Three siblings retained our firm to represent them with regard to winding up the affairs of their recently deceased mother, who died intestate (without a will) in Queens County. They indicated that they all had a strained relationship with their 4th sibling. The mother owned a two family home in Queens which needed to be sold.
We filed an Administration Petition in Surrogate’s Court Queens County. Pursuant to applicable law, each of the 4 siblings would inherit 25% of the estate assets, since their mother had been divorced and therefore the four children were her only Next of Kin. After serving the uncooperative sibling with a court issued Citation, she retained her own counsel and declared that a will for their mother had been located.
The purported Will devised and bequeathed one hundred percent of the assets to her. Additionally, this new will specifically disinherited the other 3 siblings. The will was allegedly prepared shortly before the mother’s death and was not prepared or executed under the supervision of an attorney. The clients were confident that the will was a forgery and a fraud.
Our firm immediately filed objections to the will. After months of depositions and discovery, a settlement was reached whereby all estate assets would be split equally among all 4 siblings, each to receive 25% of the estate assets. Therefore, we were successful in protecting our clients’ rights, and getting them what they were entitled to based on the absence of a legitimate will. A long, costly, and protracted trial was avoided thanks to both our estate and litigation teams working together.