New York Probate Litigation
What is New York Probate Litigation?
New York probate litigation is a process that can be used to contest a provision of a last will and testament, the appointment of a personal representative, a codicil (a legal document that adds to, subtracts from, or alters the will), or its entire contents. Under probate law, only the spouses or children of the deceased or an individual who is mentioned in the will or a previous will can contest it.
Under New York probate law, a probate court will identify the assets of an individual who passed away, decide how taxes and other expenses will be paid, and distribute the possessions among the legal heirs as is stipulated in the last will and testament.
A legal contest that arises upon an individual’s death or incapacity will be filed in probate court and handled as a probate litigation matter. Probate litigation involves issues such as challenges to the validity of the will, its wording or construction, trust modification or termination, powers of attorney, guardianships and court orders, living wills, patient advocate designations, and failure of the fiduciary to act in accordance with the law or legal document.
When is New York Probate Litigation Necessary?
New York probate litigation may be necessary in instances such as:
- The deceased had more than one marriage
- Sibling rivalry over a parent’s estate
- The deceased had a non-standard estate plan, including those that omit a child, do not treat children equally, create overly detailed trusts, or make gifts to an extramarital partner
- The fiduciary fails to act in accordance with the law or last will and testament
- The will is contested
In New York, Under What Grounds Can a Will Be Contested?
In New York State, a will may be contested under the following circumstances:
- The will was not signed in accordance with New York State law
- The deceased was not of sound mind (testamentary capacity) when he or she signed the will
- The will was procured by undue influence, fraud or forgery
- There is more than one will
- The will was not witnessed by two individuals who were sufficient and appropriate
Contact a New York Probate Lawyer
If you are heading into the probate litigation process, it is important to seek the guidance of an experienced New York probate litigation lawyer who can help you avoid the pitfalls and delays that could risk the assets of a loved one’s estate. The Law Offices of Philip M. Bernstein can guide you through New York’s probate litigation process from start to finish and will provide efficient and comprehensive representation in your probate litigation matter. For more than 30 years, Mr. Bernstein has represented the residents of Nassau County, Suffolk County, and the five boroughs of New York City, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Queens, in New York probate litigation matters. If you live in another state – as long as the probate litigation matter is based on a will being probated in New York, Philip Bernstein can represent you. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact our New York probate litigation law office at (516) 222-0440.