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New York & North Carolina

Trust Dispute Lawyer

Resolving Issues Between Beneficiaries & Trustees in North Carolina & New York

At Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC, our lawyers can assist you in contesting a trust in New York or North Carolina. 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 North Carolina or New York Surrogate Court has jurisdiction to determine whether the dispute is valid regarding both revocable and non-revocable trusts.

Common Reasons to Dispute 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 North Carolina and 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 North Carolina or 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.

Count on our trust dispute lawyers in New York & North Carolina for first-class legal representation. Call 914-228-7448 or contact us online today!

Our Results

  • Client Won Custody Dying Without A Will
    As many of you may know legendary singer/songwriter Aretha Franklin died in 2018 without leaving a will. Other wealthy celebrities such as Prince have done the same. This can lead to many types of unwanted consequences. As an example, the T&E department at PCS is currently ...
  • Son Must Repay Mother’s Estate Estate Case
    A local man and his then-wife used undue influence on his elderly mother to clean out the woman’s bank accounts before she passed away, a Schenectady County Surrogate’s Court ruled this week. The verdict, in a case brought by the woman’s two other sons, means the man and his ...
  • Brothers Inheritance Restored Estate Dispute
    After much litigation including more than a dozen depositions, obtaining numerous medical records and various other relevant documents, expert medical testimony, and the beginnings of trial preparation, an estate dispute was settled on behalf of our client for $700,000. Our ...
  • Daughter Settles Dispute Favorably Estate Matter
    On the day of trial our client successfully resolved an estate matter whereby she received 60% of available funds of the estate. Interestingly, the case involved an admission by both brother and sister that their father had upwards of $200,000 in cash at the time of death (a ...
  • Surviving Spouse Inheritance Returned Large Assets Diverted to Wrong Beneficiary
    We are proud to have earned a seven-figure ruling in favor of a surviving spouse. In this particular case, two large assets were diverted through a complex trust and funding formula to the wrong beneficiary. Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC, successfully argued that the ...

Client Stories

Our Success in Their Own Words
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    Parisi Coan & Saccocio have handled many estate planning needs for myself and my clients over the course of the last 5 years
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Over 65 Years of Experience
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  • Exceptional Estate and Trust Law Experience
    Over 65-years collective experience in estate and trust planning, administration, litigation, and guardianship.

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