Georgia is a Member in the firm’s Trusts and Estates and Litigation Practice Groups. She works to understand each client’s individual needs and family background and is sensitive to the circumstances surrounding her clients’ legal needs.
Trust and Estate Litigation
Georgia understands that, in some cases, families are unable to agree on disposition of assets in a Trust or Estate, or that, unfortunately, sometimes individuals with access to an elderly person take advantage of that person. In those cases, Georgia will fight for the benefit of her client to ensure any wrongs are corrected, or, to dismiss any baseless claims against a fiduciary. In this context, Georgia has represented fiduciaries (trustees, executors and guardians) tasked with management of assets, as well as beneficiaries of trusts and estates who are concerned about the actions of a fiduciary.
Representative matters include:
- Successfully defending an Executor in a proceeding brought by a beneficiary of the Estate to remove him;
- Successfully obtaining removal of Co-Executors for improper transfer of assets out of the Estate to themselves;
- Successfully negotiating the appointment of an Article 17-A guardian in a contested matter including a division of responsibilities between two parents of a child with a disability.
Estate and Trust Administration
After the loss of a loved one, Georgia works with families to ensure that the probate process is as seamless as possible. This includes working with the family to appoint an Executor or Administrator and helping that person collect the assets of the deceased. Georgia also helps the Executor administer estate assets, settle any debts of the estate and distribute assets to beneficiaries. Georgia’s extensive litigation experience allows her to guide the fiduciaries she represents in uncontested matters to ensure that they administer the estate properly and to anticipate any questions that may arise from beneficiaries or anyone else interested in the Estate.
Georgia also assists clients in Trust administration, including the administration of Revocable Trusts, Irrevocable Medicaid Asset Protection Trusts and Supplemental Needs Trusts. In this context, Georgia ensures that Trust assets are distributed according to the terms of the Trust. She also works to prepare and file tax returns for trusts and estates to ensure that fiduciaries are complying with their tax reporting requirements.
Guardianships and Elder Law
Georgia understands that special planning is sometimes needed for family members with disabilities or elderly family members. There are multiple types of guardianships and Georgia assists clients in determining which type is appropriate for the client and individuals involved. This includes successfully obtaining the appointment of family members for minor or adult disabled family members. A common proceeding for Guardianship is under Article 17-A of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, for the appointment of a Guardian of the Person or Property of an individual with a disability.
Georgia has also worked on Article 81 guardianships. This includes work to appoint a guardian for individuals who became disabled as a result of a traumatic brain injuries. More commonly, this includes proceedings to appoint a guardian for an adult who is no longer able to manage his or her finances and/or make his or her own health care decisions. Georgia advises families on how to best look out for their parents or other loved ones in these situations and how to obtain the authority they need from the Court to best facilitate this.
Trust and Estate Planning
Georgia understands that all families have unique sensitivities and works with her clients to plan accordingly. She helps clients create estate plans that account for tax planning, trusts for children or grandchildren, planning for family members with special needs, and Medicaid planning. Having the proper documents in place helps to mitigate the risk of litigation and the need for a guardianship down the road.
Georgia attended Washington and Lee University School of Law. While working towards obtaining her law degree she had the opportunity to intern for the Honorable Thérèse Wiley Dancks in the Northern District of New York. She also was able to work with the Honorable Charles N. Dorsey in Roanoke City Circuit Court, in Virginia. Prior to law school, Georgia obtained her undergraduate degree at the University of Albany, State University of New York, where she studied Political Science and Criminal Justice. During her time in college she had the opportunity to intern in the New York State Assembly. She is a native of the Syracuse area and an active member of the local community.
Community Involvement & Acknowledgements
- ARISE, Inc. – Past Member of the Board of Directors
- Leadership Greater Syracuse, Class of 2020
- Volunteer Lawyers Project, Surrogate’s Court Clinic
- Volunteer Lawyers Project, Landlord Tenant Court Clinic
- 40 Under 40, 2020 Honoree
- Super Lawyers Upstate New York Rising Star, 2022-2023
- Central New York Women’s Bar Association
- New York State Bar Association:
- Member, Trust and Estate Law Section
- Member, Medicaid and Supplemental Needs Section
J.D., Washington and Lee University School of Law, 2015
B.A. State University of New York, University at Albany, magna cum laude, 2012
New York State
Northern, Western, Southern, and Eastern Districts of New York