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Every Adult Needs a Will.

Without a Will, NYS law controls who gets your assets on your death. 


Without a Will, a NYS judge will appoint an Administrator - often a stranger to your family -  to manage and distribute your property.  And that Administrator will take a percentage of your property for doing the job.


If you have minor children, the language in your Will controls who will care for them in the event of your death.   Without a Will, NYS law determines who gets custody of your children.
Marian will help you think through whom you really want to be your beneficiaries and
whom you choose to serve as your Executor - the person responsible for managing and distributing your property after your death.  
And Be Aware: Your Retirement Accounts Don’t Pass under Your Will.

The money in your IRA and 401(k) may well comprise the largest part of your estate.  

But those retirement monies do not pass under your Will.   On your death, the money in your retirement accounts will be distributed only to the persons you named on the beneficiary designation forms when you opened those accounts.  Most people have no memory of who, if anyone, they named on those forms!


Marian will obtain and review all the beneficiary designation forms you have signed and help you make the changes necessary for those forms to reflect your current wishes.


Where do you start estate planning?

Marian starts the estate planning process with a meeting to learn about you and who and what's important to you.  She will review all the pieces of your financial estate - your home, your accounts,  your insurance, and anything else you own. 


She will then recommend a comprehensive plan and prepare all the documents necessary to complete that plan.   The whole process often takes only a few weeks from start to finish. 

In addition to a Will, a good estate plan will include:

  • a Power of Attorney, 

  • a Health Care Proxy,  

  • making  any necessary changes on your  IRA & 401(k) beneficiary designation forms,            

  • making necessary changes to your  life insurance policies,            

  • reviewing the deeds and other title  documents for your real estate                     

  • reviewing & securing your internet assets.

Many clients also need one or more Trusts for personal or financial reasons.  A Trust can be written as part of a Will or as a separate document. Marian will explain if you need a Trust and how it will work for you.

If you’ve never made a Will, it only takes a few weeks from start to finish. If it’s been a while since you made your Will, recent tax changes make this a good time to review your estate plan and also to think about what changes you would like to make.

Where Do You Start Probate or Estate Administration:

When someone close to you has died and you want to distribute their assets, it's necessary to petition the court for permission.  If the deceased left a Will, the court process is called Probate.   If there is no Will, the court process is called Estate Administration.  In either case, Marian will gather all the documents necessary and promptly move them through the court procedure.   She has a record of moving estates quickly through the court.


After securing the appointment of the Executor or Administrator, Marian will work to complete the legal and tax formalities necessary for the estate to close and promptly be distributed to the beneficiaries.

Who Needs a Will?

Marian B. Philips’ highly personalized service draws on over 30 years’ experience with clients of varied ages, wealth and professions, including entertainment executives; television producers, directors & writers; financial professionals and physicians; young families and retired people; traditional and non-traditional couples.  

In addition, in the past few years, she has recognized the growing number of single older people living alone, and has worked to meet their special estate planning needs. 

Working alone or in coordination with the client’s accountant and other financial professionals, Marian’s goal is to make the estate planning and estate settlement processes as easy as possible for the client.  



  • B.A., Brandeis University

  • J.D., NYU School of Law


  • NYS Bar Assn. Trusts & Estates Law Section

  • Estate Planning Council of New York City



Marian B. Philips, Esq.

411 East 53rd Street 

New York, NY 10022

Phone: (212) 355-3716 


If you wish, Marian will meet with you in your home or office.

Where do you start


A New York Attorney 

for Wills, Trusts,

Probate &

Estate Administration

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