Cost-Effective, Caring Expertise
Our NJ firm’s estate attorneys focus on providing cost-conscious representation, advice, and other legal services with an emphasis on responsive accessibility. You can trust our team to be transparent, effective, and skilled in everything that we do, with a very client-centric approach that ensures your needs and expectations are always our first priority.
With extensive experience in end-of-life planning and administration, our legal team provides compassionate, skilled guidance to clients from all types of unique situations, life stages, and financial circumstances. Whether you are planning for the future or have experienced the death or disability of a loved one, please contact us so we can help you through this challenging process with respect and compassion.
Our firm’s estate attorneys handle all facets of probate litigation, including the defense of executors and trustees accused of breach of their fiduciary duties and challenges to Wills based on undue influence, lack of competence, or improper execution. Our probate litigators understand that legal actions among family members over the validity, interpretation and administration of a love one’s Will or trust can tear families apart and cause deep emotional distress. We employ early negotiation and mediation when those approaches are best calculated to achieve our clients’ objectives, and we litigate aggressively where the facts and circumstances warrant such a strategy. We listen, and we implement probate litigation plans that are customized around our clients’ goals and objectives.
Many estates and some probate cases involve assets that do not pass according to the terms of a Will at all. Such non-probate assets include joint bank and brokerage accounts, pay-on-death (POD) accounts, transfer-on-death (TOD) securities, annuities and tax-deferred retirement accounts, including 401(k) plans and IRAs. The disposition of non-probate assets according to a formula that differs from the Will can result in disputes among beneficiaries, and those disputes breed litigation. Our firm’s probate attorneys pay careful attention to the effects of non-probate assets when formulating clients’ estate plans, and they have considerable experience successfully litigating those issues when they arise.
Attorneys’ fees are often a significant factor in trust and estate litigation, and probate cases are one of the few areas of the law where New Jersey’s statutes and court rules permit a client to obtain reimbursement of his individual attorneys’ fees. Attorneys’ fees awards are common in probate litigation involving undue influence or lack of competence, but they are seldom awarded in cases where the primary issue involves whether non-probate assets should have been distributed according to the Will. Our probate litigators are knowledgeable in this unique area of the law, and they leverage that knowledge to obtain successful outcomes.