At Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC, our lawyers can assist you in contesting a trust in New York. Before filing a petition to the court, we will perform a detailed review of your situation and claims. After the creator of a trust has passed away, you may contest provisions of the trust, a failure to include one or more heirs, or possibly the entirety of the trust. In such cases, the New York Surrogate Court has jurisdiction to determine whether the dispute is valid regarding both revocable and non-revocable trusts.
Contact Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC today at (914) 228-7448 to learn more about how we can assist you in contesting a trust.
To challenge a trust, you must be a beneficiary and have a financial interest in the trust or stand to inherit part of the creator’s assets under intestacy laws. When we evaluate your interest in disputing the trust, we will check whether the trust contains a no-contest clause. If there is one, challenging the trust may put your current inheritance at risk. When contesting a revocable trust, a court normally applies contest standards. Since New York courts consider revocable trusts as will substitutes, they can use the same standards.
One of the two main grounds to dispute a revocable trust is lack of capacity, where the creator of the trust was not able to fully understand how the trust was set up and what their assets and distribution involved. The other primary ground to contest a revocable trust is undue influence, where the contestant seeks to prove that another beneficiary influenced the trust maker on how to set the trust and divide property.
How to Challenge an Irrevocable Trust
The courts usually apply contract standards if you contest an irrevocable trust. This requires proving that the creator of the trust did not have the mental capacity to understand what the contract terms involved and their consequences.
It is more difficult to dispute an irrevocable trust on the basis of undue influence as courts normally do not consider this in contract law.
The Trust Dispute Process
The first step in disputing a trust is finding grounds for the contest. Our trust litigation attorneys will help you determine what yours are. We gather appropriate documents such as medical records and witness testimonies before initiating the trust contest proceeding.
We then enter mediation in order to achieve an agreement between all interested parties. If this method is unsuccessful, we file a trust contest proceeding to the New York Surrogate Court. Under New York law, you must file the petition with the Court within six years following the death of the trust’s creator.
Schedule an appointment with Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC, if you are looking to dispute a trust. Contact our office today at (914) 228-7448.
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