30 Years Experience Representing Clients Like You
Trust Litigation Lawyer for Queens Residents
Some residents of Queens would be well-advised to retain an attorney to create a trust in which to place their assets and property in order to accrue the related benefits, including avoidance of probate. However, among those involved in trust administration, acrimony can develop in connection with specific trust terms, the property in the trust, or whether a trustee is living up to their fiduciary obligation. Whether you are a beneficiary who needs to enforce a trust term, or a trust administrator who has been accused of failing to abide by trust terms, or another interested party with a concern about the way the trust is being managed, it is important to seek legal representation. Experienced Queens trust litigation lawyer Jules Haas may be able to help you. Call him for a consultation about your case.Queens Lawyer to Defend or Prosecute for Remedies Through Trust Litigation
A variety of legal proceedings related to a trust may be filed in Queens, along with the rest of New York. For instance, a proceeding may be brought to challenge the validity of a trust. Trust litigation may be brought or defended against by a trustee, interested party, or beneficiary. With lifetime trusts, which are trusts created by a living person rather than upon a decedent’s passing through a will, the Surrogate’s Court and Supreme Court have jurisdiction to hear disputes.Trustee's Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Fiduciary duties require the person who owes them to act with the highest degree of care, devotion, and loyalty. When administering a trust, the trustee’s fiduciary duty involves the duty to act with loyalty and with good faith to the beneficiaries specified by the trust instrument. A trustee is expected to refrain from harming the beneficiaries and their interests.
As a trustee, it is wise to seek legal counsel with regard to any accusation levied against you or a legal proceeding being brought against you that is related to your management of trust assets and adherence to trust terms. A range of actions can be brought against a trustee, such as when a beneficiary believes the trustee has not acted in their interest with regard to an asset, or that the trustee has engaged in a transaction for which you have a conflict of interest. For example, if you seized an opportunity for your own benefit when the situation dictated that you should have provided that opportunity to the trust and its beneficiaries, you might be accused of self-dealing. The purpose of this type of litigation may be to recover the amount of money lost by the trust from the trustee.
Likewise, if you are a beneficiary of a trust and believe that the trustee has entered into transactions on your behalf even though he has a conflict of interest, you may wish to bring a proceeding to obtain remedies against him or her. It’s important to seek legal counsel at the earliest sign of a breach of fiduciary duty.Right to an Accounting in Queens
Trustees are required to invest prudently and use their skills to make appropriate decisions and fulfill their fiduciary duty. Among other things, they may be obligated to use professional skills obtained separately from their management of the trust, such as legal training. They are expected to keep beneficiaries informed about the actions they are taking and the consequences of those decisions. A beneficiary may request a trust accounting; this is supposed to provide a beneficiary with information about activities related to the trust and what funds remain for purposes of expenses and final distribution.
However, there are situations in which a beneficiary is dissatisfied with an accounting or believes certain things are not accounted for. Likewise there are situations in which a trustee may fear that they have made mistakes in accounting that could subject them to liability. It’s important in these matters to secure counsel. New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (EPTL) and the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA) govern beneficiaries’ rights with regard to trust accountings to which they’re entitled. In litigation, the court can require the trustee to lay out every single transaction related to the trust, and produce evidence related to these transactions.Discuss Your Situation With a Queens Trust Litigation Lawyer
Mr. Haas is a seasoned Queens trust litigation attorney who has represented heirs, interested parties, and estate administrators in for more than 40 years. Dedicated to providing clients with personal and attentive service, he handles probate, estate administration, guardianship proceedings, and Surrogate's court cases. Contact him through our online form or at (212) 355-2575 for a free consultation.