If you have been named as a beneficiary of the estate or trust of a loved one, you may be looking forward to getting the items or money that you are due. Many people are surprised to realize just how long it can take, especially when an estate has to go through the probate court. Before you will get what you are due, the appointed executor of the estate, or a trustee, has to identify all the assets of the estate, determine their value, pay off any debts and taxes, and finally distribute the assets to the heirs. During this time, this person will also be responsible for managing the estate/trust to ensure everything is kept in proper order.
The executor or trustee in this situation has a fiduciary responsibility to make decisions for the estate/trust based on what is in the best interest of the beneficiaries. Unfortunately, this does not always happen as it should. Sometimes the ‘power’ of acting as an executor seems to go to people’s heads, and they begin making decisions based on what they want more than anything else. They also try to hide their actions from the beneficiaries (whom are often relatives). No matter what they try to tell you, this is not right or legal.
Why Get Beneficiary Representation
Whether you are in an active conflict with an executor, or you just want to make sure that everything is done right, you need to get legal representation as quickly as possible. We will be able to look objectively at the situation like this and help determine what, if anything, is being handled improperly and what can be done better, smarter. We offer many benefits to our clients :
Rapid Response – When dealing with an abusive fiduciary (executor/administrator or trustee) it is important to act fast to minimize the damage that they have done.
Demand Transparency – You have the right to know what the executor/administrator/trustee is doing for the estate, and we’ll help to demand this type of transparency.
Taxes/expenses – taxes and expenses get allocated according to the provisions of the dis-positive documents (Will or a trust agreement) and also in according with the laws of the State of New York. We will make sure that the allocations were handled properly and that you would do not carry a burden that is greater than what it was supposed to be.
Settlements and releases – often, the best way to settle an estate or trust is to do so informally. This means that the proceeding in court is avoided to save money and time. We will review the releases that the executor/trustee presents to you and we will review an informal accounting on your behalf to ensure that it is not overreaching and that there is full disclosure.
Deal with the Courts – Of course, we’ll handle all the paperwork and help you throughout any court proceedings to ensure you get what you need without having to deal with the confusing process on your own.
Prevent Problems – There are many cases when simply having an attorney reviewing the process will keep executors from making bad choices. We can often prevent problems before they occur.
Protect your rights – If we have to work through the courts to get justice, we will do just that. We will fight for your rights as a beneficiary and will honor the wishes of your late loved one.
We are Here for You
One of the most difficult parts of beneficiary representation is that we are working with people who are being taken advantage of during one of the most painful and vulnerable moments of their life. It is unfortunate to see how many unscrupulous people there are, and what they will do to try to benefit themselves above honoring the wishes of their loved ones. If you feel that you are not being treated fairly as a beneficiary, please contact us at 212-596-7039. We’ll be happy to discuss your case with you and help you to determine the best course of action.
Our policy is to communicate clearly, concisely, and on a timely basis. To be responsive to clients. If we can’t take your call immediately, you can expect that a telephone message left in the morning.