The distribution of a deceased loved one’s estate can be a complex and difficult process. Wills and trusts can be contested on a variety of grounds. The administration process can also be disputed by involved parties who believe their rights have been disregarded. Fiduciaries and administrators can have their performance challenged and beneficiaries can sue for increased inheritances including a spouse’s right of election. These are serious legal matters and parties involved in estate litigation need legal assistance and guidance to prosecute or defend against these claims.
If you are considering legal action or are interested in learning more about your rights during the asset distribution process, find out how Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. can assist you in the following areas of estate litigation:
- Will Contests - Wills can be challenged if it is suspected that the will is not legally valid or if the person who was writing the will was wrongly influenced while creating it.
- Spousal Contested Accountings and Right of Election - Spouses are entitled to receive a predetermined share of an estate’s assets and can take action if that share is denied.
- Power of Attorney Contests - These occur when agents misuse their power of attorney privileges or incorrectly handle the assets associated with an estate.
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty Suits - These occur when the executor/administrator/trustee handles an estate’s assets incorrectly or illegally.
- Fraudulent Transfers - Unauthorized or deceptive movements of assets away from an estate.
- Protection of Beneficiary Rights - If you are being denied the inheritance you believe you deserve, learn about your rights as a beneficiary.
- Wills and Trusts Construction - Clarifying a confusing or ambiguous will or trust document.
- Trust Reformation - Restructuring a trust for tax purposes.
It is important to note that the time restrictions for pursuing legal action during probate can often be limited to days and weeks rather than months or years. After probate is completed, it is normally not possible to initiate legal action. Therefore, it is imperative to get prompt legal advice from attorneys who are both highly experienced with and knowledgeable about all facets of estate litigation. Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. has litigated estate cases in the Surrogate’s Court, the Federal District Court, New York Supreme Court, the Appellate Division and the Court of Appeals, and represents the Public Administrator of Suffolk County.
Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. is also aware that some cases can best be resolved through alternate means such as mediation and arbitration. Depending upon the situation, court proceedings may or may not provide the highest reward, or the quickest, most economical resolution of a case. It is by formulating advantageous litigation and negotiation strategies that Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. maintains its excellent reputation in the area of estate litigation.
If you suspect that the transfer of an estate’s assets has been handled incorrectly, unfairly or illegally, please call us at (516) 342-2200 or fill out our online contact form for a free case evaluation.