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.


Appealing a Surrogate’s Court Judgment on Long Island

by Albert Gurevich on January 20, 2015

How to Move Forward When You Disagree With the Court’s Decision

Appeals are relatively common in all areas of the law because they offer a party to a legal matter to have another court review a decision to make sure that it is proper.

On Long Island, Surrogate’s Court decisions, like all court decisions in Nassau and Suffolk counties are heard at the Second Department Supreme Court in Brooklyn (where we also have an office).

Regardless of the kind of decision that you wish to appeal in your probate matter, there are very specific rules and guidelines that you must follow and a real knowledge of the law is needed. Because of that, you should hire a Long Island estate attorney to handle your probate appeal.

One of the most important things that must be kept in mind if you wish to appeal a Surrogate’s Court decision is that there is a time limit on when you have to give notice that you are making an appeal. You have 30 days from the time a ruling is formally entered to file the correct paperwork for starting your appeal in the Second Department and all other departments in New York. However, this does not mean to say that you should just bring your paperwork in on day 30, by any means. You should submit your paperwork as soon as you can after you learn of the ruling. That way, if there is a clerical mistake or other issue with the paperwork, or if you are miscalculating the deadline, there will be a timely filing without the deadline passing.

In order to appeal a Surrogate’s Court matter, you have to have the standing to do so. This would mean that you would either need to be a creditor of the decedent or a named beneficiary or legal heir, and you should be affected by the decision. Not having legal standing will bar you from filing an appeal.

Also, it should be kept in mind that the appellate courts do not make a decision on the facts on the case usually, but rather on procedural issues or on whether or not the judge interpreted the law correctly. This means that, when you appeal a probate matter, testimony will not be taken again, for example. Rather, the appellate court will review the record of the case, such as the evidence that was entered in the initial hearing or trial, transcripts, written orders by the judge and similar materials.

Usually, an appellate decision is based on a legal brief and an oral argument done by an attorney. There are very specific ways that this is done, and the rules and procedures can be different from court to court. Legal counsel is needed for an appeal to have the highest chance of that appeal being successful. Due to that, a skilled Long Island estate attorney who has experience before the Second Division Court of Appeals is necessary whenever you are hoping to appeal a Surrogate’s Court matter. If you are considering appealing a case, call the Law Offices of Albert Gurevich at (516) 777-0647.


When Does a Long Island Attorney Charge a Contingency Fee?

January 9, 2015

Understanding Fees in Estate Cases Contingency fees are they type of legal fee where the attorney agrees to take a percentage of the total amount won in a legal claim. If the case isn’t won, the attorney would not collect any fee at all, despite having worked on it. Contingency fees are the type of […]

Read the full article →

What Are The Duties of a Long Island Guardian?

January 2, 2015

Know What the Guardian’s Obligations are on Long Island Having to petition the court in either Nassau or Suffolk County to be appointed Guardian over an adult loved one can be emotionally taxing. The legal procedure itself can be complicated, meaning that to make sure that you get the outcome you need, hiring a Long […]

Read the full article →

What Happens if There Aren’t Enough Assets in a Long Island Estate?

December 23, 2014

Who Gets Paid When There Isn’t Enough Money To Pay Everyone It is not uncommon when someone dies that the estate ends up owing more than the estate actually has in assets. Many times, people end up wracking up large medical bills in their final days, or they may end up spending most of their […]

Read the full article →

Do I Need An Attorney To Make A Will On Long Island?

December 15, 2014

Could Doing Your Own Will Cost Your Beneficiaries? If you look up estate planning online, you can find almost countless resources on all of the ways that you can write your own will in order to save yourself some legal fees. The parties behind these resources try to convince the customer that DIY when it […]

Read the full article →

How Can I Use a Supplemental Needs Trust To Get Medicaid on Long Island?

December 5, 2014

Allowing for Payments for Expenses While on Government Assistance When dealing with a seriously disabled person how you handle that person’s finances can be essential when it comes to dealing with government benefits. Too many assets, and a person can either be denied benefits in the first place or end up having them taken away. […]

Read the full article →

How to Win a Will Contest in Long Island

November 17, 2014

What to do When Something is Wrong With the Will Losing a loved one can be emotionally devastating no matter who you are. Unfortunately, many times the sadness that comes with having a loved one die quickly turns to anger, when it is discovered that something is wrong with the will. No one wants to […]

Read the full article →

What Happens if Property Held Jointly is Still in the Deceased Spouse’s Name?

November 10, 2014

What to Do With Your Deed When Your Spouse Dies Most couples have at least some jointly owned property. Usually it is the family home that is held in the names of both of the spouses with a provision that the entire property goes to the surviving spouse once one dies. Unlike many types of […]

Read the full article →

Does a Will Need Witnesses?

November 7, 2014

Make Sure Your Will is Executed Properly A lot of people assume that their will could be overturned based on something like fraud or being threatened by someone to change it. What they may not know, however, is that failing to follow the proper procedures when signing the will, also known as executing the will, […]

Read the full article →

What Do I Do After Someone Dies on Long Island – Introduction

October 29, 2014

Handling the First Days After Losing a Loved One Nearly everyone is confused about what they should do when a loved one has died. In some cases you may be in shock and be grieving, but it is wise to make sure that everything gets done correctly know to make things easier down the road, […]

Read the full article →