Stephen Bilkis
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New York Trust Dispute Estate Attorney Frequently Asked Questions

Any situation involving a dispute over an established trust in New York should prompt you to contact an experienced probate or estate administration attorney. There are many different situations that could lead to complex concerns resolving somebody's trust and having the insight of a knowledgeable probate dispute lawyer is important.

Q. What should I do if I believe interpretation of trust terms has been handled inappropriately?

Trust terms is one of the most frequent reasons for beneficiaries to petition for further instructions. This can lead to interesting problems with regard to insurance, mortgages, and taxes. Some of the other common issues involved in trust situations are whether or not the value of the gifts made before death should be deducted from the beneficiaries' share of the estate.

Q. What is wrongful acquisition or misappropriation of trust assets?

The designation of successor trustees can present unique problems and challenges for legal issues. This is not always an easy task for the maker of the trust and disclosure of such a list to other beneficiaries does not lead to immediate acceptance. When a successor trustee takes charge of the trust, it can be difficult to establish the firm relationship managed by the initial trustee. This could lead to disagreement and criticism. New purchases by the successor trustee prompt suspicions which could prompt the relevant beneficiaries to file a legal claim. Challenging the actions of a successor trustee or an initial trustee might prompt that person to resign or be removed from their position.

Q. Can we compel the return of real property to a trust due to financial elder abuse in position of a constructive trust for breach of fiduciary duty?

Protracted litigation may ensue if the beneficiaries believe that the person who is empowered to make decisions in a trust has not done so appropriately. When a trustee breaches fiduciary duty or takes inappropriate advantage of the trust creator to receive a profit privately, this could lead to a breach of fiduciary duty claim. The trustee's loyalty, avoiding any conflict of interested and committing to reasonable care duties, all become notes of concern in these types of lawsuits.

In order to compel something in a NY trust dispute, however, you’re going to need a lawyer who knows how to work through these challenges and protect your rights from the moment you file.

Q. What to do if co-trustees do not get along?

A parent may think that they are doing their children a favor by establishing them as co-trustees of the management of particular assets or within a trust. However, when co-trustees do not get along, this could lead to litigation or dispute. Having one trustee may minimize the opportunity for disputes. If the situation cannot be resolved, one person may petition to order to remove the co-trustee or appoint a fiduciary as a successor trustee. Furthermore, a trust could be brought under court supervision.

Q. Can we ever suspend a trustee's powers?

A court hearing that is scheduled a few months after filing, known as the petition order for suspending a trustee's powers, can compel forensic accounting, instruct a trustee on real property, or appoint a temporary trustee. The primary purpose of this is to allow a forensic accountant to be appointed to review the account for disbursements, receipts, and records.

Q. What should I do if I believe a trust amendment was drafted by undue influence and forgery?

When trust assets are used to defend what turns out to be illegal/fraudulent conduct, this can be overwhelming for everyone involved. A petition to invalidate a trust amendment will request the court to take prevent trust expenditure funds to defend actions to set aside trust amendments based on undue influence and forgery. A NY estate dispute lawyer is here to help you.

If you are encountering any of these challenges, it is important to consult with an experienced NY estate dispute lawyer immediately.

Client Reviews
★★★★★
Mr. Bilkis handled both my father and mother's estate issues through very difficult times he was compassionate kind and understanding. In fact the whole firm showed great empathy. Despite the emotional hard time we were having that quickly and efficiently handle all the matters that were necessary to get us the result we desired. Can't recommend them enough. B.B.
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