Westchester County Estate Litigation
With a population of 949,113 as of 2010, Westchester County is the second-most populated county in New York. The population is spread out over 450 square miles. In 2011, the yearly per capita income in Westchester County was $67,813, but it rose to $83,422 by 2014. As of 2010, there were 337,142 households in the area. Of these, 34% had children under age 18 living there. Fourteen percent of the population were 65-years-old or older. Estate litigation can have a huge impact on families and those of any age. Sometimes family members only find out after a loved one passes away that they’ve been disinherited, or that a caregiver has tricked the loved one into creating a new testamentary document that impacts the loved one’s survivors. If you have questions about a possible will or trust dispute, a seasoned Westchester County estate litigation lawyer can help.Estate Litigation
For many people, making a will is their first priority in estate planning. Wills allow people to transfer assets to loved ones or charities, protect their businesses, and appoint guardians. They are a direct effort to make sure assets are distributed according to your wishes when you are gone. When wills are not created and a decedent dies intestate, assets will be transferred according to state law. Further, if you have children who are minors, the court will determine who should provide their care. Other estate planning steps can include the formation of trusts.
Estate litigation may involve kinship proceedings, will contests, trust contests, disputes about the interpretation of a will, accounting disputes, a surviving spouse’s right of election, and fiduciary litigation and removal proceedings.
Will contests may be brought for various reasons. These include undue influence, mistakes in execution, a testator’s lack of capacity to make a will, or forgery. Trust contests may be brought for the same reasons.
Sometimes estate litigation relates to interpretation of a will or trust, or the actions of an executor or trustee. For example, it may be necessary to pursue estate litigation to challenge a trustee’s decisions. There are situations in which a fiduciary such as a guardian, executor, or trustee can be removed due to misconduct in a fiduciary removal proceeding. Sometimes kinship proceedings must be instituted to question or establish the inheritance rights of a distant relative. In other cases, claims proceedings are instituted to establish who has a claim on an estate’s assets. A knowledgeable estate litigation attorney in Westchester County can review your case to determine which claims may be appropriate.Real Property Disputes
Real property left behind by a person who has passed away can be the source of contentious disputes. For example, when real property is being controlled by a trustee and is held in trust, beneficiaries may believe it is being mismanaged. The trustee can be required to provide an accounting related to this real property. When an accounting isn’t given, a trust beneficiary can ask for a remedy under the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act. If the accounting reveals trustee mismanagement, the beneficiary may institute removal proceedings. These proceedings can duty, self-dealing, or improper management. A Westchester County estate litigation lawyer can represent you in bringing or defending these kinds of proceedings.
Sometimes tenants occupy real property that belonged to a decedent. These tenants may not be willing to leave the property after the death of the owner, even though someone else inherited the property. An estate fiduciary collects the estate’s assets, and this process is straightforward where the fiduciary is knowledgeable about different kinds of assets, but there are occasions on which there are different views about the ownership of the property. A fiduciary can bring a turnover proceeding in order to recover real estate that belongs to an estate.Skillful Westchester County Lawyer for Estate Litigation
Estate litigation in Westchester County can become contentious. Family members may disagree passionately about who is entitled to assets that are part of a decedent’s estate or about the validity of testamentary documents. If you need to pursue estate litigation or defend against it, you can consult Westchester County attorney Jules Haas. He has represented clients for over thirty-five years. Contact us at (212) 355-2575 or via our online form. Mr. Haas reviews cases for free, and provides reasonable fee structures to clients. Call now for a free review.