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New York & North Carolina


Read Through Our Recent Case 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 representing the estate of another well-known actor who passed in 2017. Likewise, the decedent did not leave a Last Will and Testament. This led to many difficulties and extensive litigation regarding the custody and guardianship of a child. Even non-family members commenced litigation trying to gain custody and control of the child and the actor’s estate.

    Separate proceedings were required in Family Court, Surrogates Court, and Supreme Court to handle these delicate and very complex issues. In addition to the incredible stress of managing these proceedings while coping with the death of a loved one, if a will had been prepared it may have saved the estate and the related parties great time and expense. Fortunately, in this case, PCS won custody and guardianship of the child for our client and the right to administer the decedent's estate! However, proper planning with your attorney can help ensure your wishes are followed.

  • Porch Will Matter Resolved Will Contest

    In another important, yet smaller financial matter, we recently settled a will contest where the decedent's will was signed and witnessed …. on his front doorstep. It was argued that the proper legal formalities were not followed in the execution of the will in this case and we quickly obtained a settlement for our client.

    All Wills must be executed properly

    It is important to know that there are certain formal requirements that must be followed when executing a will. If these formalities are not precisely adhered to, your will could be declared null and void despite your full intention to have it be your last words. You can employ a presumption under the law that you followed these requirements when you execute your will in the presence of a licensed attorney. So before you sign a will at a hospital or on your front porch like in the case above, please consult with your attorney.

  • 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 client’s sister, during the course of approximately 6 months, assisted her mother in restructuring numerous financial accounts which effectively disinherited the son. However, the trust and estates team at Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC fought hard to uncover the true details about the mother's physical and mental condition during the time when the financial accounts were changed. Our strong challenge to these changes of incapacity, undue influence, and fraud helped position our client to successfully negotiate a favorable settlement without needing to go to trial.

  • Sister Must Comply Will Contest Lawsuit Brought by Siblings
    In this case, the decedent had 3 adult children however, the Last Will and Testament only provided for one adult child and two grandsons. Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC represented the two children left out of the will and began the process of discovery. During the process of discovery, the siblings requested documents, including medical records, from their sister to discover the background of the basis for the decedent making such a decision. Instead of complying with the request, their sister asked the court for a protective order so she would not have to provide answers to the discovery request. The court ruled in our client’s favor, instructing that the documents be given to them. This matter has not reached a final resolution yet, but this is a major victory allowing our clients to get the discovery documents they need.
  • Daughter Received Inheritance Misappropriated Assets & Withheld Inheritance
    In this case, the second wife of the decedent and the executor of the estate, misappropriated assets and withheld the inheritance from the decedent’s daughter. We not only obtained an Order directing over $500,000 in real property to be deeded away from the executor to the daughter’s trustee, but also obtained a Decision directing the executor to return over $100,000 to the estate, plus an award of attorney’s fees. The final details of the case are still pending in another jurisdiction, but we hope to complete the daughter’s rightful inheritance.
  • Free Spending Son & Daughter Found Guilty Power of Attorney
    After years of preparation, discovery, document review, motions, appeals, and finally an almost two-week-long trial before the Honorable Vincent W. Versaci in Schenectady County Surrogate’s Court, a local man, and woman who held Power of Attorney were ordered by a jury of their peers to return over $100,000 of monies adjudged to be taken improperly and by undue influence perpetrated against their own mother. In a 60-page jury verdict, the pair were found to have taken monies improperly for various items such as a new in-ground pool, substantial home repairs and various vacations, shopping trips, and jewelry purchases. Representing the two aggrieved brothers and the mother’s estate proved both trying and satisfying.
  • 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 brown paper bag with a handwritten note was secured as the foremost piece of evidence). However, both sides essentially alleged that the other had taken the cash. Questions of law such as who had the burden of proving their case weighed heavily and a successful negotiation resulted.
  • 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 beneficiary designation forms were not properly followed by the trustees of her late husband and they were ordered by the NYS Appellate Division, 3rd Department, to return those monies to the spouse.

  • 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 ex-wife must return an estimated $120,000 to the woman’s estate, said Gerard Parisi, attorney for the two other sons.

    However, Steve Kouray, attorney for the now ex-wife, Tracey Nealon, said an appeal is expected. Her ex-husband Peter Nealon represented himself.

    The case also marked a “very rare” example of an estate case making it to a jury trial, Parisi said. Surrogate’s Court Judge Vincent Versaci presided over the proceedings.

    At issue was whether Peter and Tracey Nealon used undue influence on his mother, Muriel Nealon, to clean out her bank accounts.

    She moved in with Peter Nealon in September 2002 after being diagnosed with the beginning stages of dementia. She also suffered from bouts of forgetfulness and confusion, according to earlier court paperwork.

    Brothers Christopher and William Nealon alleged undue influence by Peter and Tracey Nealon, saying they used the money to put an addition on a house that included a large master bedroom for themselves as well as a bedroom and handicapped-accessible bathroom for his mother.

    But Peter and Tracey Nealon claimed that the money comprised gifts and Muriel Nealon wanted to pay her share of expenses and pay for her own medication.

    Kouray argued Friday that the jury couldn’t hear the explanation behind ATM withdrawals under a rule aimed at preventing false claims from being made against estates.

    Kouray also argued that a ruling made during the trial shifted the burden of proof to his side, essentially making Tracey Nealon and Peter Nealon have to prove the transactions were legitimate.

    “How can I explain when I can’t get into what led up to it?” Kouray said.

    Gifts for Peter and Tracey Nealon’s wedding were found legitimate, attorneys said.

    Peter Nealon could not be reached for comment.

    The expected appeal would take the case to the Appellate Division, where it has been before.

    The case was originally thrown out by then-Surrogate’s Court Judge Barry Kramer. But the Appellate Division restored it in a December 2008 decision.

    Christopher Nealon, the executor of his mother’s estate, said he decided to appeal the decision because he believed that was what his mother would have done.

    Muriel Nealon died in May 2004 at the age of 81. She worked as a secretary in the Schenectady County courts, retiring in 1987. Her husband, James Nealon, died in 2001. They had been married for more than 50 years.

    “It was a long time coming,” Christopher Nealon said of the verdict. “I’m glad it’s behind us.”

    In the trial, the ruling that changed the burden of proof to Tracey Nealon and Peter Nealon centered around the court finding that they had a relationship of trust, that Muriel Nealon was dependant on them.

    “That’s really a good law because it protects someone in that position from being taken advantage of,” he said.