Estate and Elder Law

Recent Posts

Will Contest Time Frames and Deadlines
Posted on 29 Aug 2011 by Deirdre R. Wheatley-Liss

Over the past few years, more and more of our practice has become devoted to estate litigation. These questions generally revolve around the validity of a decedent's Last Will and Testament, or gifts/transfers the decedent made prior to their death... Read More

No Contest Will Clauses
Posted on 26 Sep 2011 by Deirdre R. Wheatley-Liss

I'm sure we have all seen the TV dramas where a Will reading is portrayed in which ridiculously rich grandma shocks the family by leaving a child a token bequest ("my antique car" or "$50,000") and has a provision in the Will that... Read More

Deirdre Wheatley-Liss: 4 Good (?) Reasons to Contest a Will
Posted on 21 Mar 2013 by Deirdre R. Wheatley-Liss

Maybe it's the season, but I have gotten a lot of calls recently about will contests. A will contest usually happens when your heirs are surprised by what your will says, or by what you have left when you go to the great beyond. I have represented... Read More

A GUIDING HAND: Assisting An Ailing Testator With Signing Their Will
Posted on 4 Mar 2010 by Jennifer Hillman

The heirs of Melvin Simon, the billionaire shopping mall magnate, are embroiled in a bitter estate struggle contesting a will signed by Mr. Simon seven months before his death. Simon's eldest daughter claims there was undue influence because Simon's... Read More

Conclusory Statements Are Not Sufficient To Raise An Issue Of Fact As To A Will's Validity
Posted on 3 Feb 2011 by Phil Bernstein

An Objectant seeking to block a will's admission to probate learned the hard way that there is nothing easy about doing this. The Appellate Division, Third Department held in In Re Doody 912 N.Y.S.2d 792(A.D. 3 Dept. 2010) that upon the petitioner... Read More

Undue Influence and Wills
Posted on 1 Apr 2011 by Sandra L. Smith

The Supreme Court of Georgia recently decided a case in which it found that a will was product of undue influence and fraud, and that the testator lacked testamentary capacity. In McDaniel v. McDaniel (S10A1497, March 7, 2011), the testator, Mr. McDaniel... Read More

A Humorous Twist On An Interrorem Clause (With A Not So Humorous Downside)
Posted on 28 Sep 2011 by Phil Bernstein

The interrorem clause --also known as the "no contest " clause --is not favored in many states. It is not enforceable everywhere. But in New York, it is an often- utilized poison pill used to discourage disgruntled relatives from challenging... Read More

She's Baaaack! Anna Nicole Smith's Case Finally Reaches The Supreme Court
Posted on 13 May 2011 by Phil Bernstein

It is four years since the death of Anna Nicole Smith from an accidental prescription drug overdose. The smoke has cleared from the great "Who's Your Daddy ?" controversy which exploded across the nation's headlines soon after. And now... Read More

New York Court Disqualifies Firm from Representing Will Proponent in Contested Probate Proceeding
Posted on 9 Jan 2012 by LexisNexis Estate and Elder Law Community Staff

Mary D. McElroy (decedent) died testate, survived by one child, Olivia McElroy (Olivia), who was under a disability. Following decedent's death, the proponent, an attorney, filed a probate petition. The proponent had represented members of the McElroy... Read More

Wills--Dispensing with Formalities
Posted on 9 Aug 2010 by Sandra L. Smith

Jane was told by her physicians that she has a terminal disease, and that she has less than a year to live. She is a mentally competent thirty year old who has never been married and has no children. After a few weeks of contemplation, Jane sits down... Read More

Testamentary Capacity and Undue Influence in Will Contests
Posted on 1 Feb 2012 by Oast & Hook

By Stephen Taylor The two most common legal theories used in will contests are lack of testamentary capacity and undue influence. While the basic principles of these two theories have long been established in Virginia, a recent decision handed... Read More

What Happens to Your Will when Another Beneficiary is Born?
Posted on 27 Dec 2010 by Deirdre R. Wheatley-Liss

You Will usually says "I leave my estate to my children" or maybe "to my grandchildren" or "to my children, and if a child isn't living, then to their children". You will notice that no names are being used. Guest blogger... Read More

Loss of Standing in Will Challenges: Petitioner Loses Her Standing --And Her Case
Posted on 7 Jun 2010 by Phil Bernstein

New York's Appellate Division recently affirmed a decision of Nassau County Surrogate John Riordan which disinherited the daughter of a decedent who had brought a petition to contest her father's will and for a construction of the residuary clause... Read More