WHAT WE OFFER
AREAS OF PRACTICE
The firm under the direction of Ernest T. Bartol will counsel clients on the formation and structure of new entities and/or the restructuring of existing entities. The attorneys are prepared to form general partnerships, limited partnerships, corporations, both business and not-for-profit corporations, limited liability partnerships, limited liability corporations, professional corporations, limited liability professional corporations, joint ventures, and numerous hybrids of the various structures. The attorneys also are able to work closely with the accountants, insurance agents, and other individuals to advise and create the best entity to ensure the needs of the various clients. William R. Boccio and Robert D. Garfinkle are intently involved with Mr. Bartol in these areas.
Our attorneys work closely with our clients to understand and educate themselves in the client’s particular business enterprise to provide the best possible representation. We handle all types of commercial matters including business-related disputes, breach of contract, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, dissolution of companies, disputes among business owners, restrictive covenants and non-compete agreements, trade secrets, and Uniform Commercial Code disputes. Litigation services principally include prosecution and/or defense of individuals, small companies, as well as national corporations in private litigation and administrative proceedings involving local and State Human Rights Commissions, as well as Federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions. Ernest T. Bartol works with Diane K. Mendez who also handles all phases of this litigation.
In representing our numerous local corporate clients, the firm provides legal services both as General Counsel and Special Counsel in substantial corporate financial transactions, buy-ins, buyouts and sales, individual and commercial lending and financial transactions, leasing, partnerships, and employee relations. The representation of both publicly held corporations and closely held corporations includes negotiation, formation, and general day-to-day advice to corporations, their shareholders, officers, and directors. Ernest T. Bartol works with Robert D. Rynkar and Robert D. Garfinkle on these matters.
The firm is called upon to design, draft, prepare and finalize benefit plans, confidentiality and non-compete agreements, employment contracts, employment manuals and handbooks, restrictive covenants, and separation and severance agreements. In addition, the firm provides litigation services in the areas of discrimination claims, violations of confidentiality and non-compete agreements, violations of employment contracts, violations of restrictive covenants, and violations of trade secret protection. Ernest T. Bartol, Diane K. Mendez, and Robert L. Garfinkle work in these complex areas.
REAL ESTATE LAW
All firm members have substantial education and experience in all phases of real estate law, both from a transactions and litigation viewpoint. On the transactional side, Ernest T. Bartol, William R. Boccio and all other firm members negotiate, draft and finalize all forms of real estate contracts, acquisitions, loan structuring and closure which include construction loans, mortgage loans, permanent loans, corporate loans, as well as industrial development agency loans and bonds. On the litigation side, the firm represents clients in zoning and land use issues, mortgage and lien foreclosure, environmental clean up, breach of contract and specific performance actions.
ESTATES, WILLS, AND TRUSTS
The firm provides legal services on all aspects of estate planning, will drafting, and the tax issues of estate and gift planning.
The attorneys have been engaged in all phases of Estate asset protection by drafting, inter alia, (1) Wills with marital and family trusts and provisions, (2) Irrevocable and Revocable Trusts, including Life Insurance Trusts (ILITs), (3) Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRTs), (4) Family Limited Partnerships and Limited Liability Companies, (5) Private Annuities, (6) Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRATS), Grantor Retained Income Trusts (GRITS) and Grantor Retained Unitrusts (GRUTS), Spousal Lifetime Annuity Trusts (SLATS) and (7) other planning devices for use by individuals, shareholders of family and closely-held businesses and partners of family and closely-held businesses.
This planning is usually aimed at establishing the ease of transfers of a person’s estate to his/her heirs and to the minimization of estate taxes. This area of the law includes business succession planning, business valuations, estate planning, estate administration, and retirement planning. Under the direction and supervision of Ernest T. Bartol, the attorneys Robert D. Rynkar and William R. Boccio are recognized outstanding practitioners in all aspects of trusts and estates law.
B. ADMINISTRATION AND LITIGATION
Ernest T Bartol and Diane K Mendez also represent clients in all stages of the estate administration process, from the probate process through the final distribution of assets. They work closely with fiduciaries to ensure the orderly collection of assets, evaluation of tax issues, and distributions to beneficiaries. While the firm does not prepare both estate and gift tax returns the attorneys collaborate closely with the accountants for the clients in connection with the preparation of these returns and the fiduciary income tax returns for Estates and Trusts.
In the litigation context, Mr. Bartol and Ms. Mendez represent fiduciaries and beneficiaries in Surrogate's Court litigation matters including, but not limited to, Probate contests, Administration contests, judicial accountings, kinship hearings, discovery proceedings, and various miscellaneous proceedings including wrongful death compromises, business continuations, compelling delivery of property held by a fiduciary, etc. In addition, Mr. Bartol and Ms. Mendez are often appointed to serve as a Guardian ad Litem in Surrogate's Court matters for individuals that are unable to protect their interests in Nassau, Suffolk, New York, and Queens Counties.
ELDER LAW AND GUARDIANSHIP
Attorneys who practice in the Elder Law and Guardianship area help their clients and their families navigate the challenges unique to seniors as they age. The attorneys at the Bartol Law Firm, P.C. help seniors in New York with planning for long-term care, determining eligibility for government benefits, ensure legal documents such as wills, trusts, and advanced directives are in place. We also help family members when guardianship proceedings are needed to ensure the health and safety of a loved one who has lost capacity.
Our elder law-specific estate planning focuses on aiding seniors in implementing estate plans with a particular focus on long-term care, incapacity, and wealth transfer at death. We want all our clients to have a clear plan of action that can protect them in case of incapacity and afford them the greatest amount of independence in their lives.
In this area of the law, we develop these plans by recommending where appropriate, the establishment and the use of planning documents such as Durable Powers of Attorney, Living Wills, Health care Proxies, Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts, Revocable Living Trusts, Long Term Care Insurance, and many of the other documents that are set forth in our Estate Planning section.
On the litigation side, firm attorneys have been engaged in all types of proceedings in the Surrogate’s and Supreme Courts located in New York City, Nassau, Suffolk, and upstate Counties, including contested appointment proceedings, contested accounting proceedings, discovery proceedings, contested Guardianship proceedings representing litigants and as Court Evaluator, etc. and as attorneys for the alleged incapacitated person.
In addition, at varying times, the attorneys have served as attorney for petitioners; attorney for respondents; Guardian ad Litem; Court Evaluator; Committee for Incompetent Persons; Conservator of Property; Guardian of Person and Property; Attorney for Committees, Conservators and Guardians; and in numerous contested and uncontested proceedings in both the New York State Supreme Court and the New York State Surrogate’s Court for (i) Appointment of Committees of Incompetent Persons pursuant to the now repealed Article 78 of the Mental Hygiene Law (“MHL”); (ii) Appointment of Conservators of Property of Incapacitated Persons pursuant to the now repealed Article 77 of the MHL; (iii) Appointment of Guardians of the Person and Property of Incapacitated Persons pursuant to Article 81 of the MHL; (iv) Appointment of Guardians of the Person and Property of Infants pursuant to Article 17 of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (“SCPA”); (v) Appointment of Guardians of the Person and Property of Mentally Retarded Persons and Developmentally Disabled Persons pursuant to Article 17A of the SCPA; (vi) Annual Accounting Proceedings of Committees, Conservators and Guardians; (vii) Interim and Final Accounting Proceedings of Committees, Conservators and Guardians; (viii) Proceedings to Discover and Recover property of Incapacitated Persons wrongfully taken by, wrongfully transferred to and/or wrongfully withheld by third persons; and (ix) Proceedings to permit and establish Supplemental Needs Trusts and other estate planning and Medicaid planning transactions.
Sometimes seniors face guardianship proceedings, either started by a family member, nursing home, or government agency such as the department of social services. These proceedings are brought under Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law when a petitioner alleges that the senior (alleged incapacitated person) is likely to suffer personal and/or financial harm because they cannot care for themselves or their financial affairs. We counsel family members about the serious civil liberties that are at stake in a guardianship proceeding and how the procedure moves quickly. We will advise and represent individuals at the hearing which must be brought within twenty-eight (28) days. At the hearing, the petitioner must present evidence that the AIP is incapacitated and would suffer harm if a guardian is not appointed. The Bartol Law Firm, P.C. attorneys, Ernest T. Bartol & Diane K. Mendez know how Guardianship proceedings work from every angle.