Patricia Galteri chairs Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, PC’s trusts and estates department. Galteri’s practice includes the development of estate and business plans to ensure the transferring of wealth to the next generation, and sees to the implementation of such plans through the drafting of wills, inter vivos trusts and testamentary trusts using the marital deduction, credit shelter, disclaimer and generation skipping provisions.
Galteri is well versed with the use of lifetime trusts and other arrangements designed to transfer property at little or reduced gift tax cost to selected beneficiaries. She supervises the preparation of probate and administration documents, provides advice in the marshaling and preservation of estate assets and is knowledgeable in all aspects of estate administration, post-mortem estate tax planning and accounting issues. Galteri’s department prepares federal and state estate tax returns and defends estate tax audits.
Today many clients feel “poor” because their net worth materially plummeted, and this sentiment is causing a paralysis in moving forward with planning their estates, Galteri explained.
“However, the key is to continue dialogue about modifying or reshaping clients’ estate plans,” she said. “Equally prevalent now is the creation of trusts in Delaware. Trusts have historically formed the centerpiece of estate plans because they provide protection against creditors, preservation and management of assets and reduction of estate taxes. Today, more individuals are creating multi-generational trusts and asset protection trusts in Delaware. It is not unusual to provide the trustee with the power to use trust funds to acquire property for the use of the beneficiary, such as a vacation home, so that the vacation home never becomes part of the beneficiary’s personal assets but yet available for the beneficiary’s use.”
Most importantly is the anticipated estate tax reform legislation expected this Fall, Galteri said.
“Pending proposals include an array of provisions that include fixing the federal estate tax exemption, indexing it for inflation, uniting the estate and gift tax exemptions, limiting the duration of a multigenerational trusts, making a deceased spouse’s exemption portable so that the surviving spouse may use it, and eliminating the use of valuation discounts for non-operating assets,” she said.
“Our goals remain steadfast — to create documents that are flexible enough to withstand shifts in legislation and to continue to enlighten our clients on how to achieve their testamentary wishes in the most tax efficient manner,” Galteri said.
Galteri earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with an emphasis on accounting, from Hofstra University. She continued her studies at the Hofstra University School of Law and upon graduation received a Citation of Excellence in Community Law Service.
Prior to joining Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, Galteri worked as a staff attorney in the tax department at one of the “Big Five” accounting firms in NYC. Returning to Long Island, she worked as a tax consultant, primarily assisting in the preparation of business valuations in equitable distribution cases.
Galteri is rated “AV” by Martindale-Hubbell. She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Long Island Community Foundation, a member of the Nassau County Estate Planning Council and the Gift Planning Advisory Committee of NS-LIJ Health Systems.