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Surrogate’s Court Practice

Wills, trusts and other estate planning instruments should clearly indicate the intent of the deceased. In certain cases, beneficiaries may allege that an estate planning document is unclear, the result of undue influence or even fraudulent. In other cases, beneficiaries may claim the executor or trustee is breaching his or her fiduciary duties in some capacity. When there are disputes about the intent of a will, trust or other document, estate litigation may be necessary.

If you believe that your omission from a family member’s will is the result of duress or undue influence, contact me at the Law Office of Ira M. Kopito to discuss your legal options. If it can be demonstrated that the will was not executed with the free will of the decedent, the Surrogate’s Court may provide remedies.

If a family member has passed away, and the time has come to probate a will that seems to be problematic, an experienced Surrogate’s Court attorney can help. If the estate is not being properly handled, I may be able to compel a judicial accounting to remove a fiduciary who is misusing or abusing the powers of the office.

My services
I represent family members, beneficiaries, would-be beneficiaries, executors, trustees, personal representatives and others in litigation involving:

  • Will and trust disputes – The combination of legal requirements and complex family dynamics provides a virtually unlimited number of grounds for contesting wills, trusts and the management of trust assets. Common underlying issues include second marriages, blended families, business ownership and after-born children. Common claims include allegations of fraud, duress, undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity and failure to observe proper formalities.
  • Claims against fiduciaries – Personal representatives, executors, trustees and other fiduciaries are routinely accused of theft, fraud, misappropriation of estate or trust assets, and other types of misconduct. In some cases, plaintiffs are right about these suspicions. In others, they are not. In any case, clients on either side of the aisle benefit from my firm’s bipartisan experience with these issues.
  • Contested guardianships – Generally speaking, guardianship litigation involves two basic types of situations. In the first, one person has petitioned to appoint a guardian over a loved one. The loved one, usually an elderly parent, objects to this, and the matter winds up in court. The second situation involves challenges regarding the appropriateness of a guardian or his/her actions.

Contact a knowledgeable Brooklyn Surrogate’s Court attorney today
With more than a decade of legal experience, I have the skills to help you with your legal issues, no matter how complex. Contact my office online or call me at 718-834-9200 to schedule a free consultation today.