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.

To find the answer to your question, you can type your question in the search box just down to the right and click search. All of the answers or information we have will be shown to you immediately.

Or if you know exactly what topic your question relates to, you can click on the appropriate category shown under Categories, which is also down and just to the right. That will show all related questions and answers too.

{ 0 comments }

Does Every Offer Need to Be Relayed?

Most lawsuits are settled out of court, so negotiation of the terms of a settlement is an essential part of litigation.  Any experienced Long Island estate attorney will tell you that negotiation skills are essential when dealing with estate litigation, such as contesting a will.  As a client, you need to understand what your rights are when it comes to negotiating a case before the Surrogate’s Court and understand what duty your lawyer owes you to keep you in the loop.

It is well established that your attorney must relay offers from other parties to you, even if your attorney believes that the settlement is a poor one or if they believe that it would not be in your best interest to take it.  While your attorney has a lot of leeway to make strategic decisions on your behalf for helping with your case, they cannot ultimately settle or fail to settle a case for you – that decision is yours and yours alone.

This does not mean that your attorney just has to give you a settlement offer and not give you advice on how to proceed.  In fact, a large part of the attorney’s job is to make sure you understand the offer that was given to you by an opposing party and what the legal ramifications of that is.

You should be aware, however, that negotiating an offer is something that takes time and can involve dozens of offers and counteroffers.  Not every offer has much action that you can take besides to reject them, especially those that are not being given in good faith or are being given just to test the waters on whether you may actually be willing to take a settlement that is far below what you are suing for.  But then again, it depends on your situation and the amount of the offer – some cases have great initial offers considering the facts.

Having a Long Island estate attorney on your side through the settlement process is necessary since they will be in the best position to tell you if an offer that is coming in is a fair one or not.  Your attorney may also have a better idea about how to gauge the opposing party and their lawyer and the likelihood of them coming to a reasonable settlement.  Finally, your attorney will have a much better understanding of what the judge in your estate matter is looking for, something that is especially important since judges prefer cases to be settled over those cases having to go to trial.

Some of the things that your Long Island estate attorney may look at when helping you decide on an offer would be the costs in things such as legal fees to keep the litigation going, the strength of witnesses, the strength of your own testimony and the strength of your case, for example.  All of these things make a huge difference when it comes to whether or not an offer is a reasonable one.

If you are looking for an estate attorney on Long Island, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (516) 777-0647.

{ 0 comments }

If I’m Qualified as a Notary in Nassau County or Suffolk County, Can I Notarize Documents in other New York Counties?

June 26, 2015

Know What Notary Requirements Are In New York, notaries are commissioned by the county clerks in the county where they either live or where they do business in cases where they live outside the state. Usually, people who are notaries have gained that status because they have taken an exam or have automatically been able […]

Read the full article →

Are Children Favored In A Will A Good Reason For A Long Island Will Contest?

June 11, 2015

Is Favoritism A Good Enough Reason To Contest The Will? After a parent dies, there are some times that there is a shock of finding out that there is one child that is favored in the will over other siblings. The siblings who were left with less of an inheritance or no inheritance at all […]

Read the full article →

What Are The Rights Of A Wife If She Was Not In a Long Island Will?

June 3, 2015

Understanding Your Elective Share is a Must While the majority of spouses get along, there may be some where, for whatever reason, one spouse attempts to write the other out of his or her will. There are other cases where people get married and one spouse forgets to change his or her will and the […]

Read the full article →

Is a Long Island Trustee Entitled to Commissions Every Year?

May 22, 2015

When someone is appointed trustee, they are taking on a lot of responsibilities. Besides simply making trust payouts, the trustee must also make sure that they do certain things such as making wise investments with the trust principal, protect the trust from losses and make periodical accountings to the beneficiaries of the trust. For this […]

Read the full article →

Does There Have To Be A Reading Of The Will On Long Island?

May 9, 2015

There is a recurring TV show and movie scene when a character dies, where the family of the decedent gathers in the lawyer’s office, or the lawyer meets with the family, and the deceased person’s will is read in some dramatic fashion to the surviving heirs. This probably leads many who just lost a loved […]

Read the full article →

What is Mental Incompetence for a Long Island Will Contest?

April 22, 2015

Understanding Testamentary Capacity Many people assume that because their loved one has mental issues that it meant that they would not have the capability to sign a will. This would be a reasonable assumption considering that one must have a certain amount of mental capacity to sign other legal documents, such as contracts, and would […]

Read the full article →

What is Considered Undue Influence in a Long Island Will?

April 15, 2015

A common objection to a will is that someone used undue influence to get the person who died on Long Island to change their will so that it no longer reflected how they wanted their estate be divided after their death. Undue influence, while a common objection, is also one that is challenging to prove […]

Read the full article →

Can a Trust on Long Island be Terminated or Changed?

April 3, 2015

Are the Terms of a Long Island Trust Permanent? If you are setting up a trust, are a trustee or are a beneficiary of a trust, you may need to know if the trust that you have set up can be modified in some way or cancelled. The answer is not a simple one, and […]

Read the full article →

2015 Long Island Update on Changes to New York Estate Tax Laws

March 25, 2015

New York is one of the few states with an estate tax system that is stricter than the Federal system and, last year, new laws were passed to try and change this. There are some parts of the law that work better for the majority of those who have high-value estates, but for those with […]

Read the full article →