Pfalzgraf, Beinhauer & Menzies

Elder Law & Estate Planning

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - When a person dies and has assets solely in his/her own name, it is generally necessary to open a formal proceeding in the Surrogate’s Court.

In legalese, the deceased is referred to as the “decedent” and the formal proceeding is called “Probate.” Probate is the process used to pass the assets on to others. If the decedent has a Will, the recipients named in this Will are called beneficiaries and the estate is considered to be a “Testate Estate.” If the decedent does not have a Will, the recipients of this person’s assets are the “heirs at law” (known as “administration”). This is known as an “Intestate estate.”

In either case, either the named executor or the administrator must commence a proceeding in Surrogate’s Court that notifies the community of the person’s death. This proceeding provides an opportunity for creditors to file claims against the estate and heirs to voice objections if they feel that there is something awry in the decedent’s testamentary plan. Needless to say, this is a very confusing process at a time when the person in charge of the estate is often in mourning over the loss of a loved one. PBM assists families in the handling of the decedent’s estate.

As the only law firm in Western New York focused solely on all aspects of age-related planning, our estate planning attorneys are uniquely prepared to deliver peace of mind to our clients and their families.
There are many ways that a family can plan that will legally limit the amount of resources that will have to be spent on medical care.

Depending on the specific medical needs and the setting in which the needs will be met including at home care, or in institutional settings like assisted living or skilled nursing facilities, there are a wide variety of planning tools that are available to allow eligibility for various forms of assistance.
The means by which these goals are met are complex and specific to each family’s economic and medical situation.

If you or a loved one are faced with a medical crisis or concerned about future care that may potentially deplete your family’s resources, contact PBM Elder Law at 716.204.1055 or email us at so that we can determine what steps should be taken in order to maximize quality of care and asset preservation

716.204.1055 or email us at information so that we can determine what steps should be taken in order to maximize quality of care and asset preservation.



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