Litigating Issues Involving Wills And Other Assets Taking Advantage Of The Elderly and Infirm – Part I

estate litigation attorney in New YorkIn some societies as parents and other loved ones grow older, the level of respect and help provided to them by their children and other loved ones increases. Sometimes, however, loved ones who are sickly or suffer from Alzheimer’s disease are taken advantage of for financial gain. Examples of inappropriate actions where individuals seek to enrich themselves are:

  1.  where an elderly father has dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, and a child or second wife is added to the bank account which was meant for other family members.
  2. an individual ingratiates himself or herself and takes the sickly father to a lawyer’s office to make a will cutting out other family members from inheritance.
  3. the changing of a will by a senior disinheriting a favorite child or children and leaving all of the assets to another child or someone else shortly before their death.
  4. a caregiver who ingratiates themselves to a sick, elderly person for the purpose of becoming the beneficiary of bank accounts or other assets contained in their will.

Experienced Estates Attorney

Hiring an attorney experienced in litigating issues like those referred to above can be the first step in successfully setting aside these transactions. Immediately upon realizing there has been something inappropriate which took place with regard to the assets of a loved one, you should seek out an experienced estates attorney to represent you. You may not find out about these transactions until after the individual dies. It is not too late to take action, at that point, to set aside transactions prior to death involving bank accounts, securities, or wills.

There are a number of issues which can be raised to successfully challenge wills, trusts and joint bank accounts.estate planning lawyer

Man Seeks to Recover Property From Decedent’s Home

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Elliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.  Elliot and his associates have been representing clients for more than 35 years in all aspects of estate litigation, estate planning, drafting wills and trusts, and guardianship proceedings.  He can be reached for consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

When An Executor Hires An Attorney For The Estate

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Elliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.  He has been representing executors in estate administration proceedings for more than 35 years.  He and his associates draft wills and trusts, handle estate litigation, guardianship proceedings, and all other aspects of estate planning.  Elliot can be reached for consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

Guardian Appointed For Alleged Incapacitated Person’s Financial Exploitation of a 94 Year Old Woman

Estate planning attorneysA guardianship proceeding was brought before Justice Alexander Hunter Jr., who sits in the Supreme Court of Bronx County. After a hearing, a guardian was appointed for a 94 year old woman, FG. FG had lived in the Hebrew Home for the Aged. A social worker testified at the time of the hearing FG had undergone a variety of tests and evaluations by a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist’s findings were FG had no capacity to make financial decisions. At the hearing, the Controller from the Hebrew Home for the Aged testified FG had an overdue balance of nearly $280,000. Evidence was submitted FG had signed a $50,000 check to the Hebrew Home for the Aged two months after the tests had indicated FG had no capacity to make financial decisions. The $50,000 had been applied to the unpaid balance.

Taking Advantage of An Incapacitated Person

Judge Hunter Jr., appointed a guardian. He stated in his decision he was “outraged by the behavior exhibited by the interested parties.” This included FG’s attorney, the individuals who had power of attorney, and healthcare proxies for FG. Judge Hunter found they all were more interested in getting paid than fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities to FG. The court ordered the guardian to investigate the facts and circumstances surrounding the $50,000 payment to the Hebrew Home for the Aged. He also ordered the guardian to look into the issue as to whether there was financial exploitation of FG.

Elliot Schlissel is an elder care attorney. He represents seniors with regard to all aspects of guardianship cases.Guardianship attorney on Long Island

Woman Leaves Money To Her Cat, Court Determines Testamentary Capacity

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Elliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.  He has been handling estate litigation, wills, trusts and other issues pertaining to estate planning for more than 35 years.  He can be reached for consultation at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802 or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

Revoking or Challenging a Will

Elder Law AttorneysA will is referred to as the last will and testament. Every will you write is your last will and testament. If you write a will when your children are infants, that will may not deal with the circumstances of your children 25 or 30 years later. You cannot assume the needs of your children or other loved ones are the same early in their lives as they will be later in their lives. Your assets also may change or vary significantly during the course of your life. You may get married, get divorced, have children, have children who die before you, have grandchildren and be responsible for taking care of parents or other loved ones. All of these issues should be addressed in a will.

If your will is not up to date, you should write a new will. There is a device called a codicil which is an amendment to the will. However, modern drafting of wills strongly suggests against writing codicils. Instead, a new will should be written and the old will should be revoked.

Revoking a Will

How do you revoke a will? A will can be revoked by writing a new will which supercedes the old will. A will can also be revoked by tearing it up and throwing it in the garbage. You can also write revoked across the front of a will, sign your name and date it.

Challenges to a Will

A will can be challenged for a variety of reasons. A will can be challenged based on the fact it was not executed with proper testamentary formalities. There are very specific and detailed requirements necessary to write a will in the State of New York. Certain things must be said, certain things must be done, and the will execution ceremony has very specific requirements. You should never try to write your own will. Always consult with an experienced estates attorney if you seek to draft a will.

Testamentary Capacity

Another reason for challenging a will is the individual did not have the mental capacity to write a will. This challenge basically states that said individual didn’t know what he or she was doing when the will was executed.

Undue Influence

A will can be challenged on the basis someone had taken over the individual who wrote the will’s ability to make independent decisions on their own. This is referred to as undue influence. Undue influence becomes a more significant issue when an individual grows old and is infirm and becomes dependent on another individual who ingratiates themself by pressing them to write a will leaving them all of their assets or a disproportionate amount of the assets.

Fraud or Duress

If an individual is tricked or coerced into writing a will, the will can also be challenged.

Avoiding Will Challenges

Under New York law, a spouse is entitled to a minimum of one-third of your estate or $50,000, whichever is larger. If you write a will leaving your spouse less than one-third, he or she can challenge the will. To avoid will challenges should you want to leave a spouse less than what he or she is entitled to under New York State law, a prenuptial agreement or a waiver of spousal inheritance rights document must be prepared and executed.

If you seek to disinherit a child from receiving assets in your estate, the best way to do this is not to leave the child absolutely nothing. The better technique is to leave the child a minimal amount of the assets in your estate and have a clause in the will indicating if that child challenges the will, they lose the specific amount you left them in the will.

Conclusion

If you have issues or problems, or seek to draft a will, contact an estate planning attorney who can help you meet your goals.estate litigation attorney on Long Island

Administrator Removed For Misconduct

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Elliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.  He has been representing clients for more than 35 years concerning wills, trusts, estates and elder law planning matters.  He can be reached for consultation by calling 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802, 1-800-344-6431, or by sending an email to schlissel.law@att.net.

A Mother Sought to Inherit From Her Deceased Children

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Elliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys. Elliot and his associate attorneys maintain a sophisticated practice handling numerous estate proceedings each year. He can be reached for a consultation at 1-800-344-6431, 516-561-6645 or 718-350-2802, or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

Wife Held In Contempt Of Court

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Elliot S. Schlissel is an elder law attorney.  He has been representing clients for more than 35 years concerning wills, trusts, estates and elder law planning matters.  He can be reached at  516-561-6645, 718-350-2802, 1-800-344-6431, or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.

Objections to the Probate of a Will

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https://youtu.be/023eX_nXdfI

Elliot S. Schlissel is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys.  He has been representing clients for more than 35 years concerning wills, trusts, estates and elder law planning matters.  He can be reached at 516-561-6645, 718-350-2802, or by email to schlissel.law@att.net.