COVID-19 UPDATE: Firm Operations Continue Uninterrupted - Learn More About How We Are Helping Our Clients

Skyline View
Justia Lawyer Rating for Jules M. Haas
NYSBA - Badge
ABA - Badge
New York City Bar - Badge
Avvo - Badge

Fraudulent Transfers

Lawyer Handling Estate Litigation Issues in New York

Estate planning involves many decisions regarding how a person’s property should be distributed upon death or disability. These decisions should be informed and carefully considered, and seeking legal counsel may ensure that the estate is adequately protected. However, in some cases, property is transferred through deception or to avoid creditors. Fraudulent transfers can involve real property, corporate stock, bonds, bank accounts, and even gifts or bequests made due to coercion or undue influence. Fraudulent transfers can result in complicated and thorny lawsuits. Jules Haas is a seasoned New York City estate litigation attorney who represents heirs and creditors interested in challenging fraudulent transfers into or out of an estate.

Fraudulent Transfers

Elderly or incapacitated persons may face pressure and undue influence to change the disposition of their property. When these people alter the terms of their will to benefit a caregiver, the heirs may suspect that the caregiver placed unlawful pressure on the patient, resulting in a fraudulent transfer. For example, your stepfather was providing care to your mother. After she had passed, you discovered that she allegedly changed her will to leave her entire estate to your stepfather, including the house she had purchased for you to inherit. If your mother was suffering from dementia at the time of the transfer, you may believe that your stepfather fraudulently influenced the decision.

As the beneficiary or heir of an estate who suspects certain assets were transferred by means of deceit or undue influence, you are entitled to bring a claim before the Surrogate’s Court in New York City. Your lawyer can petition the court for the recovery of the asset at issue on the grounds that it was fraudulently transferred.

Holding Personal Representatives Accountable

Personal representatives owe a fiduciary duty to the estate and beneficiaries, and may be held accountable when they breach this duty by fraudulently transferring assets from the estate. For example, if a personal representative transfers money from your father’s estate into her own bank account to obtain a financial benefit, the court may determine that a fraudulent transfer occurred.

Judgment Creditors

In New York, fraudulent conveyance laws safeguard creditors from circumstances in which someone transfers property or assets to the creditor’s disadvantage. The transfer may be made with or without actual intent to defraud.

Under the New York Debtor and Creditor Law, when any defendant transfers property to avoid a judgment creditor, the transfer is fraudulent and may be recovered through a court action. Debtor and Creditor Law section 273 provides that conveyances that leave a debtor insolvent and that are made without fair consideration are fraudulent to creditors irrespective of a debtor’s intent. Debtor and Creditor Law section 275 states that obligations and conveyances without fair consideration are fraudulent when a debtor thinks he will become indebted beyond his ability to pay. Debtor and Creditor Law section 276 sets forth that any conveyance is fraudulent where it is made with actual intent to defraud, delay, or hinder present or future creditors.

Trusts

Under Estates, Powers & Trusts Law (EPTL) section 7-3.1, a disposition in trust for the use of a grantor is void with regard to currently existing or subsequent creditors of the grantor. In other words, you cannot transfer your assets to a trust and continue to keep control or get benefit out of the trust while also being protected from creditors’ claims. A transfer is only valid for the purpose of protecting assets from creditors if a grantor doesn’t reserve a power to revoke the trust or dispose of property during his lifetime, and where transfers to the trust did not make the grantor insolvent.

Consult a Skilled Attorney Regarding Estate Litigation in New York City

If you are concerned about fraudulent transfers in New York City, you should discuss your situation with lawyer Jules Haas. Mr. Haas possesses more than 30 years of experience handling New York estate litigation. He represents people in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, Kings, Richmond, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties, and provides a free case review along with reasonable fee arrangements. Call us at (212) 355-2575 or contact us through our online form.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
I am very grateful to Mr. Jules Martin Haas attorney of law in New York. I am from Buenos Aires Argentina. He managed with expertise a very difficult situation. of a complicate heritage from my aunt Anna Grodzka that lived and died a very long time ago in New York. I recommend him not only for his extraordinary knowledge but also for his kindness. Irma CW Peusner
★★★★★
I found Mr. Haas after being misguided by a former attorney. Mr. Jules Haas took our case which involved an estate/trust dispute. What initially seemed like an impossible and overwhelming legal fight was now in the hands of someone who had the integrity and legal expertise to win our case. Mr Haas' attention to detail and his expert knowledge base, skillfully and successfully guided us through an intricate legal process. I am very thankful and grateful to Mr. Jules Haas for representing our interest and ultimately winning. Bringing about a peace of mind we needed. Thank You Devida Nedd
★★★★★
I was in need of a guardianship attorney and I hired the services of Jules M. Haas' Law firm. The service of counselor Haas and his staff, was very profesional and the case was handled in a timely matter. I would strongly recommend his services Angel Guevara
★★★★★
I strongly recommend Jules Haas. I have worked with him for two years and he has provided so much support and followed through with everything he promised he would do. His support staff is just as helpful! We had an interesting case and he helped to solve each part of it legally and was very thorough. Thank you for everything you have done to finalize our families estate Robyn Stafford
★★★★★
Jules Haas helped me with managing the process in probate court for my father's estate through to its completion upon the sale of my father's house. He was knowledgeable, efficient, and effective in submitting documentation to the probate court, explaining procedures to me, and advising me as to the progress of my case. His support staff was also very helpful. He made what for me created so much anxiety into something manageable where I could see progress every step of the way. His fees were very reasonable. I am super grateful to him for all the help he has provided and strongly recommend his services. Diana Janer
★★★★★
I just completed an estate transaction where Jules Haas represented my client in an estate and he did a great job! He was very quick at responding to all matters throughout the sale process, he was detailed, he was knowledgeable and he was a pleasure to work with. I just recommended him to some new clients who are going through an estate matter and will continue to recommend him. Rodolfo Lucchese