Sugarman Law Firm, Trusts and Estates Lawyer

Practice Areas

Alternative Dispute Resolution

Litigation can be costly, time-consuming, and unpredictable. Depending on your circumstances, alternative dispute resolution may be an advisable alternative to litigation. Arbitration and mediation allow parties to keep costs at a minimum, and they often allow parties to have their disputes resolved more quickly than typical litigation.

Appeals and Motions

The Sugarman Law Firm’s litigation and transactional practices are supported by the Appeals and Motions Practice Group. The Appeals and Motions Practice Group focuses on appellate practice and complex motion practice, and its attorneys specialize in legal research, legal writing, and oral advocacy.

Architects, Engineers, and Surveyors

The Sugarman Law Firm has the industry-specific knowledge, experience, and expertise that design professionals can trust to handle all their legal needs. We understand the unique risks design professionals face, and we can help minimize and manage them.

Business Planning and Litigation

With a diversity of experience representing business clients within both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors, our attorneys provide a full range of legal services for our clients’ corporate and business needs.

Criminal Defense

Sugarman Law Firm is well positioned to serve individuals facing violation, misdemeanor, or felony criminal charges. Our criminal law department is made up of former prosecutors who have a critical understanding of how the district attorney's office operates and how criminal cases are put together by the police and the prosecution.

Family Law and Divorce

Our attorneys handle separation, divorce, custody and support issues, adoption and related family law matters. We start by listening to be sure we fully understand your particular circumstances so that we can develop a plan of action that best fits your needs.

General and Auto Liability Defense

For more than a century, Sugarman Law Firm has represented literally thousands of insureds and remains one of the oldest and largest insurance defense practices in Central New York.

Insurance Coverage Disputes and Litigation

The attorneys at the Sugarman Law Firm have represented both insurers and insureds in insurance coverage disputes and litigation. We provide coverage opinion letters to insurers, and prosecute and defend declaratory judgment actions.

Labor and Employment Law

The attorneys in the Sugarman Law Firm’s Labor and Employment Law Practice Group represent both small and large employers with a wide variety of employment related issues. We handle all types of employment litigation, as well as employment negotiations.

Medical Professional Liability Defense

At the Sugarman Law Firm, we value our relationships with the physicians, nurses, chiropractors, and hospital administrators in Central New York. Because we value those relationships, we do not sue any treatment provider for medical malpractice, and we focus exclusively on defending physicians, hospitals, medical groups, and nursing homes.

Municipal and Governmental Defense

Because of their years of experience, the attorneys at the Sugarman Law Firm are familiar with the particular legal principles and procedural rules that apply to municipal subdivisions and authorities.

Personal Injury Claims

When someone is harmed, injured, or killed through the negligence of another, the Sugarman Law Firm offers aggressive and personal representation, regardless of the size of the claim.

Products Liability Claims

Our attorneys have the experience necessary to handle the complex issues that arise when accidents involving claims of defective design or manufacture of a product are made. The Sugarman Law Firm is read to provide representation at all stages of the process including initial analysis and investigation, identification of experts, discovery, negotiation and, when necessary, trial.

Professional Liability Defense

We have extensive experience defending malpractice claims. Our attorneys have the specific knowledge and experience necessary to handle the issues professionals face. We understand your practice and can help you recognize and manage the risks it presents. We represent architects and engineers, physicians, nurses and hospitals, as well as attorneys, accountants, insurance professionals and real estate professionals.

Real Estate Transactions and Litigation

Whether you are buying your first home or developing a multi-million dollar real estate project, the Sugarman Law Firm’s attorneys cans provide the legal representation you need. We represent real estate developers, buyers and sellers of homes, landlords and tenants, and homeowner’s associations, condominiums, and co-ops in a variety of situations.

Toxic Tort Claims

The Sugarman Law Firm has successfully defended a wide array of toxic tort claims involving lead-based paint, asbestos products, mold, toxic spills and leakages, and industrial chemicals and solvents, including benzene.

Trusts, Estates, and Elder Law

A primary focus of the Sugarman Law Firm’s Trusts and Estates Practice Group is to help our clients achieve their estate planning goals and prepare the legal documents required to implement their objectives. We prepare wills, medical advance directives such as health care proxies and living wills, powers of attorney, shareholder agreements, prenuptial agreements, and both testamentary and living trusts.

Trusts, Estates, and Elder Law


A primary focus of the Sugarman Law Firm’s Trusts and Estates Practice Group is to help our clients achieve their estate planning goals and prepare the legal documents required to implement their objectives. We prepare wills, medical advance directives such as health care proxies and living wills, powers of attorney, shareholder agreements, prenuptial agreements, and both testamentary and living trusts. We offer counsel on business succession planning, estate and gift tax matters, charitable trusts and foundations, guardianships, long-term care planning, and retirement planning.

We do not share the philosophy of some attorneys that all clients need a trust. When appropriate, however, we prepare trusts specifically designed to achieve our clients’ goals, protecting assets, minimizing estate taxes, leveraging charitable gifts, providing for blended families, and avoiding probate.

Upon the death of a client or the termination of a client’s trust, our dedicated and experienced paralegals work under an attorney’s supervision to prepare the legal documents necessary to settle the estate and carry out our client's wishes. The expertise of our staff allows us to charge a fair and reasonable fee to administer estates and trusts, no matter how complex they may be.

In addition to many years experience with estate planning and estate administration, this Practice Group’s attorneys have a well-deserved reputation in the community as experienced and excellent litigators in contested estate matters. This expertise makes us uniquely qualified to counsel clients regarding how to avoid litigation and to protect our clients’ estate plans when they are the subject of legal proceedings.

Our Trusts and Estates Practice Group also specializes in elder law and Medicaid practice. We counsel clients regarding the options available for long-term care and advocate on behalf of clients to make sure they receive the maximum benefits legally allowed by government entitlement programs such as Medicaid.

Neither private health insurance nor Medicare pay for long-term care for individuals who are no longer able to perform independently the activities of daily living (dressing, eating, bathing, ambulating, toileting). The cost of such care is increasingly expensive. Most Central New York nursing homes were charging more than $300 per day in 2010. Few Central New Yorkers can afford the cost of such care.

Medicaid pays for chronic long-term care if an applicant meets eligibility requirements. Those requirements and the process of applying for Medicaid are among the least understood and most complicated procedures currently facing our senior and disabled populations.

This Practice Group is led by Shelby Redmond, Esq., under whose supervision our team applies complicated Medicaid rules and procedures to our clients’ individual circumstances. We recommend asset protection strategies for our clients. We prepare trusts and deeds with retained life use. We help our clients receive the maximum legal benefits allowable from the Medicaid program and protect our clients’ assets from unnecessarily having to be "spent down" and exhausted by the cost of long-term care. We prepare and file Medicaid applications and handle "fair hearings" for clients wishing to appeal erroneous decisions on Medicaid applications.

Most importantly, we represent our clients with the understanding that we must protect their dignity as well as their legal rights. We listen to our clients. From the first discussion of your objectives to their eventual completion, our goal is to make sure that your wishes are carried out fully, promptly, and for a reasonable fee.



Estate Planning

Having a plan in place can eliminate uncertainties over the administration of your estate and maximize the value of your estate by eliminating or reducing estate taxes and other expenses. Our attorneys can assist you with creating an estate plan that is best suited to your needs.

Estate Administration

Upon the death of a loved one it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what needs to be done to take care of their estate. Sugarman Law Firm can provide you with the guidance and assistance you need to administer the estate as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Estate and Trusts Litigation

Not all disputes that arise regarding the handling of matters involving estates and trusts can be resolved voluntarily.  When issues regarding the distribution and handling of the assets of an estate or trust persist our attorneys are prepared to litigate in Surrogate's Court and protect your interests.

Elder Law Practice

Our Elder Law Practice covers a variety of complicated and confusing issues confronting seniors and their caregivers such as guardianship, long-term care, nursing home care planning, and qualifying and applying for Medicaid, among many others. Our team can help you and your loved ones to navigate through these issues.