Published on:

Petitioner Files Will Contest Due to Competency of Testator


Relative to the petition for probate, the guardian ad litem for the decedent crafted and negotiated the stipulation of settlement of estate was filed before the court for review. The factual circumstances of the case rooted from the time the decedent, a resident of New Hyde Park, Nassau County died on February 15, 2009 leaving a last willl and testament dated June 28, 2007. She was survived by 19 distributees including siblings and the children of four predeceased siblings.

The will leaves all the property in three equal shares, i.e. two to the decedents sisters and the third to the decedent’s niece without mention of the other surviving sister who suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease in whose favor the court appointed a guardian ad litem. Consequent thereto, the 15 distributees filed no objection to the will and preliminary letters issued to petitioner on May 19, 2009.

The will was contested as its execution which was not supervised by an attorney was made through a telephone call from the decedent’s niece herein mentioned and to which issues were raised concerning the competency of the testator at the time of the execution.

A New York Probate Lawyer said the will was objected to by the guardian ad litem and negotiated a settlement which was approved by the court. In consonance thereto, the court must fix the fee for the guardian ad litem which amount shall commensurate to the services rendered and which shall constitute a reasonable compensation therefor.

It is a settled rule in jurisprudence that in evaluating the legal services, the court considers the following: 1) the time spent; 2) the complexity of the questions involved; 3) the nature of the services provided; 4) the amount and complexity of litigation required; 5) the amounts involved and the benefit resulting from the execution of such services; 6) the lawyers experience and reputation; 7) the customary fee charged by the Br for similar services. Additionally, the value of the estate shall be taken into consideration in order to fix the reasonable compensation. Thus, a sizeable estate permits adequate compensation.

In the instant case, it was revealed that the guardian ad litem had devoted in excess of 41 hours for the purpose of protecting the interest of the ward who is a surviving heir of the decedent. Westchester County Probate Lawyers said these include but not limited to the extensive documentation concerning decedents financial records and health, communication with the ward’s children, communication with the decedent’s doctor, HIPAA authorizations and obtained and reviewed medical records conducted research regarding the valuation of decedent’s assets, negotiated and prepared the stipulations filed in court and preparation of the report. The herein guardian anticipated the time necessary for the compliance with the stipulations.

All told, the agreement being approved, the court ordered payment of the fee to the guardian ad litem in the amount of $17,000.00 which shall be paid within 30 days from the issuance of full letters of administration to the petitioner to be exacted from the general assets of the estate.

Verily, to calculate the expenses from the moment the decedent died up to the moment of distribution to the respective heir of their proportionate share, legal, administration, commission and expert fees are existent. Suffolk County Probate Lawyers said these matters shall be taken into consideration when the will is filed for probate before the court. Our New York Probate Lawyers knew how to avoid expensive litigations in court through speedy administration of justice without loosing the essence of protecting the interest of the beneficiaries. Here at Stephen Bilkis and Associates, the knowledge and quotient of intelligence of our New York Probate Lawyers would guarantee you that every point of the case is well taken care of. Thus, a non-expensive yet exhaustive intelligent defense and claims were adduced in Court leaving no room for questions without loosing the ties among the families.

Contact Information