At Merlino & Gonzalez, we are firm believers in keeping you informed. To that end, we translate legalese, explain legal concepts, and clarify ambiguities, all the while remembering that, since we are working to achieve your goals, the most important task we perform is listening carefully to what you have to say.
Learn More About Estate Planning
As estate planners, we are dedicated to helping you prepare an estate plan that is geared to your particular needs. Our comprehensive, detailed knowledge of both New York and New Jersey estate planning law puts you at an advantage.
Whether you are most concerned about asset protection, establishing trusts, setting up a guardianship, avoiding probate, business succession planning, non-traditional families, or what will happen to your pet after you pass away — our attorneys will make your concerns our priorities.
Most people are at first reluctant to contemplate disability or death, but eventually we all have to come to terms with the possibility of unexpected accidents or illnesses, and the inevitability of our own aging and mortality. Once we do so, as responsible adults, we have to make provisions for our own potential incapacity and for the loved ones we will leave behind.
When you consult with the skilled attorneys at our office in Staten Island, we think you will be pleasantly surprised by the positive, energizing atmosphere we maintain. Far from being preoccupied with death, you are likely to spend your time with us thinking about the joys of travel and retirement, the pride of leaving a successful business for your children to take over, and/or the ease of establishing trusts to protect your family from being heavily taxed on the estate you are leaving for them to enjoy.
Most of us realize as we mature that if we’re not proactive, things don’t get accomplished. Therefore, if you want to maintain a measure of control over the distribution of your worldly goods, the upbringing of your children, the care of your own body if you become disabled, or who you want making decisions for you if you become unable to make them yourself, your first step should be a visit to our office so we can familiarize you with what needs to be done, and you can guide us to the decisions that will make you most comfortable.
Learn More About Elder Law
As the population ages, elder law becomes a more and more significant legal specialty. As we all become increasingly aware, aging brings with it not only the joys of retirement — time to travel, enjoy grandchildren, visit with friends, play sports, indulge in creative outlets — but the problems associated with deteriorating health, loss of loved ones, and, at times, unexpected financial drains.
At Merlino & Gonzalez we are capable of handling all aspects of elder law, many of which overlap with general estate planning, including:
- Asset protection
- Business succession
- Conservatorships and guardianships
- Long-term care planning
- Preparing powers of attorney and living wills
- Protecting seniors from financial exploitation and all types of elder abuse
- Qualifying for Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans’ benefits
- Special needs planning
During the course of our involvement in elder care, we focus on the individual needs of our older clients, making sure to involve them in the decision-making process wherever possible. Nonetheless, we realize the importance of communicating with all concerned parties: spouses, adult children and grandchildren, and sometimes doctors, therapists, social workers and home health aides.
Our goal as attorneys engaging in elder care is to make sure our clients are safe and comfortable in the present and will remain so in the future. Even though, for most of us, aging is accompanied by a decline in physical and/or mental capacities, at Merlino & Gonzalez we focus on the positive, helping the seniors we assist enjoy the highest possible quality of life.
Learn More About Real Estate
Much of our happiness often depends on where we live and where we work, since the environment in which we spend our days affects not only our moods, but our health and general sense of well-being. Merlino & Gonzalez handles all aspects of real estate law. Our real estate attorneys are equally at ease working with sellers, buyers, investors, and renters, and have in-depth knowledge of both commercial and residential law. Whether you are preparing to relocate your home or business, expanding or downsizing, looking to purchase a large swath of raw land or seeking to rent a city apartment, our attorneys have the skills to help you make the best deal possible, both financially and in terms of legal protections.
Residential Real Estate
Purchasing or selling a home is the most significant financial transaction most people undertake in their lifetime, so, no matter how exciting, moving is a stressful experience. If you come to Merlino & Gonzalez as you plan for your move, we can eliminate a fair amount of tension from the experience, making the endeavor much more manageable. Our attorneys will guide you through sales or purchase transactions, helping you to avoid common pitfalls and to facilitate a smooth transfer of property.
Our comprehensive residential real estate services include:
- Drafting purchase and sale contracts
- Reviewing mortgage and rental agreements
- Obtaining title insurance
- Assisting you in applying for any necessary permits
- Assisting you in applying for any possible tax relief
- Representing you at closing
As your personal attorneys, we recognize our duty to protect your interests in all areas in which we act on your behalf. Whether you engage us to help you with estate planning, elder care, or real estate, or turn to us for advice and guidance in all three, our staff of caring professionals will prove that our reputation for thorough, responsive, effective service is well-deserved.
Commercial Real Estate
We are well-prepared to deal with a wide range of transactional commercial real estate issues from either side of the table. Whether you are buying, selling, renting, or investing we are able to assist you with any or all of the following:
- Title clearance
- Drafting and reviewing documents
- Making sure documents cover all pertinent items (e.g. maintenance and damage repair)
- Representing you at closing
As you can see from this list, our law practice is ready to take up your cause whichever side you’re on: helping you to settle your new business in the perfect office building or assisting you in avoiding eviction or foreclosure. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.