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2280 East Avenue, Rochester, NY 14610

Estate & Trust Law 


Lawsuits dealing with Wills or Trusts, sometimes loosely known as Will contests, often involve the allegation of a serious breach of trust. These unique and difficult cases are most often resolved in the New York State Surrogate’s Court, the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, and the New York State Court of Appeals.


The first step to solving a complicated problem is a sound understanding of the problem. This is where we can help. We assist our clients from beginning to end, counseling them on the process and strategic and legal considerations so that they can select the best solution with careful attention to their goals and priorities.

We help our clients first to understand their cases in legal and practical terms, explaining their rights and options. During a careful investigation through the legal discovery process we wok closely with our clients to develop and hone a sound strategy grounded in the truth, the law and an abiding sense of fairness. We tell it like it is and diligently pursue your legal objectives. We keep the truth on our side. Surrogate’s Court is a court of equity, meaning that we must aim to not only prove your case but also show that you deserve to win. This is the art of Surrogate’s Court practice.


Who are our clients? People or institutions who want to see a trust or an estate fairly administered, to uncover wrongdoing, to unmask the untrustworthy:

  • General Counsel for the Estate or Trust. We collaborate with the lawyer for the estate or trust, handling all litigation so they can concentrate on managing the estate’s affairs.Why bring us in as trial counsel? When the lawyer who drafted the instrument in question represents the trust or estate, she may be effectively sidelined due to her status as a witness. Alternatively, general counsel may not wish to manage the litigation and the estate management duties at the same time.In our role as trial counsel, we work closely with general counsel who often possesses an extensive knowledge of the practice area and the particular issues to be determined by the Judge. The partnership is effective, productive and efficient. Bring us in at the first sign of a dispute; our most valuable work may be in setting the stage for a fight (or perhaps in avoiding a fight altogether).

  • Fiduciaries. We assist individual and institutional fiduciaries of an estate or trust (executors, administrators, trustees, attorneys-in-fact) to defend their actions on behalf of the estate or trust and to protect the decedent’s assets and final wishes from attack.

  • Beneficiaries. We also represent beneficiaries, legatees, distributees, heirs, and remaindermen to evaluate and vigorously prosecute bona fide claims against a trust or estate. We only accept clients with meritorious goals. We promise straight answers, hard work and wise counsel.

  • Claims by Creditors. Estates are juridical people with many of the legal rights and responsibilities of individuals. But claims by or against an estate or a trust must be made and defended in the proper manner and in the proper timeframes. Begin by learning your rights. We can help


Below are some of the more common issues we address:

  • Citations and Orders to Show Cause

  • Waivers

  • Petitions

  • Objections

  • Letters (Testamentary, Administration, Trusteeship, Guardianship)

  • Proceedings to Compel Production of a Will or Codicil

  • Trusts (Testamentary and Inter Vivos)

  • Concentration cases about prudent investing

  • Preliminary and Limited Letters

  • 1404 Examinations of Witnesses and Draftspersons

  • No contest or in terrorem clauses and safe harbor

  • Spousal election and prenuptial or antenuptial agreements

  • Abandonment Claims as a bar to inheritance

  • Exempt property

  • Discovery proceedings

  • Accounting Proceedings

  • Probate proceedings

  • Receipts and Releases

  • Decrees

  • Breach of Fiduciary Duty

  • Reformation Proceedings

  • Trust Decanting

  • Elder abuse

  • Power of Attorney Abuse

  • Fraud, Duress or Undue Influence

  • Testamentary Capacity

  • Due Execution and the Presumption

  • Summary Judgment

  • Rights of Adopted Children (including the ancient precautionary addendum)

  • Gifts

  • Claims by hospitals or nursing homes against survivors for unpaid medical services

  • Guardianship and Mental Hygiene Law Article 81 proceedings

  • Order to Show Cause Applications

  • Temporary Restraining Order Applications

  • Injunction Applications