We have answered many of the common, and not so common questions we’ve been asked over the years about Probate, Trusts, Wills and other Estate Planning matters….right here on this website.

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Knowing Your Rights as a Long Island Trust Beneficiary

While the majority of trusts on Long Island are handled without any issues between the beneficiary and the trustee, there are times where tensions may arise. A big source of tension can be caused by a lack of information being exchanged between the trustee and the beneficiary, especially when beneficiaries feel that they do not have the necessary information to determine their rights under the trust or how it is performing. While there are many different types of rights that a trust beneficiary has under the law, those laws dealing with what information must be turned over are relatively clear. Whenever you are in a dispute involving a trust, contacting a Long Island trust and estate lawyer is the best option.

In most situations, a Long Island trustee must turn over any documents related to the trust at the request of the beneficiary. This means that in most cases, when a beneficiary requests the documents relating to the set up of the trust, it must be provided to them. In most situations, a Long Island trustee has 10 days after request to either provide those documents or allow them to be copied.

This law deals with more than just the trust documents however, something that is important to keep in mind for the trustee. Along with the trust documents, the trustee is required to give access to any document related to the trust or to give an accounting if it is requested by the beneficiary. This would include financial records that show how the trustee is handling investing the assets of the trust or any other financial transaction, for that matter. It is wise to get an accounting of what has been done with the trust periodically so that the beneficiary understands what is going on with it, even if the trustee is trustworthy.

A Long Island trustee has many duties when it comes to handling the estate and part of that is to keep peace with the beneficiary. A large part of this is to keep the handling of the trust transparent and to provide documents when they are requested. This is more easily accomplished by keeping extremely good records from the beginning to ease providing copies when it is eventually needed. It is also wise to not make the beneficiary have to ask for those documents in the first place by providing periodic accounting to the beneficiaries and making sure that you follow up with them often, to let them know about the state of the trust assets. By keeping the beneficiaries in the loop, even if they aren’t particularly interested in that point in time, it may help avoid problems down the road.

If you are a beneficiary of a trust and the trustee is refusing to turn over the trust documents or any other documents related to the trust, such as financial records, call a Long Island trust and estate attorney right away. There is something that you can do about it, but there are times where the court may have to get involved to either force the exchange of documents or removal of the trustee.

If you would like to speak with a Long Island trust and estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (516) 777-0647.


Is Ingratiating Oneself with an Elderly Person Undue Influence?

September 17, 2014

When is Friendliness with an Elderly Person Crossing the Line One of the more common themes that people argue when they are contesting a will is that someone who has suddenly become a major beneficiary in the will somehow used undue influence to shut out those who were the beneficiaries in a prior will or […]

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Defending a Will Contest on Long Island

September 14, 2014

Strategies for the Executor When Someone Objects There are numerous reasons why a party may want to object to either part or all of a will in Long Island, New York. In some cases, a will objection may just be the result of family dynamics that lead to infighting when the testator dies. In other cases, […]

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How do I Bring Forgery Charges Against Somebody in Long Island?

September 2, 2014

How to Handle a Fake or Tampered Will While not common, wills do get tampered with, and even faked all together, from time to time. Will forgery is not only immoral and no only leads to disputes in Surrogate’s Court, but it is also illegal. In fact, will forgery is a Class D felony in […]

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How do I Fight Allegations of Mismanagement of a Long Island Estate?

August 19, 2014

Make Sure to Protect Yourself as Executor When the testator dies and you are appointed executor, you are facing a responsibility that is akin to having a job. From the date of the death, you have specific things that need to be done to ensure the proper administration of the will. However, there are some steps […]

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Persons Excluded from Serving as a Long Island Executor or Administrator

August 8, 2014

An executor or personal representative of a Long Island estate has a fiduciary duty to the beneficiaries and heirs to act in a responsible and legal manner. Under the New York Probate laws, specific persons are excluded from serving as executors or personal representatives of a Long Island estate including the following: Persons under the […]

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What are Normal Attorneys’ Fees on Long Island?

August 4, 2014

How to Avoid Paying too Much One of the first things that most people want to know when they are looking to litigate and estate or probate a will is how much the entire procedure will cost. In fact, when it comes to attorneys’ fees, there isn’t a sure answer since there are many factors […]

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Can an Attorney who Made a Decedent’s Will Represent the Executor in Court?

July 30, 2014

Determining the Effect of Ethical Concerns When Administering an Estate A family of someone who recently died may desire to have the same attorney who did the estate planning represent the executor. Attorneys, on the other hand, have to be concerned with their ethical responsibilities and making sure that there is no conflict of interest. […]

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Is Real Estate Included When Calculating Executor Commissions on Long Island?

July 23, 2014

Serving as executor is a huge responsibility. It is for that reason that it is written into the law in New York that when a person serves as executor, they are entitled to a commission that equals a percentage of the estate based on the total amount of that estate. Determining the amount of the […]

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Totten Trusts on Long Island

July 23, 2014

Totten trusts stem from a 1904 New York case where the Court of Appeals held that someone could open up a financial account, such as a bank account or securities account, and make someone the beneficiary of that account, giving the beneficiary access to it only after the owner died. Sometimes these are also referred […]

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