Wills and Trusts Case Examples

Estate Planning Attorneys Helping Clients Since 1975

At KGG, we have experienced estate lawyers in our estate planning department led by John M. Chakan. His practice is focused on this area of the law, and he oversees his team carefully. We frequently are consulted by clients whose previous estate planning had been done by an attorney whose experience was in other areas of the law. In those cases, we often find significant problems.

For example, we have seen:

  • Wills that were designed to save estate taxes, but which would have been ineffective for that purpose because a married couple owned all their assets jointly
  • Expensive living trust agreements that were meaningless, because no assets had been transferred into the trust
  • Estate plans where the ultimate disposition of assets was left to chance, depending upon which spouse would be the survivor

Our knowledge and background allows us to spot these and other potential problems, and to help our clients solve them before they become real problems.

If potential problems are not addressed before death, undesired results can occur, as in the case of a revocable living trust we currently are helping to bring to a close. In that case, all assets of the terminated trust are distributable to the grantor’s divorced spouse, because the attorney who drafted the trust agreement failed to provide for a different disposition in the event that grantor’s son should die before attaining age 25, which unfortunately is what occurred.

KGG Prevented Our Client from Being Deprived of Her Survivorship Rights

Following the death of our client’s husband, his daughter was appointed executor of his will. In that capacity she asserted multiple theories in support of her claim that she was entitled to a one-half interest in real property which our client owned jointly with her husband. Our KGG attorneys conducted significant discovery, and won the case on summary judgment prior to trial. That victory stood up when we defended it on appeal. In this case, we secured our client’s rights at the least possible cost.

KGG Defended a Parent in a Matter of Contested Guardianship

Our client’s son believed she was spending more money than she should, based on her decision to rent an apartment in an assisted living facility. In an attempt to secure the inheritance that he expected to receive, the son brought a proceeding to have himself appointed our client’s guardian. If granted, this guardianship would have given the son the power to determine where his mother would live, as well as the power to control her assets.

We defended this woman in the guardianship proceeding and successfully established that she had sufficient legal capacity to make her own decisions and to manage her own financial affairs. We also prepared a new will for her, disinheriting the son. Additionally, we were successful in having it admitted to probate after her death, over the son’s objections.

Estate Attorneys for Wills, Trusts and Probate Litigation

If you need help with wills and trusts, or if you have an issue related to estate law, the attorneys at KGG are here to help. Contact us by submitting an online form or call us toll-free at (800) 711-5258 for an appointment in Rockland County, NY or Bergen County, NJ. If you need to meet with us in the evening we can make an appointment that works with your schedule.