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New York Probate Litigation Lawyers

After someone passes away, any property in that person’s name at time of death is subject to probate rules under New York probate laws. During a probate and estate administration hearing, there’s no way to predict how family members or other parties are going to react as to how to divide the assets. Raiser & Kenniff, PC can help with any probate litigation issues that may arise. If you believe that the deceased person’s will is invalid, or disagree with decisions by the executor – you may need to contest the will. If you feel you are being treated unfairly, or if you feel the executor breached his/her fiduciary duty – then you’ll need a New York probate litigation attorney to help.

Examples where probate litigation occur can range. For example, if an unknown heir comes forward they are entitled to an inheritance – that can be an instance of probate litigation. This is a very stressful process, and typically ends up in court. There are many delays, legal fees, court costs, and tensions that can arise. Emotions run high in these cases. Typically, a New York probate lawyer is needed to try and settle the disputes. If the dispute cannot be solved, then you’ll have to litigate it by filing a lawsuit against the estate in New York’s Surrogate Court. The court will have to resolve the matter for you.

Types of Probate Litigation

New York Will Contest
Contesting a will in NY is necessary if you want to ascertain the validity of the decedent’s will. This is a very common cause for probate litigation. Grounds for contesting a will can be for any number of reasons. For example, if the decedent was mentally incompetent at the time the will was made, or the decedent was under undue influence, coercion, or if there was fraud or forgery. We can help prove the will was invalid. We can call witnesses to the will, and we can request handwriting experts to prove the will was invalid. We can look into the medical records to establish whether the decedent was mentally incompetent. It’s possible for us to help get other family members and friends, to testify at the Court in order to testify to the decedent’s intent and establish whether there was fraud. We recommend speaking to an NYC will contest lawyer.

Spousal Litigation

Under NY law, a spouse has rights when it comes to entitlement. If there was no pre-nuptial, or post-nuptial agreement, then a spouse is entitled to a share right to inherit the greater of $50,000 or 1/3 of the estate’s assets. Even if there was a pre/post nuptial, then our NY probate litigation lawyers can help disqualify the agreement. Laws were written and setup so that a decedent cannot intentionally omit the other spouse from inheriting estate assets. Spousal litigation claims have to be done within 6 months from when the executor of the estate is appointed.

Accounting Litigation Challenges

Any beneficiary, or party, is allowed to review the accounting pertaining to the estates assets. If an interested party believes that the fiduciary has made poor choices or financial decisions, then you can challenge the fiduciary’s actions. We can help litigate, and request the fiduciary produce accounting reports.

Litigate to remove fiduciary

Our law firm can litigate, in order to help remove a fiduciary for breach of fiduciary duty. If a fiduciary breaches the duty, then we can petition to remove the the fiduciary. We can also help appoint a new representative. If a fiduciary transferred assets of the estate to the fiduciary’s personal bank account, then that is illegal activity. This can be grounds for a breach of fiduciary claim. A fiduciary can be held personally liable for financial losses suffered by the estate. We can engage on litigation to have the court order to pay restitution.

Creditor’s claim 

If a creditor believes their claim was wrongfully rejected, then the creditor in question can file a lawsuit against the estate to have the claim reconsidered for payment. Beneficiaries aren’t liable for the decedent’s debts. We can help all of the parties involved in this situation.

Other Claims

If a decedent’s family believes the death was due malice, or a wrongful death like medical malpractice, then we can help bring forth a wrongful death claim. Any proceeds from this claim become a part of the estate. We have attorneys in both Los Angeles, and NYC, who can help.

Filing a Probate Litigation Claim

These litigation hearings are initiated by a petitioner, who files a lawsuit against the estate. We can help do this. Our law firm will file a lawsuit against the estate with the New York Surrogate’s court. These claims are complicated. You will typically hire our New York probate and estate litigation attorneys in order to determine if there are grounds to file the claim. We handle the entire matter. Prospective clients typically retain our NY Estate lawyer to fight for them. Then the New York Surrogate Court hears the claim, and decides on the validity of the claim. If you claim that the will was invalid, then you will need our help establishing the decedent was incompetent, or was coerced. You will need to conduct an investigation first, with our help, and use that evidence as grounds to file a lawsuit.


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