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New York Trusts & Estates Litigation

Category Archives: Fiduciaries

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Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Turnover Proceeding as Time Barred

Posted in Fiduciaries
A recent decision of the Kings County Surrogate’s Court demonstrates the importance of thoroughly analyzing all aspects of a statute of limitations defense prior to making a dismissal motion. In Matter of Coiro, the court denied such a motion, determining that a turnover proceeding was timely. Notably, the parties disputed both the applicable limitations period and the date of the claim’s accrual. Side-stepping both those issues, the court determined that a statutory toll rendered the claim timely . Eric Penzer discusses the decision in our latest entry.… Continue Reading

Dishonesty and Improvidence as Grounds for Disqualification of a Fiduciary

Posted in Fiduciaries, Probate, Trusts
A recent decision of the Richmond County Surrogate’s Court addressed a frequently litigated issue in Surrogate’s Court litigation – – whether the proposed or nominated fiduciary should be disqualified from serving in a fiduciary capacity on the grounds of “dishonesty” or “improvidence.” In the Estate of George Mathai a familiar dynamic was in play – – there… Continue Reading

Charitable Pledges: Not Found Money, You Have to Earn Them

Posted in Fiduciaries, Uncategorized
A donor writes in a pledge amount, signs the pledge card, hands it over to the charity, and is absolutely committed to that amount; end of story, right? Not necessarily. A recent case emanating from Kings County Surrogate’s Court, Matter of Issac Kramer, shows that certain charitable pledges may not be as binding as they appear on paper. Spencer Reames discusses the decision in our latest entry.… Continue Reading

Appellate Division Decides Case of First Impression Concerning “Adopted Out” Child’s Right Of Inheritance

Posted in Fiduciaries
              The term “adopted-out” child, commonly used by the courts, refers to a child adopted out of his or her biological family, i.e., a child placed for adoption by his or her biological family. A detailed discussion of the inheritance rights of adopted-out children is available here. Recently, in a case of first impression, Matter of… Continue Reading

Who May Serve as Fiduciary?

Posted in Fiduciaries
Surrogate McCarty of Nassau County recently addressed a case in which the parents of a deceased minor each sought letters of administration, alleging that the other was ineligible. Frank Santoro discusses the decision, as well as general rules of eligibility to serve as a fiduciary, in our most recent entry.… Continue Reading

Exception to the American Rule: Shifting Objectants’ Legal Fees to the Surcharged Fiduciary

Posted in Fiduciaries
The American Rule provides that each party to a litigation generally remains responsible for his own legal expenses regardless of who prevails. In Matter of Lasdon, Surrogate Glen of New York County explained the few and narrow exceptions to that Rule, one of which pertains to cases of fiduciary misconduct. Jaclene D'Agostino discusses the decision in our latest entry.… Continue Reading

Hot Topics in Trusts and Estates

Posted in Fiduciaries
While the Court of Appeals has rendered two important trusts and estates decisions this summer, additional topics of interest have been addressed at the trial court level. Ilene Cooper discusses a few of these "hot topics" in this week's blog entry.… Continue Reading

Court of Appeals: Fiduciary’s Legal Fees to be Equitably Allocated among Beneficiaries

Posted in Fiduciaries
The Court of Appeals has issued a decision that changes the way in which a fiduciary's legal fees incurred in defending objections will be paid from a trust or estate. In Matter of Hyde, the Court reversed its prior interpretation of SCPA 2110 and established new guidelines. Jaclene D'Agostino discusses the decision in this week's entry.… Continue Reading

Estate Fiduciary Wrongly Deprived of Counsel of Choice?

Posted in Fiduciaries, Probate
Last week, the Second Department overturned a determination of the Kings County Surrogate's Court that had disqualified an executrix based upon her selection of counsel. But while holding that letters should be reinstated, the Appellate Division also directed the fiduciary to obtain new representation. Eric Penzer discusses the decision in this week's entry.… Continue Reading