Making the job of Executor, Administrator, Trustee and Probate easy for you
Whether you are a fiduciary or beneficiary, we can help you
Exclusive focus on probate, estates & trusts · 20+ years of experience · Various retainer options available
Phone: (631) 425-7299
- No money upfront
- No monthly bills
- Legal fees paid from the inheritance
- If your loved one passed away and you have no liquid funds,
we can help you
- If the decedent died in New York or has assets in New York State,
we can help you
Long Island Estate Litigation Attorney
In the aftermath of the death of a loved one, the emotional challenges you face can make dealing with the complexities of his/her estate an overwhelming process. If your loved one clearly laid out his or her intentions in a valid document, the administration of the estate should proceed without significant complications. There are, however, a variety of circumstances that can delay the process and may even result in conflict and litigation. Long Island estate litigation attorney Bonnie Lawston has the skill, knowledge and experience to help you effective resolve these important personal and financial matters.
Experienced Estate Litigation Lawyer on Long Island
The administration of an estate can be challenged for a myriad of reasons. Heirs or other parties may believe their rights have been compromised or ignored. A fiduciary or trustee may engage in questionable acts. A spouse can seek to exercise his or her right of election. These are not, however, matters to try to handle on your own. If you are pursuing a claim or need to defend an action filed by another party, it is crucial to have experienced legal guidance to protect your rights and ensure that you receive what is rightfully yours.
With more than 20 years of experience, attorney Bonnie Lawston knows the emotional and financial difficulties you can encounter in estate litigation. We have successfully represented clients in a broad range of estate matters, from the disputes over the administration of a trust or estate to claims involving the validity of a will or trust. Whenever possible, we work with clients to find mutually beneficial solutions. Nonetheless, when necessary, we will aggressively protect your interests in court.
At the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston, we are proud of the decades of experience we have handling estate litigation. Because of our experience, we recognize the frustration you can feel when the probate process drags on, and take a highly personalized approach to estate litigation, carefully guiding you through the process. We have personally handled a broad range of estate disputes, as well as a wide array of estate proceedings, including jury and non-jury trials in will and trust contests, accounting proceedings and all other estate litigation matters.
We offer sound counsel on all types of estate controversies, including:
- Wills / Trust Contests—A will may be challenged or contested under a variety of circumstances. It may have been improperly executed, or it may be shown that the testator was senile, delusional or of unsound mind at the time the will was written and signed. It may be alleged that the person executing the will was under undue influence from an interested party, or was the victim of fraud.
- Contested Powers of Attorney—A power of attorney gives another party legal authority to make decisions for you. It carries risk as well as benefit. If it is abused, a power of attorney can cause serious problems with an estate, such as self dealing, embezzlement and other types of mishandling of funds.
- Spousal Right of Election—Under New York law, regardless of what a will says, a spouse has the right to an elective share, defined as the great of $50,000 or 1/3 of the estate.
- Contested Accounting / Breach of Fiduciary Duty— Attorney Lawston represents either party in disputes involving an alleged breach of fiduciary duty, including contested accountings.
- Fraudulent Transfers—Unfortunately, there are far too many instances where a person gives away property shortly before death, under circumstances where the donor’s mental capacity was either compromised or unclear. Attorney Lawston handles claims where a caregiver, family member or other person has exerted undue influence on another when they were ill, or in a weakened state, either physically or mentally. She can also review transfers of property, bank accounts or other assets made by a decedent during the final months, weeks or days of their lives, and determine whether there are grounds for legal action.
- Real Estate Partition Actions—If there is jointly owned real property in the estate, a partition action may be necessary to fairly divide it among the beneficiaries. Attorney Lawston has the knowledge and experience to protect your rights in a real estate partition action.
- Protection of Will or Trust Beneficiaries—If you have not received what was due to you under an estate because the document was negligently or poorly prepared, attorney Lawston can help.
- Will and Trust Construction—If a will or trust was poorly drafted, you may experience substantial difficulty in the administration of the estate. Attorney Lawston represents individuals in actions involving negligence in will or trust construction.
- Trust Reformation—If a trust was supposed to accomplish a certain objective, such as tax avoidance, and it does not, you may have a claim for damages. Attorney Lawston can provide the guidance you need.
- Wrongful Death Recovery—When the death of a loved one results from the negligence of another person, some of the damages obtained in a personal injury action will be paid into the estate of the deceased. Attorney Lawston can help make certain that this compensation is distributed according to the decedent’s wishes.
- Living Wills and Health Proxies—It is critical that you prepare for the possibility that you may not be able to make your own medical decisions. A living will can specify that you won’t be kept alive by artificial means. A health proxy can name a person to make your decisions for you. When there are disputes regarding a living will or health proxy, attorney Lawston can help you find solutions.
- Trusts—Trusts do not run themselves. A trustee is appointed to act on behalf of the beneficiaries. When there are questions about whether the trustee has complied with trust language, or has otherwise violated the terms of the trust, attorney Lawston can help.
- Guardianship—An estate planning document may name a guardian, either for minor children or for an incapacitated adult. If there are disputes about who the guardian shall be, or about the capacity of the guardian, attorney Lawston can help you resolve the matter.
- Accounting—As a part of the administration of a trust or estate, you want a full accounting of not only the assets and liabilities of the state, but the management of the estate or trust for the beneficiaries. Attorney Lawston can help you obtain an accurate and full accounting.
- Estate Planning for Same Sex Couples—Under the new laws of New York, the surviving spouse in a same sex marriage now has the same rights with regard to inheritance as a surviving spouse in a heterosexual marriage. Attorney Lawston can help you update your estate planning, and can help you resolve any disputes that may arise in the administration of an estate.
” “I have known Bonnie Lawston for many years and have called upon her legal expertise on numerous occasions. Ms. Lawston is always well prepared, extremely knowledgeable, tenacious, thorough and sensitive to our needs. I get personal attention every step of the way, which is comforting and reassuring in these hectic and sometimes stressful times. Ms. Lawston has handled many transactions for me, both professionally and personally. . Bonnie Lawston has been an especially valuable resource on matters dealing with estate and trust administration, related estate matters of all kinds, as well as proactive estate planning, real estate, and business transactions of various kinds while putting the client’s interest first.” Read More
We represent clients nationwide, if you are a fiduciary (executor, administrator, or trustee) an heir or beneficiary of a New York estate. If the decedent died in New York or has assets in New York State, we can help you. If you are chosen to represent the estate or if you are receiving an inheritance from a New York estate, contact our law firm today.
There are Two Types of New York Estates
- The Decedent resided in NY at the time of death and their domicile is New York at the time of death; or
- There are assets located in NY, at the time of death, and an ancillary proceeding is needed. The Decedent may have died elsewhere.
Trust an Experienced Estate Planning Lawyer
When disputing an estate matter, you must pay close attention to the time constraints for filing legal action. If you fail to challenge a will or trust, or its administration, within the statutory period, you can lose your rights. You must, therefore, contact an experienced attorney as soon as possible. Bonnie Lawston has successfully handled estate matters for clients on Long Island for more than two decades. She works with clients across Long Island, including Melville, Huntington, Syosset, Sag Harbor, Garden City, Mineola, Bayshore, Dix Hills, Oyster Bay, Belle Terre, East Norwich, Muttontown, Cold Spring Harbor, Huntington Bay, Lloyd Harbor, Pt. Jefferson, Pt. Washington, Glen Head, Glen Cover, Bayville, South Hampton and Hampton Bays.
Contact a New York Estate & Trust Administration Attorney
If you have concerns about the outcome of an estate administration, or believe that your rights have been compromised in an estate matter, we can help. Contact Long Island estate planning attorney Bonnie Lawston online or call our office at 631-425-7299 to set up a free initial consultation.
Bonnie Lawston dedicates her practice to making the job of the Executor, Administrator, Trustee and Probate or Administration process easy for you. Whether you are a fiduciary, beneficiary or heir, we can help you, protect your interests and maximize your inheritance. For more information, contact the Law Office of Bonnie Lawston at (631) 425-7299 for a free consultation.