Suffolk County Estate Litigation
Suffolk County is a suburban county on Long Island in New York. As of 2010, there were 1,493,350 people in Suffolk County, making it the largest county on Long Island, the fourth most populated county in the state, and one of the most populous counties in the country. Suffolk County is home to several scientific research facilities, including Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory and the Animal Disease Center. With a median household income of $84,767, Suffolk County was listed among the 25 richest counties in the country in 2008 by Forbes Magazine. The median age in the county is 36 years old, but around 11.8% of the population are elderly residents above the age of 65. When people in Suffolk County pass away, their family members may engage in heated and acrimonious disputes about how their property should be distributed. Sometimes the decedent has put in place a valid will or trust, but in other cases, testamentary documents have been made under suspicious circumstances or failed to account for assets or otherwise give rise to controversy. If you question choices in your loved one’s will or trust, seasoned Suffolk County estate litigation attorney Jules Haas can provide advice regarding your legal rights.Suffolk County Estate Litigation
Estate litigation may involve issues such as will contests, trust contests, improper accounting of assets, breach of fiduciary duty by an executor or administrator, breach of fiduciary duty by a guardian or agent under a power of attorney, disputes related to charitable trusts or grants, and issues concerning valuation of assets, the timeliness of asset sales and distribution, and hidden assets or theft of assets.
A will contest or trust contest is a challenge to estate planning instruments, usually brought by a family member when a decedent has disinherited him or her in the will or trust. These challenges can be brought on various grounds including fraud, lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence, or improper execution. For example, if an elderly person with Alzheimer’s disinherits her only daughter while leaving everything to a caregiver, the daughter may bring a will contest alleging lack of testamentary capacity or undue influence. A knowledgeable estate litigation lawyer serving Suffolk County could assist with a legal action of this nature.
Both wills and trusts need to be properly executed to be valid. In order for a will to be properly executed, the testator should have signed the will in the presence of two witnesses, or the witnesses should both acknowledge the signature as her signature. The testator needs to make a declaration to the witnesses that the document is her will, and each witness should sign the will within 30 days of each other.Disputes Over Real Property
Settling an estate in Suffolk County may not be simple. After someone dies, all of his or her possessions, including real property, become a part of their estate. In the course of estate administration, an administrator or executor gathers assets and manages the estate. He or she may need to pay off debts and taxes, and distribute assets. Often decedents pass away holding real estate. The real estate may be held in trust by a trustee. In other cases it is held jointly, and passes automatically to a joint owner upon death.
Under certain circumstances, a homeowner may pass away and his or her tenants may remain on their property. One responsibility of a fiduciary may be to gather estate assets. Usually this is a straightforward process, but sometimes it is more complicated because real property (or other property) was diverted from the decedent or estate by a third party. If someone inherits the house, it may become necessary for a fiduciary to file a turnover proceeding in Landlord-Tenant Court or Surrogate’s Court, and a Suffolk County estate litigation attorney can help. When a fiduciary isn’t sure whether a third party has the property, the third party may be ordered before the Court for examination. However, if the fiduciary knows the third party has estate property, the Court can hold a hearing to determine whether it belongs to the estate. Often a turnover proceeding is one in which an estate fiduciary petitions the Court to order a third party to turn over property that is in the third party’s possession.Suffolk County Attorney for Estate Litigation Matters
It’s common for emotionally sensitive controversies to arise in connection with a loved one’s estate. Sometimes long-buried family disputes rise to the surface and the result is protracted and acrimonious litigation. Whether you need to pursue or defend against estate litigation in Suffolk County, you can consult lawyer Jules Haas. Mr. Haas reviews cases free of charge, and offers clients reasonable fee structures and personal representation. He has represented people in areas including Suffolk County for more than thirty-five years. You can call us at (212) 355-2575 or complete our online form for a free consultation.