News & Insights

Do You Have a Comprehensive Estate Plan That Address All of Your Assets?

Estate Plan

A proper estate plan involves more than just drafting a will. That’s because a will only controls the distribution of what are known as “probate assets.” These are assets that do not have separate beneficiary designations. “Non-probate assets,” which include life insurance, retirement accounts, joint bank accounts, and real property owned “with rights of survivorship,” … Read more

When Can a Difficult Executor or Trustee Be Removed?

Executor or Trustee

Conflicts between fiduciaries (whether executors or trustees) and beneficiaries are not unusual. For instance, these often occur with trusts of long duration, where the trustee controls a beneficiary’s access to assets which the beneficiary would prefer to have outright. Disputes may also arise among co-executors or co-trustees, especially if they have differing views on how … Read more

How Are Damages Allocated Among Survivors in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit?

Where negligence or other misconduct causes a death, survivors of the deceased may have a claim for wrongful death against the responsible parties. Wrongful death lawsuits can result in significant monetary awards. For instance, several wrongful death verdicts in excess of $2 million were entered in New York during 2020. However, it is important to … Read more

Contesting a Will Because of Undue Influence

One ground which can be raised to contest a decedent’s will (or a particular bequest) is that the decedent was subject to “undue influence.” Proving undue influence is difficult. The mere fact that someone was close to the person who died and may have been in a position to exert undue influence is not enough … Read more

When Does Filing an Objection to a Will Trigger a “No Contest” Clause?

If you want to discourage others from challenging your will, you can use an “in terrorem” or “no contest” will clause. Such provisions provide that if someone contests your will or any of its provisions, the person forfeits what they would have received under the will. The idea is to leave a disinherited heir enough money … Read more