516-227-0700

Estate Litigation

Protecting our clients’ interests and assets in all types of disputes.

The experienced estate and trust litigation lawyers at Farrell Fritz have been involved in some of the most complex, high-profile cases in New York, including the estates of Doris Duke, Jean Stralem, Andy Warhol, Arthur Sackler, Brooke Astor, and Huguette Clark.

Our estate and trust litigation team offers the skill and expertise required for any estate or trust related proceeding, combining in-depth knowledge of Surrogate’s Court practice and procedure with extensive experience in taxation, as well as an acute understanding of estate planning and administration.

Our attorneys have successfully represented individuals and entities in a broad range of litigation, including:

  • Contested probate, fiduciary accounting and guardianship proceedings
  • Proceedings for the discovery and turnover of estate or trust assets
  • Gift-related litigation
  • Tax court proceedings
  • Valuation disputes
  • Proceedings involving fiduciary duties and responsibilities, confidential relationships, investment performance, interests in closely held corporations, and matters involving undue influence

In addition to Surrogate’s Court matters, our estate litigators have appeared in estate-related matters in many other judicial settings, including appellate courts, federal district court, tax court, and state Supreme Court. Our team has also represented parties for the purpose of avoiding litigation.

View Estate Litigation PDF

Professionals

John J. Barnosky

Partner
Uniondale

Ilene S. Cooper

Partner
Uniondale

Brian P. Corrigan

Partner
New York City

John R. Morken

Partner
Uniondale

Eric W. Penzer

Partner
Uniondale

Frank T. Santoro

Partner
Uniondale

Jaclene L. D’Agostino

Counsel
Uniondale

Hillary A. Frommer

Counsel
New York City

Robert M. Harper

Counsel
Uniondale

John W. Giblin Jr.

Counsel
Uniondale

Spencer L. Reames

Counsel
Uniondale

Edward D. Baker

Associate
Uniondale

Cheryl L. Erato

Associate
Uniondale

Nicholas G. Moneta

Associate
Uniondale

Recent Blog Posts

Fiduciary Self-Dealing

One of the most fundamental duties of a fiduciary is the duty of loyalty. That is, every fiduciary must administer…

April 17, 2019

Read more

April 17, 2019

Read more

Death and Digital Content: Protecting Digital Assets After The Death Of A User

In 2016, the New York Legislature enacted a version of the Uniform Law Commission’s Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital…

March 29, 2019

Read more

March 29, 2019

Read more

Where to Domicile or Where Not to Domicile. That is the Question.

In a recent decision in the Estate of Grunwald (NYLJ Jan. 28 2019, at 33 [Sur Ct, Richmond County]), Surrogate…

February 21, 2019

Read more

February 21, 2019

Read more

Wrongdoer Deprived of Elective Share

Pursuant to the provisions of EPTL 5-1.1-A, every surviving spouse of a domiciliary decedent is entitled to a statutory right…

January 23, 2019

Read more

January 23, 2019

Read more

Testator Intent and In Terrorem Clauses

My colleagues have written on the enforceability of in terrorem clauses, and the courts continue to confront challenges in reconciling…

January 17, 2019

Read more

January 17, 2019

Read more

Hasta La Vista, Exoneration Clauses

Exoneration clauses seek to excuse fiduciaries, most notably executors and trustees, from liability for the failure to exercise reasonable care…

September 26, 2018

Read more

September 26, 2018

Read more

Treasure and Trinkets

It is easy to be cynical about the “pots and pans,” “tchotchkes,” and “junk” – – the property that is…

September 14, 2018

Read more

September 14, 2018

Read more

“Can I sue them for legal fees?”

This is a common question from clients involved in litigation – – especially estate litigation. As a general rule, a…

August 30, 2018

Read more

August 30, 2018

Read more

Heart v. Head: A Judge’s Conundrum

Judicial oaths require that judges rule on the law, putting their personal feelings aside.  Indeed, judges’ personal opinions are presumed…

May 04, 2018

Read more

May 04, 2018

Read more

Waiver of Right of Election: Correction of Defective Acknowledgment

With a specific statute (Domestic Relations Law §236(3)) mandating that pre-nuptial agreements must be acknowledged, and with a specific statutory…

March 12, 2018

Read more

March 12, 2018

Read more

An Update On A Fiduciary’s Access To The Digital Records Of A Decedent

A recent post to this blog titled You’ve Got (E-)Mail! Can Your Survivors Access It After Your Death?, discussed New…

December 19, 2017

Read more

December 19, 2017

Read more

Surrogate’s Court Sets Aside Fraudulent Conveyance Violative of Contract to Make a Testamentary Disposition

A person who executes a valid agreement to make a testamentary disposition as to a specific item of property is…

December 12, 2017

Read more

December 12, 2017

Read more

The Court of Appeals Examines the Promissory Estoppel/Statute of Frauds Relationship

In the past, New York Courts have demonstrated a willingness to apply the theory of promissory estoppel, to overcome the…

November 07, 2017

Read more

November 07, 2017

Read more

Releases: End of the Road or Just a New Beginning?

The fiduciary who thinks a receipt and release is the answer to all future claims for an accounting and liability…

October 06, 2017

Read more

October 06, 2017

Read more

Removed Corporate Trustee’s Refusal to Turn Over Trust Assets to Individual Trustee Was Prudent and Appropriate

One of the most important considerations in creating a trust is selecting the appropriate trustee. Oftentimes this involves determining whether…

August 21, 2017

Read more

August 21, 2017

Read more

You’ve Got (E-)Mail! Can Your Survivors Access It After Your Death?

E-mail is seemingly omnipresent. Day in and day out, we use it in our business, social, and personal affairs. Yet,…

July 24, 2017

Read more

July 24, 2017

Read more

On Its Own Motion

While most decisions rendered by the Surrogate’s Court result from an affirmative request for relief, occasionally the court will address…

June 09, 2017

Read more

June 09, 2017

Read more

Speculation, Estate Planning, and Legal Malpractice

thatIn some will contests, lawyers will speculate that the decedent may have misled people as to his true estate plan, either…

April 28, 2017

Read more

April 28, 2017

Read more

Sometimes It’s Just a Question of Standing

A person’s standing to interpose objections to probate is governed by SCPA §1410, which provides that,  any person whose interest…

March 31, 2017

Read more

March 31, 2017

Read more

Jury Trials in Surrogate’s Court Removal Proceedings

As parties prepare for trial before the Surrogate’s Court, a question that oftentimes arises is whether the parties have a…

March 03, 2017

Read more

March 03, 2017

Read more

Fiduciary Imprudence: When the Sale of an Asset Results in a Surcharge

Although one of the many duties and responsibilities of an executor is to marshal and appraise estate assets, and, depending…

February 10, 2017

Read more

February 10, 2017

Read more

Executor’s Duties Before Receiving Letters

A nominated executor is obliged to secure estate assets even before the issuance of letters testamentary, or preliminary letters testamentary…

February 03, 2017

Read more

February 03, 2017

Read more

Lessons to be Learned From the Power of Attorney

Powers of attorney and trust instruments have each been the subject of many an estate plan. They each have also…

January 20, 2017

Read more

January 20, 2017

Read more

Sharp as a Tack . . . Clear as a Bell

Very often, when the proponent of a will (and sometimes even the attorney-draftsperson or witness) is questioned about the decedent’s…

January 05, 2017

Read more

January 05, 2017

Read more

A Flood . . . in the Basement

Having examined countless witnesses in probate and other contested Surrogate’s Court proceedings, many of us have grown accustomed to learning that…

November 22, 2016

Read more

November 22, 2016

Read more

Article 17-A Guardianship: It is Not for Everyone

In two recent decisions, Surrogate Lopez Torres of Kings County denied petitions for guardianship under SCPA Article 17-A, demonstrating the…

September 29, 2016

Read more

September 29, 2016

Read more

Recent Amendment Creates Further Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege

On August 19, 2016, Governor Cuomo signed into law an amendment to CPLR §4503(b) which creates another exception to the…

September 08, 2016

Read more

September 08, 2016

Read more

Coordinating a Testator’s Intention with Public Policy Can Prove Challenging When Construing an In Terrorem Condition

In construing an in terrorem provision, or any part of a will, the paramount consideration is identifying and carrying out…

August 11, 2016

Read more

August 11, 2016

Read more

What is a Confidential Relationship and How Does it Affect a Probate Contest?

Estate litigators arguably see more probate contests than any other type of conflict. While the details are always unique, they…

July 28, 2016

Read more

July 28, 2016

Read more

Proof of Wrongdoing and the Right of Election

In 2010, the Appellate Division, Second Department, made it clear that principles of equity grounded in rules of forfeiture can…

July 14, 2016

Read more

July 14, 2016

Read more

Court Denies Motion to Dismiss Turnover Proceeding as Time Barred

A recent decision of the Kings County Surrogate’s Court[1] demonstrates the importance of thoroughly analyzing all aspects of a statute…

June 23, 2016

Read more

June 23, 2016

Read more

Representation of Charities by the Attorney General

Many estate practitioners are familiar with litigated matters in which a charity interested in the proceeding is cited, as is…

May 23, 2016

Read more

May 23, 2016

Read more

Contingency Fees – Size Matters

While the Court of Appeals last year upheld the validity of contingency fee agreements in estate matters, especially in litigation,…

March 17, 2016

Read more

March 17, 2016

Read more

A Real-Life Final Exam Fact Pattern: That Pesky Per Stirpes Statute

As the year draws to a close, I sometimes recall the stresses of final exam season from my law school…

December 24, 2015

Read more

December 24, 2015

Read more

The Essentials of a Discovery Proceeding

This month’s blog post will address a recent decision by the Appellate Division, First Department, entered in In re Perelman,…

November 30, 2015

Read more

November 30, 2015

Read more

Dishonesty and Improvidence as Grounds for Disqualification of a Fiduciary

A recent decision of the Richmond County Surrogate’s Court addressed a frequently litigated issue in Surrogate’s Court litigation – –…

August 14, 2015

Read more

August 14, 2015

Read more

Ademption Results from Attorney-in-Fact’s Sale of Specifically Bequeathed Asset

In Matter of Conklin, 2015 NY Slip Op 25094 (Sur Ct, Nassau County 2015), a contested accounting proceeding, the Nassau…

April 30, 2015

Read more

April 30, 2015

Read more

Court Enjoins Trustees from Going to Texas for a “Second Bite at the Apple” to Stop Beneficiaries from Inheriting

In a March 6, 2015 decision in Levien v Johnson, NYLJ 1202721296511, at *1 (Sur Ct, New York County), the…

March 30, 2015

Read more

March 30, 2015

Read more

In re Lawrence: What the Court of Appeals Says About Gifts from Client to Lawyer

On October 28, 2014, the Court of Appeals rendered its long awaited decision in In re Lawrence, 2014 NY Slip…

February 19, 2015

Read more

February 19, 2015

Read more

In Terrorem Provisions That Violate Public Policy

In terrorem clauses generally provide that, where a beneficiary under a testamentary instrument unsuccessfully challenges the instrument’s validity, the beneficiary…

November 25, 2014

Read more

November 25, 2014

Read more

Appellate Division Upholds Equitable Extension of Slayer Rule

New York’s “slayer rule” essentially provides that if an individual kills another person, he has automatically forfeited any interest he…

October 03, 2014

Read more

October 03, 2014

Read more

“Easy” Cases Make Bad Law Too

In a decision that could well cause even the most casual trusts and estates practitioners to scratch their proverbial heads…

August 08, 2014

Read more

August 08, 2014

Read more

Testamentary Capacity, Summary Judgment and a Testator’s Diagnosis of Dementia

Although summary judgment in a contested probate proceeding historically has been rare, the recent trend has been for Surrogate’s Courts…

July 11, 2014

Read more

July 11, 2014

Read more

To be Family or Not to be Family? That is the Question

Two recent decisions from the New York County Surrogate’s Court attempt to answer this question.  In Estate of Weisberg, decided…

May 30, 2014

Read more

May 30, 2014

Read more

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

A donor writes in a pledge amount, signs the pledge card, hands it over to the charity, and is absolutely committed to…

April 30, 2014

Read more

April 30, 2014

Read more

How “Absolute” is Absolute Discretion?

Sometimes language contained in wills and trusts can be misleading to the lay person.  For example, while they are good…

March 28, 2014

Read more

March 28, 2014

Read more

Appellate Division: Issue of Fact Prevents Summary Disposition of Abandonment Allegations

My most recent blog post, titled No Sex, No Elective Share?, discussed a recent case involving allegations of constructive abandonment…

February 13, 2014

Read more

February 13, 2014

Read more

No Sex, No Elective Share?

A recent decision emanating from the Surrogate’s Court, Kings County, Matter of Nichols, N.Y.L.J., Nov. 15, 2013, p.40, addresses the rarely litigated issue of…

January 31, 2014

Read more

January 31, 2014

Read more

Tax Considerations in Will Contests – Part 2

Continuing the discussion of tax considerations in settling probate contests, the following additonal issues should be considered. Marital Deduction In determining the…

January 16, 2014

Read more

January 16, 2014

Read more

Tax Considerations in Will Contests

The period following someone’s death can be an emotional time. Unfortunately, the period of administration of the decedent’s estate can be…

December 12, 2013

Read more

December 12, 2013

Read more

The Psychiatric Expert in Probate Proceedings

In probate proceedings involving the issue of testamentary capacity, parties frequently present testimony at trial from an expert psychiatrist.  It…

November 22, 2013

Read more

November 22, 2013

Read more

Attorney’s Fees: Not for the Taking

While attorney’s fees incurred by the fiduciary are generally reimburseable from an estate as a reasonable and necessary expense of…

September 30, 2013

Read more

September 30, 2013

Read more

Reformation Proceeding – Brigati Irrevocable Insurance Trust

In Matter of Brigati, Surrogate Czygier of Suffolk County addressed an application to reform the decedent’s life insurance trust, which contained…

August 29, 2013

Read more

August 29, 2013

Read more

When a Black Letter Rule Meets a Gray Area: the “Slayer Rule” and the Insanity Defense

Most estate attorneys are familiar with the concept of the so-called “slayer rule” whereby a person responsible for the murder…

August 09, 2013

Read more

August 09, 2013

Read more

Surrogate Removes Fiduciary Sua Sponte For Misrepresentations In Petition

    A recent post to this blog discussed a case in which a court declined to remove a fiduciary…

May 13, 2013

Read more

May 13, 2013

Read more

Potential Conflict of Interest Insufficient to Disqualify Nominated Fiduciary

  “A testator’s choice of executor should be given great deference” (see Matter of Palma, 40 AD3d 1157, 1158 [3d…

April 03, 2013

Read more

April 03, 2013

Read more

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

              The term “adopted-out” child, commonly used by the courts, refers to a child adopted out of his or…

March 04, 2013

Read more

March 04, 2013

Read more

Exploring Abandonment in the Context of a “Marriage of Convenience”

Can a surviving spouse be guilty of abandonment, consequently forfeiting the presumptive right to administer her deceased spouse’s estate, if…

January 17, 2013

Read more

January 17, 2013

Read more

The Slayer Rule Revisited

As I wrote in a prior post, dated February 25, 2011, concerning the Estate of Dianne Edwards, the “slayer rule”…

December 21, 2012

Read more

December 21, 2012

Read more

Infants as Parties to Stipulations of Settlement in Surrogate’s Court Proceedings

Generally, where an infant or someone under another disability is a necessary party to an action, it is the parent…

November 16, 2012

Read more

November 16, 2012

Read more

Standing of “Potential Heirs” to Sue for Their Parents’ Assets

Estate litigation oftentimes arises when parents favor one or more of their children over others in their estate plans. Fortunately,…

October 16, 2012

Read more

October 16, 2012

Read more

Two Recent Decisions That Have Validated and Invalidated Inter Vivos Gifts

Gifting, a fundamental tool of estate planning, is often fodder for estate litigation. This blog post will address two decisions,…

August 30, 2012

Read more

August 30, 2012

Read more

Attorney-In-Fact has Authority to Amend an Irrevocable Trust Pursuant to EPTL 7-1.9

 Estate planning attorneys who prepare durable New York powers of attorney for their clients often counsel them to exercise care…

August 01, 2012

Read more

August 01, 2012

Read more

Validity of Decedent’s Marriage the Focus of Application to Vacate Stipulation of Settlement

 The validity of a decedent’s marriage is a topic that is litigated in Surrogate’s Courts with increasing frequency. A determination…

June 01, 2012

Read more

June 01, 2012

Read more

Potential Creditor of Trust Beneficiary Not Interested Party In Accounting Proceeding

Determining the identity of permissible or necessary parties to an accounting proceeding is often a simple task. But in rare cases, the…

March 30, 2012

Read more

March 30, 2012

Read more

Provision in Pre-Nuptial Agreement to Create Trust for Children is Enforceable

The Pre-Nuptial Agreement entered into by decedent provided that on his death, 70% of the value of his gross estate…

March 01, 2012

Read more

March 01, 2012

Read more

Unlawful Marriages and the Right of Election

Under New York law, a decedent is prohibited from disinheriting his or her surviving spouse (see Margaret Valentine Turano, Practice…

February 16, 2012

Read more

February 16, 2012

Read more

Court Awards Compensatory and Punitive Damages, and Attorney Fees, for Fraud in Probating Will

Stacey Castor (“Stacey”) made national news in 2007, arising from the 2005 murder of her husband, David Castor, Sr., (“Decedent’)…

January 13, 2012

Read more

January 13, 2012

Read more

Issues of Undue Influence

Undue influence is an issue commonly associated with Surrogate’s Court proceedings. Indeed, it is often the linchpin to the outcome…

December 29, 2011

Read more

December 29, 2011

Read more

Appellate Division Decides Case Of First Impression Regarding Joint Tenancy Issue

In Trotta v. Ollivier, the Appellate Division, Second Department, decided an issue of first impression in any New York State…

December 01, 2011

Read more

December 01, 2011

Read more

Was it a Convenience Account?

A convenience account is exactly as it sounds – an account on which the holder adds someone else’s name for…

October 21, 2011

Read more

October 21, 2011

Read more

Court Decides Issue Of Standing To Participate In Cy Pres Proceeding

In a recent decision in the Matter of Lally, the Schenectady County Surrogate’s Court decided an issue of standing on…

September 23, 2011

Read more

September 23, 2011

Read more

Revoking Marriages in Article 81 Proceedings

As the problem of elder abuse has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, so too has the need to protect…

August 25, 2011

Read more

August 25, 2011

Read more

Fiduciary Beware: Contested Accounting in the Face of Exoneration Clause Results in Liability for Inter Vivos Trustee

Although exoneration clauses in a testamentary trust will not, as a matter of public policy, absolve a trustee of liability…

August 11, 2011

Read more

August 11, 2011

Read more

Who are the Distributees?

Attempting to determine the rightful intestate distributees of decedents in kinship hearings can be interesting. To illustrate, in the most general…

July 29, 2011

Read more

July 29, 2011

Read more

More Tales from the Crypt: The Right of Sepulcher, Decedent’s Intent and Disposition of Human Remains

Two years ago, in “Tales from the Crypt: Disposing of Human Remains in New York”, I wrote that: “[i]n New…

July 14, 2011

Read more

July 14, 2011

Read more

“After Acknowledged Children” Denied Inheritance Rights

Although acknowledging that the Appellants’ position was “sympathetic”,  on June 14, 2011, the Appellate Division, Second Department affirmed the decision of…

June 30, 2011

Read more

June 30, 2011

Read more

19 Year-Old Instrument Denied Probate as Ancient Document

Generally, the testimony of at least one attesting witness is required to probate a will. But practitioners will sometimes face a…

June 07, 2011

Read more

June 07, 2011

Read more

A View from the Appellate Bench

Over the past several months, the Appellate courts have been actively engaged in determining issues pertinent to the field of…

May 17, 2011

Read more

May 17, 2011

Read more

Surrogate: Dog Groups Barking Up The Wrong Tree

This is my third “dog pun” post in as many years.  If you’ve read this blog since its inception, or…

May 09, 2011

Read more

May 09, 2011

Read more

Undue Influence or Duress?

In a recent decision in the Estate of Mildred Rosasco , Surrogate Glen carefully explains the difference between undue influence and…

April 28, 2011

Read more

April 28, 2011

Read more

Same-Sex Marriages and the Marriage Recognition Rule

A recent decision of the Appellate Division, First Department, demonstrates that notwithstanding the New York State Legislature’s failure to enact…

April 19, 2011

Read more

April 19, 2011

Read more

Lessons of Constructive Trusts Continued

The recent entry by Jaclene D’Agostino addressed the issue of constructive trusts. From that, we learned that a constructive trust is…

April 11, 2011

Read more

April 11, 2011

Read more

What is a Constructive Trust?

Most simply explained, a constructive trust is an equitable remedy imposed to prevent unjust enrichment (see Simonds v Simonds, 45…

March 28, 2011

Read more

March 28, 2011

Read more

Who May Serve as Fiduciary?

The newly elected Surrogate for Nassau County, Edward W. McCarty III, recently issued a decision in what appears to be…

March 11, 2011

Read more

March 11, 2011

Read more

The Slayer Rule

As articulated by the Court of Appeals in Riggs v Palmer, the so-called “slayer rule” provides that “[n]o one shall…

February 25, 2011

Read more

February 25, 2011

Read more

Lessons From the Bench: Remedies for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

The role of a fiduciary – an executor, an administrator, a trustee, and even a guardian – brings with it…

February 11, 2011

Read more

February 11, 2011

Read more

Construction, Exoneration, Delegation, and Fiduciary Duty

One of the first reported Surrogate’s Court decisions of 2011 comes from Monroe County.  The decision is interesting in that…

January 20, 2011

Read more

January 20, 2011

Read more

Mama Cass’s Estate – California Dreamin’ or a Nightmare?

While the myth that Ellen Naomi Cohen, a/k/a Mama Cass, choked to death on a ham sandwich was debunked years…

January 11, 2011

Read more

January 11, 2011

Read more

Farrell Fritz Estate and Gift Tax Alert: Breaking News

 As you may know, the United States Congress passed the Middle Class Tax Relief Act of 2010 last night. It…

December 17, 2010

Read more

December 17, 2010

Read more

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

Jurisdictions within the United States have generally rejected the British concept of the prevailing party’s shifting the burden of litigation…

December 06, 2010

Read more

December 06, 2010

Read more

Witness Beneficiary Rule Applicable to Instrument Executed Outside of New York?

An interesting issue recently arose in an uncontested probate proceeding before the Bronx County Surrogate’s Court, namely, whether the disqualifying…

October 29, 2010

Read more

October 29, 2010

Read more

Motion to Dispense with Testimony of Uncooperative Attesting Witness Denied

In Matter of Smith, 2010 NY Slip Op 20381 (Sur Ct, Bronx County), Surrogate Holzman recently addressed a proponent’s motion…

September 30, 2010

Read more

September 30, 2010

Read more

Hot Topics in Trusts and Estates

The summer has seen a multitude of significant decisions impacting practice and procedure in the Surrogate’s Court. Aside from the…

August 20, 2010

Read more

August 20, 2010

Read more

NYSBA Trusts & Estates Law Section to Discuss Recent Decisions

Dear Readers, At the Fall meeting of the NYSBA’s Trusts and Estates Law Section (October 7-8 in Rochester), I will…

August 04, 2010

Read more

August 04, 2010

Read more

Decedent’s Purported Transfer of Residence To Wife Fails For Non-Delivery of Deed

In Matter of Ross, the Nassau County Surrogate’s Court canceled the recording of a deed pursuant to which the decedent…

July 29, 2010

Read more

July 29, 2010

Read more

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

In Matter of Hyde, 2010 NY Slip Op 05676, decided June 29, 2010, the Court of Appeals held that SCPA…

July 12, 2010

Read more

July 12, 2010

Read more

Estates May Pursue Legal Malpractice Claims on Behalf of Decedents

The Court of Appeals has rendered a landmark decision, chipping away at privity in holding that an estate fiduciary may…

June 21, 2010

Read more

June 21, 2010

Read more

Fiduciary Relationship Leads to Allegations of Constructive Fraud

In a recent case, a New York County Surrogate denied a motion for summary judgment, holding that a trial was…

June 01, 2010

Read more

June 01, 2010

Read more

In Terrorem Clause Construed to Apply to Revocation Proceeding

In a decision issued yesterday by the First Department, the Appellate Division affirmed the Surrogate’s holding that a proceeding pursuant…

April 30, 2010

Read more

April 30, 2010

Read more

Appellate Division Cites Equitable Factors In Denying Entitlement to Elective Share

This month, the Second Department has issued two important decisions on entitlement to an elective share when a marriage occurred…

March 30, 2010

Read more

March 30, 2010

Read more

Estate Fiduciary Wrongly Deprived of Counsel of Choice?

 A recent decision emanating from the Appellate Division, Second Department, Matter of Venezia, implicates two fundamental — and seldom conflicting…

March 19, 2010

Read more

March 19, 2010

Read more

Trustee Permitted to Amend Accounting to Provide for Commissions

In Estate of Homelsky, 1/20/2010 NYLJ 27 (col 1), a Nassau County Surrogate’s Court case, the Trustee, an attorney, moved to amend…

February 10, 2010

Read more

February 10, 2010

Read more

No “Wiggle Room” In After-Born Statute

In Matter of Gilmore, 1/19/2010 NYLJ 21 (col 1), Nassau County Surrogate John B. Riordan declined to expand the reach of…

January 25, 2010

Read more

January 25, 2010

Read more

Summary Judgment Granted, Dismissing Objections and Admitting Will to Probate

In recent years, Surrogate’s Courts have become increasingly inclined to grant motions for summary judgment in contested probate proceedings when…

January 11, 2010

Read more

January 11, 2010

Read more

Read More

Articles & Advisories

Roundup of Decisions by the Four Appellate Division Departments

During the past year, the appellate courts have rendered decisions of interest to the field of trusts and estates. The…

June 10, 2019

Read more

A Little Bit of This And a Little Bit of That

This month’s column brings the variety that has typified decisions over the past several months. From issues involving domicile, summary…

April 08, 2019

Read more

Be Wary How You Plead

Pleadings, the most fundamental part of trusts and estates practice, if not all practice areas, are often the subject of…

February 04, 2019

Read more

Discovering the Undiscovered

When a will has gone missing, or assets cannot be found, the issue usually becomes the subject of a Surrogate’s…

January 07, 2019

Read more

Highlights and Notable Decisions From Summer 2018

The summer months have seen decisions as variable as the weather, addressed to claims against an estate, fiduciary bonds, and…

October 15, 2018

Read more

’Till Death [And Divorce] Do Us Part

The Surviving Spouse’s Right of Election vs. A Former Spouse’s Rights in the Decedent’s Estate under a Separation Agreement Spousal separation…

August 29, 2018

Read more

The Inside Pages: Two Recent Decisions Worth Noting

The past few months have seen the inside pages of the law journal abound with decisions of interest. Indeed, while…

August 17, 2018

Read more

Your “Baby” is Heading to College

While we may know better, an 18-year-old college student is generally considered an adult under New York law. Your rights…

June 21, 2018

Read more

Why Every College Student Needs Basic Estate Planning, and Other Practical Advice as Your Child Heads Off to College

Despite scientific research, an 18 year old college student is generally considered an adult under New York law. Parents’ rights…

June 21, 2018

Read more

Receipts and Releases: End of the Road or Just the Beginning

The discharge of an executor or trustee is the ultimate end-game of most, if not all, estate and trust administrations.…

June 14, 2018

Read more

Read More

News

Tech skills: Lawyer gives lecture in passing on digital assets after death

[Robert Harper] gave an insightful lecture to fellow legal eagles on the importance of knowing the ins and outs of…

May 01, 2019

Read more

Ones to Watch in Law: Robert Harper

Robert Harper, who is counsel in the estate litigation department of Uniondale-based Farrell Fritz, concentrates in trust and estate-related litigation…

April 08, 2019

Read more

Ones to Watch in Law: Frank T. Santoro

A partner at Uniondale-based Farrell Fritz, Frank T. Santoro concentrates his practice in trusts and estates litigation. Click on the…

October 15, 2018

Read more

Man Who Killed Fiancée Could Inherit $577,000 from Her Life Insurance Policies

Farrell Fritz estate litigation associate, Robert M. Harper, was quoted in this article: Slayer law A “slayer law” in New…

October 04, 2015

Read more

Farrell Fritz Named to 2013 U. S. News & World Report’s National Best Lawyers – “Best Law Firms’ List

Farrell Fritz is pleased to announce the firm has received a Tier 1 (highest) ranking in the 2013 Edition of…

January 02, 2013

Read more

The Tricky Task of Clarifying Mental Competency

June 03, 2011

Read more

Where There’s a Will Doesn’t Always Mean There’s a Way

May 20, 2011

Read more

Read More

Press Releases

Robert M. Harper, Edward D. Baker, Cheryl L. Erato, and Nicholas G. Moneta Receive New York State Bar Association Appointments

On January 16, 2019, Robert M. Harper began a one-year term as Chair of the NYSBA’s Trusts & Estates Law…

January 21, 2019

Read more

Cheryl L. Erato Joins Farrell Fritz as a Trusts & Estates Litigation Associate

Farrell Fritz is pleased to welcome Cheryl L. Erato to its Uniondale office as a trusts & estates litigation associate.…

January 14, 2019

Read more

Farrell Fritz Promotes Jaclene L. D’Agostino and Darren A. Pascarella to Counsel

Farrell Fritz is pleased to announce the promotions of Jaclene L. D’Agostino and Darren A. Pascarella to Counsel effective January…

December 27, 2018

Read more

30 Farrell Fritz Attorneys Recognized as 2018 Leading Lawyers in Their Respective Areas of Practice

Farrell Fritz had a combined total of 30 attorneys selected to the 2018 New York Metro Super Lawyers and New…

September 13, 2018

Read more

Ten Farrell Fritz Attorneys Named to The Best Lawyers in America© 2019

Farrell Fritz congratulates ten attorneys on being selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019.…

August 09, 2018

Read more

Hillary Frommer of Farrell Fritz Appointed to New York County Lawyers Committee

Hillary Frommer of New York City has recently been appointed co-chair of the New York County Lawyers Association’s Estates, Trusts…

April 24, 2018

Read more

Robert M. Harper of Farrell Fritz to be Honored by Touro Law Center as a Public Interest/Pro Bono Attorney of the Year

Farrell Fritz is pleased to announce that Robert M. Harper, counsel in the firm’s estate litigation practice group, will be…

March 14, 2018

Read more

Farrell Fritz Promotes Matthew D. Donovan and Frank T. Santoro to Partner

Farrell Fritz is pleased to announce the promotions of Matthew D. Donovan and Frank T. Santoro to partner effective January…

January 02, 2018

Read more

Farrell Fritz Receives Tier 1 Ranking in 2018 U.S. News – Best Lawyers’ “Best Law Firms”

Farrell Fritz is pleased to announce that, for the sixth consecutive year, the firm has received a Tier 1 Ranking…

November 01, 2017

Read more

31 Farrell Fritz Attorneys Recognized as 2017 Leading Lawyers in their Respective Areas of Practice

Farrell Fritz had a combined total of 31 attorneys selected to the 2017 New York Metro Super Lawyers and New…

September 20, 2017

Read more

Read More

On Demand Webcasts

Discovery in Probate Contests in New York: Examining the Attorney Draftsperson

View Webcast