Melissa Doris

Melissa Doris

Burner Law Group, P.C.

Office Address:
12 Research Way
East Setauket, NY 11733

631-941-3434

   

Melissa Doris

Burner Law Group, P.C.

Attorney Profile
Practice Areas
631-941-3434

Melissa Doris joined Burner Law Group, P.C. in February 2020. Prior to her work at the firm, Melissa gained over a decade of experience at a prominent Long Island Trusts and Estates law firm. Her wealth of knowledge is extensive in the areas of estate planning, trust and estate administration, taxation, elder law, special needs planning and residential real estate where she focuses her practice.

Melissa received her Bachelor's degree from Stony Brook University in 2005 and graduated cum laude from Touro College Jacob D. Fuchsberg Law Center in 2010.

Melissa volunteers as a member of the Alzheimer’s Association. She is a Walk to End Alzheimer’s committee member whose commitment to finding a cure and helping seniors and their families is invaluable. She understands the pain and confusion of living with dementia from her own family’s experience. Melissa’s professional acumen goes beyond her decade of experience in this area of the law and is evident in the care and compassion she brings to her practice.

Melissa is admitted to practice law in New York State and is a member of the New York State Bar Association and Suffolk County Bar Association. She lives in Setauket with her family.



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$58 For 24 Hours of New York CLE Full Compliance - Lowest Price
This CLE package will satisfy all of your New York CLE requirements! The MCLEZ New York Bundle A provides 24 hours of CLE credit, including 4 hrs of Ethics, Professionalism and Diversity.

Top East Setauket Elder law Lawyers

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Nancy Burner‚ Esq. is the founder of Burner Law Group‚ P.C. established in 1995. Nancy holds the designation of a Certified Elder Law Attorney (CELA), awarded by the National Elder Law Foundation
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Kera Reed

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Brittni Sullivan is an attorney at Burner Law Group‚ P.C. She joined the firm in January 2013 as a legal intern while she was in law school. After graduating‚ she was invited to join the firm.
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Melissa Doris's Law Posts

Disinheriting a child can create problems down the road should the disinherited child challenge the Will. If you plan on disinheriting a child, consult an experienced trusts and estates attorney to ensure all your assets pass to your chosen beneficiaries’ drama-free.

In New York State, a parent has no obligation to leave an inheritance to a child. Many other countries have “forced heirship” which prohibits parents from disinheriting children, but Louisiana is the only US state with such a law. In New York, the only relative who cannot be disinherited is…
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It is crucial that small businesses pass to a partner or family seamlessly and avoid probate in Surrogate’s Court. Too many small businesses fail because they had no business succession plan in place. Navigating entity formation and the tax landscape is tricky and depends on the needs of the particular business. Head over to our blog to learn more about how to include business succession planning in your estate plan.

The limited liability corporation, or LLC, is designed to combine the flexibility and simplicity of a basic partnership with the protection of a corporation. “LLC” stands for “Limited Liability Company” and owes its name to the fact that the members (owners) of the LLC are not personally liable for the…
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When residential property is owned by a trust, the trustee may sell the property if the terms of the trust permit it. Upon closing, the net proceeds from the sale are payable to the trust and the trustee handles opening a trust bank account if one does not already exist. The trustee would then deposit the net proceeds into the trust bank account. Head over to our latest blog post to learn more.

When residential property is owned by a trust, the trustee may sell the property if the terms of the trust permit it. The trust would be the seller of the property and the trustee must sign the listing agreement, contract of sale and closing documents. Upon closing, the net proceeds…
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Not all estates require a probate or full administration proceeding in New York State. A small estate proceeding, also known as a Voluntary Administration, is a simplified Surrogate’s Court procedure. Voluntary Administration is available if the decedent died with or without a Will. While the Voluntary Administration Proceeding is simple and inexpensive, mistakes can be costly. Visit our latest blog post to find out what you need to know about voluntary administration. 

Not all estates require a probate or full administration proceeding in New York State. A small estate proceeding, also known as a Voluntary Administration, is a simplified Surrogate’s Court procedure. Voluntary Administration is available if the decedent died with or without a Will. What Estates Qualify for a Small Estate…
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One of the most disruptive proposals put forth last year by Congress was the elimination of the tax-free basis step up at death. Luckily for many of our clients, the legislation was never enacted. People all over the country benefit from basis-step up when they inherit low basis property which they can turn around and sell without paying taxes on the gain. Under current law, taxpayers pay taxes on capital gains when they sell an asset for a profit and realize a gain. For example, a person buys a house for $100,000 (basis) and twenty years later it is worth $1 million dollars. Capital gains tax is owed when the house is sold. The amount of capital gains tax depends on the owner’s income tax bracket – ranging from 25% to 39% in New York State. Visit our blog to learn more.

One of the most disruptive proposals put forth last year by Congress was the elimination of the tax-free basis step up at death. Luckily for many of our clients, the legislation was never enacted. People all over the country benefit from basis-step up when they inherit low basis property which…
burnerlaw.com

Passing away without a Will is known as dying “intestate.” Many people mistakenly believe that if they die without a Will their assets go to the State.  If you wish to name the Executor of your estate, you need a Will. Intestacy laws have been known to impoverish the surviving spouse or spell the end of a family business.  Visit our blog to learn how to ensure that your estate plan fits your family.

Passing away without a Will is known as dying “intestate.”  Many people mistakenly believe that if they die without a Will their assets go to the State. If there is a blood relative that can be located, the assets do not escheat to the State. New York EPTL 4-1.1 governs…
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All supplemental needs trusts (“SNT”) are created for the sole benefit of a disabled individual. This type of trust is designed to provide support for a beneficiary without jeopardizing their receipt government benefits, namely Medicaid and SSI. The appropriate type of SNT depends on the circumstances. Learn more about the types of SNTs in our latest blog post.

All supplemental needs trusts ("SNT") are  created for the sole benefit of a disabled individual.  This type of trust is designed to provide support for a beneficiary without jeopardizing their receipt government benefits, namely Medicaid and SSI. In general, an individual receiving Medicaid or SSI can only have limited assets…
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A life estate is usually created through a deed, but can be created in a Will or a trust. Life estates can be valuable options for clients seeking to simplify their estate planning. However, there are pitfalls. Head over to our blog to learn more about life estates and how you can incorporate it in your estate plan.

An ownership interest in real property is a combination of a bundle of different rights, the rights to possession, use, transfer, encumber and exclude. A life estate is a type of joint ownership of real property with ownership “split” between a present interest and a remainder interest. The individual holding…
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An executor is the individual appointed to administer someone’s Last Will and Testament. An executor of a New York estate is not expected to administer a decedent’s estate for free. Executors receive a set commission, paid out of the estate. Commissions are calculated as a percentage of the value of the “probate estate." Head over to our latest blog post to learn more about the duties of an executor and how they are compensated.

An executor is the individual appointed to administer someone’s Last Will and Testament. An executor of a New York estate is not expected to administer a decedent’s estate for free.  Executors receive a set commission, paid out of the estate.  Commissions are calculated as a percentage of the value of…
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Spouses can leave each other an unlimited amount of assets without generating any estate tax. The idea is that estate tax is owed on the surviving spouse’s death. However, by leaving all assets to the spouse, you are not using the deceased spouse’s exemption. Portability allows a surviving spouse to use the deceased spouse’s unused lifetime exclusion (DSUE) by simply electing to do so on IRS form 706.  Head over to our latest blog post to learn more.

The changing estate tax landscape makes it more important than ever for accountants and executors to file a federal estate tax return for portability when one spouse passes away. The 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act doubled the lifetime estate and gift tax exclusion for decedents dying between 2018 and…
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Any beneficiary of an estate is entitled to an accounting from the executor or administrator of the estate. This is true whenever assets pass through Surrogate’s Court. If the estate representative is not forthcoming or provides inadequate records, a compulsory accounting may be necessary. Head to our latest blog post to learn more about the probate process and what beneficiaries are entitled to.

Any beneficiary of an estate is entitled to an accounting from the executor or administrator of the estate. Learn all the details with the Burner Law Group.
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A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a type of business entity that limits the personal liability of the owners. When clients own rental property in their individual name, or are considering purchasing rental property, we advise them to create an LLC to own the property instead. An LLC does exactly what its name suggests, it limits the client’s liability to the asset owned by the LLC. Learn more in our latest blog post.

A Limited Liability Company (LLC) is a type of business entity that limits the personal liability of the owners.  When clients own rental property in their individual name, or are considering purchasing rental property, we advise them to create an LLC to own the property instead. An LLC does exactly…
burnerlaw.com

The closing is the final step in a real estate sale where the buyer obtains title to the property. The time between an offer’s acceptance and the closing date—evidenced by a deed from the seller or stock certificate for a cooperative apartment –is filled with activity. Head over to our blog to learn more about the closing process.

The closing is the final step in a real estate sale where the buyer obtains title to the property. The time between an offer’s acceptance and the closing date—evidenced by a deed from the seller or stock certificate for a cooperative apartment –is filled with activity. In New York, most…
burnerlaw.com

Many people decide that they will avoid probate and just put someone else on the deed – such as a child. This is not the best, or only way, to avoid probate. Check out our latest blog post to learn more about how to avoid a probate proceeding.

In general, when a person dies in New York, that person’s Last Will & Testament must be probated in Surrogate’s Court so that an Executor can be appointed to legally distribute assets. If there is no Will, an administration proceeding will be required and an administrator will be appointed to…
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When a co-owner of real property passes away, what happens next depends on how the co-owners took title to the property. Upon the death of a co-owner, it is necessary to review the last deed of record to make this determination. There are three ways to own property in New York as co-owners: tenants in common, joint tenants with rights of survivorship or tenants by the entirety.

When a co-owner of real property passes away, what happens next depends on how the co-owners took title to the property. Upon the death of a co-owner, it is necessary to review the last deed of record to make this determination. There are three ways to own property in New…
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In general, a person cannot be removed from a deed without his or her consent and signature on a deed. Absent legal action with a court order, such as a foreclosure or a partition action, the only way an owner’s interest in real property can be transferred is by a properly executed, acknowledged and recorded deed conveying that owner’s interest to a new party.

In general, a person cannot be removed from a deed without his or her consent and signature on a deed. Absent legal action with a court order, such as a foreclosure or a partition action, the only way an owner’s interest in real property can be transferred is by a…
burnerlaw.com

When a couple marries later in life, after they both had children of their own, their estate plans need to take their blended family into account. For example, there are estate planning techniques such as a Qtip Trusts that allow income to the surviving spouse for life, with property passing to children upon the surviving spouse’s death. However, some couples maintain separate assets throughout the marriage and want to leave those assets to their respective children, not to each other, upon their deaths. In New York state, you cannot disinherit your spouse without his or her permission and, relying on just a promise invites disaster.

When a couple marries later in life, after they both had children of their own, their estate plans need to take their blended family into account. For example, there are estate planning techniques such as a Qtip Trusts that allow income to the surviving spouse for life, with property passing…
burnerlaw.com

A deed is a legal document used to convey title to real property. There are different types of deeds that may be used depending upon the circumstances of the transfer. It is always best to consult an experienced real estate attorney who can prepare and advise which type of deed should be used to meet your specific needs.

A deed is a legal document used to convey title to real property. There are different types of deeds that may be used depending upon the circumstances of the transfer. It is always best to consult an experienced real estate attorney who can prepare and advise which type of deed…
burnerlaw.com

As fiduciary, you are required to account to the beneficiaries, but the type of accounting will vary depending upon the actual beneficiaries and the fiduciary’s relationship with them. There are two types of accounting: informal and judicial accounting.

As fiduciary you are required to account to the beneficiaries, but the type of accounting will vary depending upon the actual beneficiaries and the fiduciary’s relationship with them. There are two types of accounting: informal and judicial accounting. Informal Accounting Typically, the least expensive and fastest way for a fiduciary…
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A “closing” in legal lingo is the final step in a real estate transaction. A real estate closing is when the purchaser obtains title to the property, evidenced by a deed from the seller to the purchaser or stock in a cooperative apartment. Simultaneously, the seller obtains the net proceeds…
burnerlaw.com