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Turnover Proceedings

Estate Litigation Lawyer Serving New York City

An estate fiduciary is charged with gathering estate assets after a death. If an estate fiduciary doesn’t perform this task appropriately, beneficiaries of the estate might claim there was a breach of fiduciary duty. Usually identifying and gathering estate assets is a straightforward process, particularly if a fiduciary understands how to work with a range of financial institutions and is knowledgeable about different kinds of assets. However, there are also situations in which a fiduciary may face difficulties in gathering all of the estate’s assets. There may be different views about the technical ownership of the property at issue, or assets may have been funneled away from the decedent or estate by a third party. In those cases, it may be necessary for the fiduciary to bring a turnover proceeding in order to recover the estate’s property. If you need to institute a turnover proceeding, seasoned New York City estate litigation attorney Jules Haas may be able to help.

Turnover Proceedings

When there is a disagreement about who has title to property or there has been a theft of assets, an estate fiduciary may institute a turnover proceeding to get more information and to recover property that belongs to the estate. If someone takes funds or property from a decedent while he’s still living or from an estate after he’s passed, or if you find that a fiduciary stole funds, you may be able to initiate discovery and turnover proceedings to return any assets to the estate that were converted. Sometimes a fiduciary suspects something is amiss, but isn’t certain about whether a third party has estate property, in which case a turnover proceeding may be appropriate. A dedicated estate litigation lawyer can represent you in a legal matter of this nature.

Under Section 2103(1) of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, a fiduciary can petition the court that has jurisdiction over an estate for a discovery proceeding, which may be a precursor to a turnover proceeding. This can be a reasonable step when the fiduciary isn’t entirely certain a particular person has control of the property. The petition for a discovery proceeding should state, either based on knowledge or on information and belief, that personal property that is supposed to be paid to the fiduciary is either in the control or possession of the respondent, or that the respondent has relevant information about the property that would help the petitioner but refuses to provide it. The fiduciary can ask for an inquiry to be held regarding the property, request that the court order the respondent to attend and be examined, and ask that the respondent be ordered to deliver the assets if they are in his control.

Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act section 2104 governs New York turnovers, or what happens if the Surrogate’s Court orders that there are reasonable grounds to examine the respondent and if the petitioner has established title to the property in question. Once an order of reasonable grounds has been returned, regardless of whether the respondent has submitted an answer, the petitioner can examine the respondent with regard to the allegations stated in the petition. As part of this process, the petitioner has the chance to question the respondent about the whereabouts of assets the petitioner thinks should be part of the decedent’s estate.

If a respondent only denies allegations in a petition, but doesn’t claim title to or the right to possess the property at issue, the discovery proceeding can continue as if no answer were filed. The lack of answer is not considered a default. Only after a petitioner establishes entitlement to possession of property at a hearing will the Court enter a decree directing that property be delivered. If the property has been diverted or disposed of, the decree may direct the proceeds or the value of the property to be paid to the estate. Alternatively, it can put the proceeds in trust or make another decision that provides an appropriate form of relief.

Skilled Estate Litigation Attorney for New York City Area Residents

Estate litigation lawyer Jules Haas has represented many people in discovery and turnover proceedings. If you are in the New York City area and are concerned about whether you have identified and gathered all assets of an estate, or suspect something is missing, you can consult Mr. Haas to represent you in a turnover proceeding. Mr. Haas possesses more than three decades of experience representing people in New York City estate litigation. He represents people in Queens, the Bronx, and Manhattan, Kings, Richmond, Nassau, Suffolk, and Westchester Counties. Call us at (212) 355-2575 for a free consultation 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