In the recent case of Matter of Cheek, Surrogate Holzman of Bronx County addressed two issues that arise with some frequency in the context of Surrogate’s Court litigation – the validity of a decedent’s marriage, and a party’s attempt to vacate a stipulation of settlement. Jaclene D’Agostino discusses the decision in our latest entry.
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Last night, Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010, and it is anticipated that President Obama will sign this significant piece of legislation into law today. Its effects will include sweeping changes to the federal estate and gift tax. Jordan S. Linn provides a summary of those portions of the bill our most recent entry.
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The Court of Appeals has rendered a landmark decision, chipping away at privity in holding that an estate fiduciary may maintain a legal malpractice claim against its decedent’s estate tax planning attorneys for negligent representation.  Until now, privity, i.e., a legal connection between two parties, was a strict condition precedent to maintaining a legal malpractice

This week’s entry, written by Jaclene D’Agostino, discusses a recent New York County Supreme Court decision dismissing a widow’s legal malpractice claim against her husband’s estate planning attorneys. The rationale: lack of privity, despite the fact that the defendant attorneys also represented the widow in her own estate plans, and jointly with her husband in other matters.
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