will has been executed under questionable circumstances, some sort of unfair pressure has been brought against a loved one regarding the distribution of their property or an estate is not being properly settled. These tend to be especially difficult cases, requiring very careful investigation and analysis. We have extensive experience in protecting the legal rights of beneficiaries of estates and trusts as well as helping executors or administrators of estates defend themselves against legal challenges. We look for ways to resolve such disputes informally without compromising our clients' rights.

Matrimonial And Family Law

We understand that the dissolution of a marriage is a life-altering experience, not only for the husband and wife, but also for the whole family. We know the law, and we can help you make decisions that are in the best interests of your family. Our goal is to educate you regarding your rights and responsibilities, to protect your interests, to fight for you when necessary and to assist you in achieving a fair and equitable resolution.

When dealing with custody and support issues, the law provides (and we agree) that the interests of the children come first. It is our responsibility to advocate for our clients and to help them make decisions and agreements that benefit their children.

Our experienced attorneys and staff will guide you through these complex and difficult decisions with strength and compassion.

Business Formation, Reorganization And Succession Planning

We assist entrepreneurs from the startup through the succession or sale phases, and with all of the legal issues that come up in between in the life of a business. Our experienced attorneys will help you choose the most appropriate type of entity for your business to protect you and your assets and to provide for efficient management, growth and succession. We can help you negotiate agreements to take advantage of new opportunities, and promote and defend the interests of your business in case of conflict.