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Long Island Estate Litigation
Long Island is located in New York, less than a mile from Manhattan Island. It makes up four counties in the state, including Kings and Queens Counties, as well as Nassau County and Suffolk County. Over half of New York’s residents live on Long Island in Brooklyn and Queens. Long Island is densely populated. Long Island had a population of about 7.75 million in 2013. It has around 29% of the population of New York. Long Island is also considered one of the most affluent areas in the country, and numerous resorts and mansions line its southeastern fork. Many people in Long Island have conducted estate planning. Nonetheless, disputes do arise in connection with questions like how an estate is to be distributed, whether a guardianship is appropriate, and how to handle real estate after the death of a property owner. These are issues that can be subject to estate litigation. If you are concerns about questions of this nature, Long Island estate litigation attorney Jules Haas can help you evaluate your legal options.Estate Litigation
Estate litigation can involve will contests, trust contests, accounting disputes, a surviving spouse’s right of election, breach of fiduciary duty, kinship proceedings, or trustee removal proceedings. Wills are often subject to challenge, though they are less likely to be subject to challenge if they were created by an experienced attorney. Grounds for a will contest include mistakes in executing the will, undue influence, and incapacity of a testator to make a will. These grounds may also be appropriate for purposes of challenging a trust.
Where, for example, a trustee has failed to live up to his fiduciary obligations through self-dealing with regard to trust funds, it may be appropriate to institute removal proceedings. In other cases, when someone dies, relatives show up to claim a portion of the inheritance, and it becomes important to conduct kinship proceedings. These are proceedings in which the alleged heirs have the legal burden of proof to show it is more likely than not that they are heirs to the decedent’s estate. They will need to present proof and evidence that they had a blood relationship to the decedent. An estate litigation lawyer in Long Island can help you navigate these sorts of proceedings.Real Property Disputes
When someone dies, he or she may leave behind real property. Sometimes if Long Island land is controlled by a trustee and held in trust, beneficiaries may come to find it is being mismanaged and ask for an accounting. If you are a beneficiary who has asked for an accounting and not been given one, you may seek a remedy under the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act. If you eventually get an accounting of the real property, but it shows the trustee was mismanaging the property, you can ask the court to remove the trustee. Section 2205 provides that the Court can order a fiduciary to file an accounting. Often an aggrieved beneficiary will put together and file a petition with the court and a citation is issued asking the fiduciary to appear in court and let the court know why he shouldn’t be required to file an accounting. A knowledgeable Long Island estate litigation lawyer can represent you in filing such a petition.
There are also situations in which tenants of the decedent are unwilling to voluntarily depart the property after the owner’s death. In that case, a fiduciary may need to institute a turnover proceeding in which the fiduciary asks the court to order a third party to turn over property that is in the third party’s possession.Retain a Seasoned Estate Litigation Attorney in Long Island
If you have questions about Long Island estate litigation, there may be a lot at stake. You can discuss your situation with a seasoned attorney. Mr. Haas has represented people throughout Long Island for more than three decades. Whether you need to institute a will contest due to fraud or you need to seek an accounting from a trustee, you can contact us at (212) 355-2575 or via our online form. Mr. Haas provides a free review of cases, and his clients are charged according to reasonable fee structures.