Estate Litigation Lawyer in New Jersey

Unfortunately, arguments and disputes can sometimes arise in the administration of a trust or a probate estate. These disputes may occur among beneficiaries, between a trustee or other fiduciary and beneficiaries, or from third parties.

The Law Office of Tejas S. Kapadia has a record of successfully resolving these disputes using informal means or formal means. When litigation proves unavoidable, The Law Office of Tejas S. Kapadia have successfully prosecuted and defended their clients’ interests, both before the courts, mediation and in arbitration.

Our Trust And Estate Litigation Experience

The Law Office of Tejas S. Kapadia trust and estate litigation attorneys combine in-depth understanding of trust and estate law with substantial experience in litigation procedure and tactics. We provide a more expert, more efficient and more responsive approach. Whether it is probate or civil court, including appeals, our clients benefit from our experience in handling trust and estate litigation matters, in and out of the courtroom.

Our experience includes litigating trusts and probated disputes involving claims for breach of fiduciary duty, claims for beneficiary disputes, contested heirship, pretermitted and adopted heirs, disputed creditor claims, judicial construction and modification of wills and trusts, will and trust contests, will and trust validity, capacity, undue influence, contested powers of attorney, contested accounting, fraudulent transfers, partition actions, spousal right of election, wrongful death recovery, family and estate management disputes, conservatorships and guardianships, among other issues.

The Types of Probate Litigation

There are several grounds for contesting a decedent’s Last Will & Testament, including:

  1. Undue Influence – An undue influence claim challenges whether the person making the Will did so freely and without being coerced by a person who was in a position of trust and control.
  2. Lack of Testamentary Capacity – A lack of capacity claim is asserted based upon the belief that at the time the Will was executed the person making the Will did not have the requisite mental ability to understand a) the amount and nature of his property; b) the family members and loved ones who would ordinary receive such property; and c) how the Will disposes of such property.

The standard for “testamentary capacity” is not as high as general competency. A person need only understand the nature and extent of his assets and the natural objects of his bounty (his family). Lack of capacity can be the result of the natural aging process or the result of a person being on a substantial amount of medication, e.g. heavy morphine to treat end-stage cancer. Lack of capacity litigation relies on medical records and the irrational conduct of the testator prior to executing the Will.

In Addition to Will contests, probate litigation can involve

Sometimes Wills are vague; beneficiaries have died or disappeared; or the document does not properly dispose of the entire estate. In these instances, the assistance of the court is sought to determine how a decedent’s estate should be distributed.
Sometimes a decedent leaves no will and had little contact with his family. The heirs may need to be determined by the court. Sometimes, the decedent has formerly unacknowledged children who wish to prove paternity/maternity and make a claim in the estate.
The surviving spouse of a person who dies domiciled in New Jersey has the right to a share of the elective estate. In general terms, absent a valid pre-marital agreement, a surviving spouse has the right to claim 30% of the elective estate.
A person appointed by the court to administer a decedent’s estate has duties and responsibilities with which they are charged. Failure to properly administer an estate, either by overt act or by omission, can be actionable. Sometimes the remedy sought is removal of the fiduciary. When funds have been wasted or mismanaged or excessive fees have been taken, the remedy can be a surcharge action.
A fiduciary may be removed by the court for cause.
Beneficiaries have the right to an accounting. If one has not been provided, then a beneficiary may seek the court’s assistance to compel the fiduciary to account for the estate assets. If an accounting has been provided and is objectionable for any reason, then the beneficiary may object to the accounting.

Contact the Law Office of Tejas S. Kapadia today

We understand that if you are considering an attorney then your matter is of extreme importance. Our response will be prompt, discreet and with the care and understanding that you deserve. Schedule an appointment with our Estate Litigation attorney now.

Call (201) 632-1529 or complete our online contact form to schedule a consultation.


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