Alicia S. Calagiovanni Estate & Trust Law - United States

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Costello, Cooney & Fearon
Bridgewater Place
500 Plum Street, STE 300
Syracuse, NY 13204

Tel: 315-422-1152
Fax: 315-422-1139


Ms. Calagiovanni joined Costello, Cooney & Fearon, PLLC in 1982 and is a partner in the firm. She practices in the fields of estate planning, wills, trusts and elder law.

As an estate tax attorney for the Internal Revenue Service, Ms. Calagiovanni received comprehensive training in estate tax law and performed estate tax audits of every size estate. She now represents executors, administrators and trustees before the IRS and the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance on matters of estate and gift tax returns, audit and tax collection. She was awarded a Master’s Degree in Accounting by Syracuse University in 1985.

Since joining the firm, Ms. Calagiovanni has represented fiduciaries as well as beneficiaries before Surrogate’s Courts throughout the state. She has also served as guardian by court appointment for individuals with special needs. She also practices in the field of elder law, including assisting those in need of long-term care in the areas of asset preservation and nursing home placement.

Ms. Calagiovanni is a former president of the Estate Planning Council of Central New York. She is a co-author of the Onondaga County Bar Association’s Surrogate’s Court Practice Manual. In 2006 she achieved the designation of Accredited Estate Planner (AEP) through the National Association of Estate Planners & Councils. Additionally, she is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.

In 2010, Ms. Calagiovanni was appointed by the Honorable Ava S. Raphael, Surrogate Court Judge of Onondaga County, to be the County’s Public Administrator. In this position she serves as Administrator, Guardian and Trustee of estates, individuals and trusts throughout Onondaga County.

Ms. Calagiovanni is the Co-Vice President of the Onondaga Community College Foundation. She is a Lector and Eucharistic Minister to the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Syracuse where she and her family are parishioners. Alicia serves as a lay member to of the Religious Retirement Committee of the Diocese of Syracuse. She has been active in the Parent Teacher Organizations of the West Genesee Schools and has served as a Girl Scout Leader. She is also a regular speaker at seminars conducted by the New York State Teachers’ Retirement System, the Onondaga County Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association.

The Estate & Trust Law Practice:

One of the common ways to pass property at death is by use of a will. One who dies with a will dies testate, while a person who dies without a will dies intestate. With a properly drafted will, you may designate your executor, who is named in the will to take charge of the estate and to distribute assets in accordance with its provisions, to distribute property to those who are unrelated to you, to charities, or to your heirs in different proportions than the state may devise for those who die intestate. Upon death, the executor must apply to the surrogate’s or probate court in the county of the decedent’s death for official appointment as executor. The commission that the executor receives is called letters testamentary.

A trust is also a very popular way to dispose of one’s assets. Although there are many different kinds of trusts, the two that are the most popular are the living trust and the so-called Medicaid trust. The living trust takes effect during the creator’s lifetime and is almost always controlled by the creator as trustee and beneficiary. All of the creator’s assets are owned by the trust, and upon the creator/beneficiary’s death, the assets are distributed to those named in the trust agreement just as they are by a will. Medicaid trusts can protect assets of the creator from having to be used to pay nursing home expenses. Many prefer a trust to a will for privacy reasons or in cases where a will would be likely to be challenged.

Our estate planning attorneys are experienced in the areas of trust and will drafting and would be pleased to advise which is the best for your estate plan.

Costello, Cooney & Fearon:

Costello, Cooney & Fearon, PLLC, headquartered in downtown Syracuse, is one of the oldest and most respected law firms in Central New York. Established in 1896 by David F. Costello, the firm has a long history of distinguished service.

Although the roots of the firm are steeped in tradition, our approach to the practice of law is progressive and creative. By broadening our practice areas to meet client needs, Costello, Cooney & Fearon, PLLC has enjoyed a high rate of growth in recent years. As part of that growth, the firm opened an office in Albany that enables us to provide efficient service all across Upstate New York.

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