Bronx Estate Litigation
Of the five boroughs, the Bronx is northernmost in New York City. Made up of 42 square miles, it is located south of Westchester. There were 1,385,108 people living within the Bronx as of 2010, and this figure is up 3.9% since 2000. Home to Yankee Stadium, the Bronx Zoo, and many other attractions, the Bronx is third on the list of the most densely populated counties in the country. However, approximately one-quarter of the Bronx also consists of open space. Many families live in the Bronx, and people there may find themselves embroiled in a disagreement about an estate, such as a will or trust contest. Seasoned Bronx estate litigation attorney Jules Haas can assess the facts of your situation and help you evaluate your legal options.Estate Litigation
In order to make sure property is disposed of according to their wishes, people often make a will or trust, or both. These are written instruments executed for purposes of distributing property under certain circumstances, such as the death of the person making the instrument. The disposition of property is often a heated affair. Loved ones may disagree with the wishes of the person making the will or trust, or may be suspicious of the circumstances surrounding the drafting and execution of the instrument. It is possible to challenge the validity of a testamentary instrument through a will contest or trust contest. These are some of the most common forms of estate litigation.
Reasons to contest a will or trust include fraud, undue influence, incapacitation, incompetence, and failure to execute the instrument properly. There are situations in which a caregiver with influence over an elderly person’s daily living successfully tries to exert control over the disposition of the elderly person’s property, so that the caregiver gets substantial assets. Sometimes an elderly person has acquired a condition that makes him or her unlikely to understand what a will or trust says. For example, if your father made a will after he developed Alzheimer’s and you were disinherited, you might use this as the basis for a will contest.
You can only bring a will contest if you have a pecuniary interest in the decedent’ estate. Usually, if you are getting less under a will than you would have if the person died intestate, you will be able to bring a will contest. An estate litigation lawyer serving the Bronx can help you determine whether you have a claim in this context.What is Kinship Asset Discovery?
Kinship asset discovery needs to go forward if someone dies intestate, meaning they didn’t leave behind a will or trust to govern the disposition of their estate. In such cases, intestacy laws apply, and the kinship asset proceedings will determine whether someone claiming he or she should inherit is next of kin and should receive an inheritance. The discovery entails a survivor showing he had a blood relationship to the deceased, nobody has a closer level of consanguinity, and whether any others, such as a sibling, have the same degree of consanguinity. Proof needs to be made with testimony and certified records.Estate Disputes Related to Real Estate
Often estate litigation arises in connection with real property. Sometimes a person dies with only one asset: a home where they lived. Sometimes beneficiaries lived at the same house, and won’t leave after the decedent died, even though another person has inherited the property. It is possible for an administrator or executor to try to evict these types of tenants in a turn-over proceeding, and a knowledgeable Bronx estate litigation lawyer can help. A turn-over proceeding can be brought in the Surrogate’s Court, and through it, you may be able to obtain unpaid rents and costs. In this type of proceeding, the executor or administrator asks the court to order a third party to turn property, such as real estate, over to the fiduciary that belongs to the estate, but is in the third party’s possession. Landlord-tenant eviction proceedings may also be used to evict third parties from the real estate owned by the estate.
Sometimes a large parcel of real estate originally belonging to a decedent is held in a trust. A beneficiary of the trust may object to how the trustee is handling management of the real property, and might wish to make allegations of self-dealing, imprudent management decisions, or breach of fiduciary duty in the interests of getting the trustee removed. A beneficiary may have the desire to obtain an accounting related to the real estate.Consult a Trustworthy Estate Litigation Attorney in the Bronx
Often estate litigation in the Bronx arises in the course of substantial family quarrels. They require the attention of an experienced lawyer with sensitivity to family dynamics and stellar knowledge of the law. Estate litigation attorney Jules Haas has represented clients in the Bronx for more than thirty-five years. Whether you’re concerned about bringing a will contest, need to defend your accounting for a trust, or need to initiate a turnover proceeding, you can call Jules Haas at (212) 355-2575 or contact us through our online form. We review cases for free, and offer reasonable fee structures.