Bringing Legal Action Against a Trustee Because the Trust is Performing Poorly in the Market

HNW Elder Law, Will Contest and Probate Litigation

Who is Responsible When a Trust Shows Poor Economic Performance? Poor performance from trusts, coupled with today’s financial and accounting scandals, have fueled investor concerns over potential problems with stewardship by banks and other trustees. While the stock market is often a factor in poor performance, fiduciary negligence may also come into play and you may have reason to consider a trust challenge. A financial advisor and other interested persons should direct trust beneficiaries to an attorney who has no prior relationship in the trust and who can objectively review the trust’s performance, assessing whether the financial advisor has properly fulfilled its fiduciary obligations as a trustee of a family’s wealth. Trustee Performance Historically, trustees have been quasi-family members, picked …

Disputes as to Administration of the Estate

HNW Elder Law, Estate Administration and Probate

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey Estate and Probate Dispute Attorney Sometimes deputes occur concerning who will administer an estate. In such cases, when there is a dispute the decision rests in the court’s discretion, but several standards apply nonetheless. Where the decedent dies intestate (meaning without a last will), the statutes define the priority for the appointment of an administrator of the estate. N.J.S.A. § 3B:10-2 sets forth an order of priority for those eligible to receive letters of administration the statue reads: If any person dies intestate, administration of the intestate’s estate shall be granted to the surviving spouse of the intestate, if he or she will …

Disputes Regarding the Validity and Interpretation of Wills and Trusts

HNW Elder Law, Estate Administration and Probate

By Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq. of Hanlon Niemann & Wright, a Freehold Township, Monmouth County, New Jersey Will Contest and Probate Dispute Attorney Procedural Issues; Standing to Contest a Last Will or an Estate A party contesting a will must have standing to challenge the will. Generally, a contestant must be injured, or “aggrieved,” by the probate of the will he or she contests. R. 4:85-1. Someone who feels aggrieved economically has to have a direct interest in seeking to block the probate of a Last Will – (here’s an example, she or he would receive a greater share of the decedent’s assets if the will were not probated). The burden of proof is on the contestant to prove he …

Don’t Make These Five Common Trust Mistakes

HNW Elder Law, Will Contest and Probate Litigation

By: Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., a New Jersey Trust Lawyer   It’s easy for trustees to make mistakes.  Use this simple guide to avoid the common pitfalls. Trust administration often comes down to a few questions:  Who gets what?  Are there taxes and if so, how do you minimize taxes?  Who controls the trust?  It is easy for a family to confuse any one of the three, especially if you don’t have a professional trustee.  Here are the five most common mistakes and tips on how to avoid them. Faulty Records – Some trusts require trustees to provide regular accountings to the beneficiaries, not only the income beneficiaries, but also the family members who will receive the principal once the …

Attorney, Fredrick P. Niemann of Hanlon Niemann, Freehold, NJ Listed in Peer Review Rating

HNW Firm News

Fredrick P. Niemann, Esq., founding partner of Hanlon Niemann, has been listed by the prestigious Martindale-Hubbell as “peer review” rated for 2008. The peer review rating process evaluates lawyers in the U.S. and Canada and is based solely upon the comments, opinions and ratings of attorneys familiar with the nominated professionals.  A Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating attests to a lawyer’s legal ability and professional ethics and reflects the confidential opinions of the bar and the judiciary. Mr. Niemann was reflective when notified of the nomination.  “I work extremely hard for my clients as do all the members of the firm.  On behalf of my co-workers and professionals at the firm, we gratefully acknowledge this recognition.” Mr. Niemann’s work is primarily …

What is the elective share?

HNW Elder Law, Estate Administration and Probate, Will Contest and Probate Litigation

For more information about probate and estate administration, estate tax planning or estate/trust litigation, click here: If a spouse dies, then the surviving spouse may elect to take a one-third share of the deceased’s estate. This is called an elective share. Basically, a spouse can’t be disinherited. The surviving spouse has a right to the elective share. The only way that a surviving spouse can be completely disinherited is through a prenuptial agreement, where both spouses can agree to waive any claims to an elective share of each other’s respective estates. Your elective estate includes not only property in your name alone, but also most assets with beneficiary designations such as bank accounts, securities, IRA accounts, your interest in jointly-held …