Jacqueline attended Colorado State University for two years and transferred to RIT where she graduated in 1983 with a BS in Social Work. Upon graduation, Jacqueline moved to Colorado to work in the ski industry and ski Aspen Mountain as much as possible. Upon returning to Rochester, she worked as a paralegal with her father, attorney Jack M. Battaglia. The knowledge she gained from working with him on corporate matters and mergers and acquisitions inspired her to attend law school. Jacqueline graduated from Syracuse University Law School in 1990. Upon graduation, she went to work at Woods Oviatt Gilman LLP in the Trusts and Estates Department where she remained for 10 years. In 2000, she decided to leave WOG and concentrate on being a mother to her two children but continued to work mostly as a part-time sole practitioner from home. Using her life, legal and business experience, Jacqueline officially opened her own law firm in 2012. On the personal side, she has been blessed to be married for close to 25 years to Chuck Constantino. He is from Rome, NY and is a financial planner with Montage Wealth Management. They have two children, a son, Charlie, who attends college at Coastal Carolina University; and a daughter, Christiana, who is a junior at Pittsford Sutherland High School. They also have a menagerie of pets including a sweet dog, two fat cats and a grumpy rabbit. Jacqueline’s passions and life interests include hiking and trying to get outside in nature every day, running (but not too far), reading both fiction and non-fiction books, cooking and doing volunteer work with different local organizations that benefit children. Nothing is at last sacred, but the integrity of your own mind.
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Quite simply, you need a Will to distribute your assets according to your wishes.
Additionally, there are several other reasons as well. First, if you have a minor child, you need a Will in order to appoint a Guardian for your child until he/she reaches age 18. Second, you should set up a trust under your Will to hold the assets for your child until the child is older and capable of handling his/her finances. Third, if you have a child with special needs, or other issues, such as drug or alcohol problems, creditor or marital problems, then you will need certain trust provisions in your Will to handle those issues. Lastly, if you have a very large estate, greater than $5 million, then you may need certain trust provisions to help minimize estate taxes after your death.
You do not get to choose how your assets will pass to your heirs. Your estate will pass according to New York State Intestacy law.
NY State Intestacy law provides that if you die leaving a spouse, your spouse inherits all. If you die leaving a spouse and children, the spouse inherits the first $50,000, with one-half of the remainder passing to the spouse and the other one-half passing equally to the children. If you die without a spouse or children, then all passes to parents; or if no parents, then all to your brothers and sisters, etc. Lastly, if the decedent dies without heirs, the assets pass to New York State.
Probate is the process of submitting the decedent’s Will to Surrogate’s Court for approval and for the formal appointment of the Executor. An Executor is needed in order to handle the administration of the estate.
New York State has an efficient probate system and typically, an Executor is appointed by the Court within 7 days. Probate fees are not as costly as one believes, and the fees range from approximately $100.00 to $1,250.00, depending on the size of the estate. There are only a few circumstances where avoiding probate is recommended; however, for the majority of New York residents, it is not necessary.
A Living Trust is a revocable trust in which an individual transfers all his/her assets into the name of trust. This means that the house, investment accounts, vacation property, etc. are owned by the trust although the individual controls the trust since he/she is the grantor, the trustee and the beneficiary during lifetime. After death, the trust becomes irrevocable and the trust assets pass as the Grantor has stated in the Trust Agreement.
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Jacqueline Constantino has been our family attorney for the past two decades. Her professional expertise is impeccable in every way. She has a superb command of all aspects of Trusts and Estates law. Furthermore, we appreciate that she has developed a natural instinct about our preferences due to her keen listening abilities and her thorough questioning skills. Her special talents include a superb command of the technicalities of the law, a compassionate and reassuring style of communicating complex issues, and flawless follow up. We have the highest regard for Jacque personally and professionally and we trust her with every aspects of our legal and family matters.
I have worked with attorney Constantino for over twenty years on many estate planning matters. In my opinion, she is one of the finest estate planning attorneys in our area, with a complete knowledge of complex estate planning techniques for those clients facing estate taxes, as well as dealing with the complexities of clients with second marriages and blended families. I refer clients to her knowing they are in capable hands and that their matter will be handled promptly and professionally.
You have gone above and beyond in helping us with the special circumstances in our Wills. We appreciate your kind conversation and all that you have done for us.Thank you.
The office of Jacqueline A. Constantino, Esq. is located in the red brick GRB Bank building across from Cheesecake Factory. Office is on the lower level.
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