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Nassau County Estate Litigation
Nassau County is located in western Long Island in the state of New York, and the county seat is Mineola. The total area of the county is 285 square miles. Its population was 1,339,532 as of 2010, and that population is aging. Between 2000-2016, the population of people ages 55-64 went up by 48%. It is also one of the highest income counties in New York, as well as in the entire United States. Estate litigation can affect people of all ages in Nassau County. Lawsuits can turn heated, especially when family members disagree about what should happen in connection with a decedent’s property. If you are involved in a will or trust contest, seasoned Nassau County estate litigation attorney Jules Haas can help you assess your legal options.Nassau County Estate Litigation
There are a number of different proceedings that may qualify as estate litigation. Among the most commonly filed are will contests and trust contests. These are challenges to written instruments that were executed in order to make sure property was distributed a certain way given a particular set of conditions. Often will or trust contests are brought by a family member who disagrees with the content of the will or trust. A family member may bring a will contest because the decedent disinherited him or her.
A will contest may be initiated based on a number of legal theories. These include undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, fraud, or failures in execution of the instrument.
Wills are supposed to be executed in compliance with New York Estates, Powers & Trusts Law section 3-2.1, and if they’re not they may be subject to challenge in a will contest. In order for a will to be valid: (1) a testator’s signature is supposed to appear at the end of the will prior to the witness attestation, (2) the will should have been signed in front of witnesses or else the signature is supposed to be acknowledged by each witness as his signature, (3) the testator needs to declare to each witness the document being witnessed is the testator’s will, and (4) there need to be two witnesses, each of whom signs within 30 days of the other. An experienced estate litigation attorney in Nassau County may be able to help you determine whether the validity of a particular will may be subject to challenge.
In order to bring a will contest in New York, you need to have a pecuniary interest in the estate. You must be either a distributee or a beneficiary. A distributee is someone who gets less under the last will and testament than they would get if there wasn’t a will. A beneficiary is someone who would get less under the purported will than they would under the previous last will and testament.Real Estate Disputes
Sometimes the only property a decedent has is real property. When real estate in Nassau County is held in a trust, it must be managed by a trustee. The trustee owes fiduciary duties to beneficiaries, in addition to having various powers. When a trustee is appointed, he or she is supposed to keep an account of activities so that estate or trust beneficiaries can be provided with an accounting. It is common for beneficiaries to be concerned about not getting an accounting. Beneficiaries are entitled to pursue remedies under the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act. The trustee will need to appear in court and explain why she shouldn’t be required to file an account. A Nassau County estate litigation lawyer can represent you in proceedings of this nature.
Where an accounting shows real estate has been mismanaged, the beneficiary of the trust may allege imprudent management decisions, breach of fiduciary duty, or even self-dealing in an effort to get the trustee removed.
The real property a decedent leaves behind may be a house where he or she lived. There are situations in which the owner of a home passes away leaving tenants still living on the property. Someone outside the house may inherit the house and need to evict the tenants that remain after the death. In that case, it may be appropriate for the administrator or executor to bring a turn-over proceeding in the Surrogate’s Court or Landlord-Tenant Court. This kind of proceeding allows for the recovery of costs and unpaid rents.Consult a Skillful Estate Litigation Attorney in Nassau County
After a loved one passes in Nassau County, sensitive controversies may arise between family members or others close to the decedent. It is advisable to talk to an experienced lawyer if you need to bring or defend against estate litigation. Jules Haas has represented people in estate-related matters in areas including Nassau County for over thirty-five years. If you need to commence a turnover proceeding or defend against a will contest, we may be able to help. We can be reached at (212) 355-2575 or via our online form. Mr. Haas reviews cases for free, and provides reasonable fee structures to clients.