30 Years Experience Representing Clients Like You
Brooklyn Estate Litigation
With 2,648,771 residents in 97 square miles, Brooklyn is the most populous borough in New York City. It sits along the border of Queens and west Long Island. Home to countless attractions such as the Brooklyn Bridge, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and the Barclays Center, Brooklyn is also known for its multiple trendy neighborhoods, such as Williamsburg and Dumbo. The median age in Brooklyn is 33 years, but its residents can be involved in estate planning issues and disputes at any point in their lives. Estate-related disagreements, particularly those leading to litigation, can become emotionally heated. If you have concerns that an estate dispute you are involved in may escalate, Brooklyn estate litigation lawyer Jules Haas can help you assess your legal options. Our firm handles estate litigation for all potential parties: spouses, next of kin, beneficiaries, executors, estate representatives, and fiduciaries.Kinship Asset Discovery
Failure to conduct proper estate planning in advance of death can result in someone dying intestate. This means that the New York rules of intestacy will apply to the decedent’s estate. If someone passes away and their next of kin are distant relatives such as cousins or cousins once removed, it will be necessary to hold kinship proceedings, in which evidence is presented to show that the people claiming to be next of kin are indeed next of kin and also entitled to an inheritance. As a survivor trying to establish your right to inherit, you’ll need to prove you had a relationship to the deceased, nobody else has a closer degree of consanguinity, and whether there are others with the same degree of consanguinity. Often this proof is made through testimony and certified records and birth or death certificates. An estate litigation attorney serving Brooklyn can help you navigate these proceedings.Estate Litigation
When someone dies having conducted proper estate planning, wills or trusts may govern disposition of property. Estate litigation can include will or trust contests. These are proceedings to challenge the validity of testamentary instruments. They may be brought for a variety of reasons, including the testator’s alleged incompetence, fraud, incapacitation, forgery, failure to meet formalities in execution, or undue influence. For example, if the testator made a will after already suffering dementia and left everything to a caregiver instead of beloved family members, this could be the basis for a will contest.
In order to have standing to bring a will contest, you need to have a pecuniary interest in the estate. Pecuniary interests are interests associated with money or finances. Generally, heirs that will receive less under a decedent’s will than they would if the decedent died intestate have a pecuniary interest sufficient to contest the will. Beneficiaries who will get less under the will than they would under a prior will also have standing to contest a will. If you have standing to contest a will, you can file objections in the Surrogate’s Court to prevent probate.Accounting Proceedings
A trustee or executor’s role is complex and requires attention to the financial management of a trust or estate. Sometimes a trustee is careful and faithfully upholds her fiduciary duties, but losses are suffered because of a volatile investment market. However, there are other situations in which a trustee doesn’t use utmost care to abide by fiduciary duties, and can be held accountable for financial mismanagement. Accounting proceedings can be brought to challenge the accounting procedures that were used to manage a trust, and they can also address investment or tax concerns with the trust. A knowledgeable Brooklyn estate litigation lawyer can represent you in proceedings of this nature. A trustee or executor is supposed to keep an accounting of income, assets, expenses, investment losses and gains, and distributions, and should be able to give an accounting to a beneficiary. In some instances, a beneficiary believes the accounting is wrong or that losses incurred by the trust or estate are based on mismanagement. We handle both defense of and challenges to a fiduciary’s accounting procedures. If the trust’s administration rises to level of incompetence or misconduct, it may be appropriate for beneficiaries to institute fiduciary removal proceedings against a trustee, executor, or guardian.Estate Disputes Related to Real Estate
A common area of disagreement among beneficiaries or others involved in estate litigation relates to real property, or any houses or other real estate that the decedent may have owned. It is often the case that the sole asset of the decedent is a house, and typically they will have been residing there at the time of their death. Estate administration, especially if it involves sale of the property, can be especially complicated if beneficiaries or other family members are also living at the house and refuse to vacate the premises following the decedent’s passing. Estate executors or administrators can seek to evict the unauthorized tenants either in the Surrogate’s Court or Landlord-Tenant Court through what is known as a turn-over proceeding. It may also be possible to recover unpaid rent or other costs. These proceedings can be lengthy and complicated, but an estate litigation lawyer well-versed in these issues can help you navigate this type of case.Consult a Trustworthy Estate Litigation Attorney in Brooklyn
Estate litigation often concerns family disputes and as such, they require sensitive handling. Seasoned estate litigation lawyer Jules Haas has represented estate litigation clients in Brooklyn and across the U.S. in New York cases for over thirty-five years. Whether you’re defending a claim against yourself as a fiduciary or you need a skillful attorney to challenge the accounting for a trust, call Jules Haas at (212) 355-2575 or contact us through our online form. We offer flexible and reasonable fee structures, as well as a free case review.