Protecting Your Rights During the Administration of an Estate

Estate Litigation

While there is often the need for litigation with respect to estate matters, sometimes, issues can be resolved in a less formal manner. Our attorneys have resolved numerous matters related to the administration of an estate without having to file a formal complaint. With their experience and knowledge you can be sure that your rights are being protected and that you will receive, as a beneficiary of an estate, the bequest or distribution intended.

Unfortunately, many individuals are not aware of their rights as a beneficiary and as such, receive less than they should under an individual’s Will or Trust. As a beneficiary, you are entitled to a copy of the decedent’s will and an accounting of the decedent’s assets. You can also object to the accounting and require the executor or administrator to provide proof of purported expenses. In addition, you can object to how certain fees and expenses are computed, such as the administrator’s fees or the fees charged by an attorney for the estate.

Some of the most frequently asked questions, with respect to the administration of an estate are:

If I am bequeathed real property, can I live in it or am I entitled to rents from the property pending the resolution of the estate?

Can an executor/trustee receive a commission under the decedent’s Will as well as his or her trust?

Is the executor permitted to sell my parent’s home where the Will makes no mention of such a sale?

Am I entitled to interest on a specific devise of money?

Who is responsible for the mortgage and other expenses associated with the decedent’s real property?

In answering these questions on behalf of a client who is a beneficiary to an estate, our attorneys frequently end up educating the executor and his or her attorney as to their obligations and duties. After advising the other parties of their responsibilities, a substantial number of these matters can be resolved amicably. Our attorneys are cognizant of the costs associated with estate litigation and as such, discuss the various options available to a client in order to avoid unnecessary costs and maintain family harmony where appropriate.

For more information concerning these or other issues, please feel free to arrange for an appointment with an attorney at our firm.