The burdens on a family after a loved one’s death can feel immense. It is a difficult time for those managing both their grief and the legal aspects of an estate. Fearing that your loved one’s final wishes are not being carried out can make the situation even more complicated. Many families wonder what rights they have and what can be done. You may not want to get into a legal battle—it is a common worry that litigation will be costly and time-consuming, or that the effort will be all for nothing in the end.
At Antonelli & Antonelli, however, our experienced estate litigation attorneys can help you and your family resolve your loved one’s estate as effectively as possible. Even if you don’t live in New York, our legal team can be your advocate in court, working to ensure that your loved one’s wishes are carried out and your rights are protected.
Types of Estate Litigation Cases Our New York Firm Handles
Estate administration can be different for every family. Your loved one’s estate and final wishes are unique, and issues can arise at any stage in the process. When they do, it can be necessary to pursue litigation to correct problems. The legal team at Antonelli & Antonelli has years of experience representing clients in court in a wide variety of estate litigation matters, including:
- Contested Wills – You may not believe your loved one’s will is valid, or other family members may be seeking to invalidate a will.
- Contested Administration – When a person dies without a will, the court will determine an estate administrator. If the surviving family members have reason to believe this administrator is not or will not act in the interests of the estate, they may want to contest the appointment.
- Contested Accounting - When a fiduciary has filed an accounting, a client may believe something is inaccurate and want to object to the account.
- Wrongful Death or Personal Injury Compromise Proceedings – If your loved one died as the direct result of another person’s negligent behavior, it can be possible to hold that person accountable. A wrongful death lawsuit seeks compensation from the responsible person that can cover lost wages, emotional distress, and more.
- Kinship Hearings – In certain situations, a person must prove they are related to the deceased and are entitled to inherit. Our legal team can help prove that family relationship and prove your rights in court.
- Relief Against or Removal of a Fiduciary – At times, the executor or administrator of an estate may not be acting in the best interests of a beneficiary. The beneficiaries may need to force the executor to take some action (such as selling a property), or they may wish to remove the person as executor entirely.
- Spousal Elective Share Disputes – In New York, one spouse cannot disinherit his or her spouse. The surviving spouse is entitled to what is known as an elective share. This share is determined by a number of factors, including the value of the estate and the number of children of the deceased.
When Your Family Needs a New York Estate Litigator
All estate matters in New York must pass through Surrogate’s Court. If you or your family need to take legal action against another party or you need to defend your actions, your case will likely head to a hearing in Surrogate’s Court. An estate can be contested at any time during the administration process, but it is frequently the case that executors or surviving family members run into issues at certain times, most often during:
- The appointment of an executor or administrator
- The collection of assets and settling of debts
- The accounting phase
Regardless of which side of the situation you are on, it is typically necessary to state your case before a judge. At Antonelli & Antonelli, our experienced attorneys can be your voice. Our legal team focuses our practice solely on estate matters, so we have an exceptional understanding of estate litigation law and the experience to guide you through the process successfully.
Contact Our Manhattan Estate Litigation Law Office Today
Pursuing estate litigation can be challenging and emotional, and the lawyers at our family owned and operated firm understand. The legal team at Antonelli & Antonelli is here to provide New York families and individuals with the personal attention and effective representation they need to move forward from a difficult and painful time. Even if you are not sure of your rights or if legal action is even possible for you, do not hesitate to reach out to us today. Call our Manhattan office or take a moment to fill out the contact form on this page. You will get in touch with a member of our team who can answer our questions and schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.