Our office has successfully represented litigants in contested estates. Typical estate litigation handled by our firm includes the following:
Will Contests (contested probate proceedings)
Before a New York State Surrogate’s Court determines the validity of a Will and admits it to probate, the Court must be satisfied that the instrument is genuine, that it was validly executed, and that at the time of the execution, the decedent was competent to make a Will and free of restraint.
Breach of fiduciary duty proceedings are commenced when a beneficiary of an estate objects to the actions of the executor or administrator. Under certain circumstances, families may properly accuse an executor, administrator, or trustee of failure to properly distribute estate assets, of stealing benefits owed to heirs, or beneficiaries under the terms of the Will or Trust, or mismanagement of an estate.
Surviving Spouse Litigation
Exercising of surviving spouse’s right in an estate (Right of Election and Right to Spousal Exempt Property), or in the alternative, disqualifying or limiting the surviving spouse’s inheritance rights.
Judicial Settlement of executor and trustee accounts, or in the alternative, filing objections to a fiduciary’s account to protect the rights of beneficiaries or creditors.
Prosecution and judicial approval of wrongful death recoveries in automobile, construction, aviation, medical malpractice or other accidents.
A Kinship Proceeding is the judicial process by which an alleged heir seeks to establish his or her relationship to the decedent so that they might inherit.
Contested Administrative Proceedings
A party to an administration proceeding may object to the appointment of an administrator and other issues that arise.
- Will Construction Proceedings- Judicial clarification of Will provisions;
- Fraudulent transfers- invalidating pre-death asset transfers;
- Power of Attorney contests- misuse of a Power of Attorney;
- Discovery Proceedings- ascertaining whether property belongs to an estate;
- Enforcing or disputing claims against an estate;
- Invalidating Trusts.