Surrogate’s Court Litigation

Frank W. Streng, Surrogate’s Court Lawyers

The McCarthy Fingar Team

McCarthy Fingar is one of the leading trusts and estates litigation firms in White Plains and throughout the New York metro region. Supplemented by the expertise of our Trusts & Estates, Commercial Litigation and Appellate Practice groups, our lawyers represent clients in litigation matters before the New York Surrogate’s Court and the New York Supreme Court. We represent fiduciaries (executors, trustees and guardians) and actual or prospective beneficiaries of estates and trusts in a variety of contested proceedings, including Will & Trust Contests; Property Turnover Proceedings; Fiduciary Removal Proceedings; Contested Accountings; Spousal Rights Proceedings; Kinship Proceedings; and Will or Trust Construction Proceedings.

The McCarthy Fingar Approach in Surrogate’s Court Litigation

McCarthy Fingar’s Surrogate’s Court Litigation lawyers bring their many years of experience on the best way to handle a matter in the Surrogate’s Court. They know that litigation in Surrogate’s Court is very different than litigation in the Supreme Court, since the Surrogate’s Court is a specialty court that require litigants to understand trusts and estates law. They also know that litigation is labor intensive and requires the development of a strategy and plan in order to achieve the client’s objective.

Trials and Settlements in Estate & Trust Cases

The lawyers in McCarthy Fingar’s White Plains office are often called upon to serve as trial counsel in Westchester County and beyond in the most complex estates and trusts. However, in the Surrogate’s Court, the court and its personnel often encourage clients to settle their disputes without a trial. A settlement before trial is reached only after careful consideration of the important economic and tax consequences of such settlements.

Contact Us

McCarthy Fingar’s Trust and Estates litigators are dedicated to our clients’ success. If you think you may require our assistance or have any questions, please contact Frank W. Streng by email (fstreng@mccarthyfingar.com) or by phone (914-385-1022) or Gail M. Boggio by email (gboggio@mccarthyfingar.com) or phone (914-385-1026).

06/19/2020

Kutzin Named as Co-Chair of NYSBA Task Force on Remote Notarization and Witnessing of Estate Planning Documents

Michael S. Kutzin

During the COVID-19 health care crisis, McCarthy Fingar lawyers have remotely supervised the execution of many Wills, Trust Agreements and related documents. We are pleased to announce that Michael S. Kutzin, a member of various groups, including our Guardianship Practice, Trusts & Estates and Surrogate’s Court Litigation groups, has been named as a co-Chair of the NYSBA Joint Elder Law and Trusts & Estates Sections Task Force on Remote Notarization and Remote Witnessing of Estate Planning documents.

06/18/2020

Kutzin Wins Appeal on Guardianship Matter Involving Dispute Between Divorced Parents

Michael S. Kutzin

McCarthy Fingar lawyers represent clients in the most difficult guardianship cases. In Matter of A.A. v. A., 2020 NY Slip Op 03468 (1st Dep’t 2020)Michael S. Kutzin, a partner of the firm whose areas of concentration include guardianship and trusts & estates, represented, on a pro bono basis, the mother of an incapacitated child in an appeal to the Appellate Division, First Department, of a lower court decision in which, after a divorce, the mother had been named the guardian for her daughter, J.A. Michael succeeded in having the father’s appeal denied on the grounds that the lower court had properly exercised its discretion in naming the mother as guardian and that he had no independent right to have his adult child brought to a physician of his choice to prove his case.

05/28/2020

Rosh Wins Summary Judgment on Contest of Will and Revocable Trust

Howell Bramson Robert H. Rosh

McCarthy Fingar’s Surrogate’s Court Litigation lawyers represent clients in Will and Trust Contests. In Matter of Burrows (Surr. Ct., Herkimer County 2020), Robert H. Rosh and Howell Bramson, representing the decedent’s surviving spouse and the decedent’s financial advisor, won a summary judgment motion, upholding the decedent’s Will and his separate Revocable Trust Agreement. Here, Robert demonstrated, through voluminous documentary and testimonial evidence, that the decedent was cognitively alert, oriented, and otherwise fit and able to execute the disputed instruments, and that the instruments were not the product of undue influence or duress.

02/01/2020

Michael S. Kutzin Joins Firm as Partner

Michael S. Kutzin

We are pleased to announce that Michael S. Kutzin has joined the firm as a partner and is a member of our Guardianship Practice, Trusts & EstatesSurrogate’s Court LitigationAppellate PracticeExempt OrganizationsTaxation and Charitable Gift Planning groups. Michael joins McCarthy Fingar from Goldfarb Abrandt Salzman & Kutzin LLP, where he had been a partner for 17 years. Michael has extensive experience with all forms of Surrogate’s Court and Guardianship proceedings, from the most routine to the most complex and contentious. He has appeared in Westchester matters for years, as well as Surrogate’s Court and Guardianship cases in New York City.

10/01/2019

McCarthy Fingar’s “Super Lawyers”

Frank W. Streng Gail M. Boggio Douglas S. Trokie James K. Landau

Six of our lawyers have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Gail M. Boggio has again been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation/Estate Planning & Probate/Elder Law. Kathleen Donelli has again been selected in the field of Family Law. Dolores Gebhardt has again been selected in the field of Family Law. James K. Landau has again been selected in the fields of Commercial Litigation and Appellate, and has again been selected for the Top 25 in Westchester County for Super LawyersFrank W. Streng has again been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation and Estate Planning & Probate. Douglas S. Trokie has again been selected in the fields of Business/Corporate, Closely Held Business, Real Estate, Business and Civil Litigation. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have been recognized by their colleagues as having the highest degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

08/01/2019

Boggio & Bramson Named in List of Westchester’s Top Lawyers

Gail M. Boggio Howell Bramson

McCarthy Fingar is pleased to announce that 914INC. has named Gail M. Boggio and Howell Bramson to their list of 91 Top Lawyers in Westchester. Each year 914INC. publishes their list of Westchester’s Leading Lawyers, excerpted from BL Rankings LLC list of Best Lawyers in America, the preeminent referral guide to the legal profession in the United States. Gail was named in the area of Trusts and Estates Litigation, and Howell was named in the area of Tax Law.

04/03/2019

Boggio Moderates CLE Program at Westchester Surrogate’s Court on Mediation

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio, who co-chairs our Trusts & Estates and Surrogate’s Court Litigation groups, was the moderator of a program held at the Westchester Surrogate’s Court in White Plains, entitled, “Mediation in the Surrogate’s Court”. The program was co-sponsored by the Westchester County Surrogate’s Court and the Westchester County Bar Association‘s Trusts & Estates Section. The speakers at the program included Judge Brandon R. Sall, the Surrogate of Westchester County, various attorneys at the Surrogate’s Court and other attorneys in private practice.

02/06/2019

Boggio Speaks on Estate Planning Issues

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio, who co-chairs our Trusts & Estates and Surrogate’s Court Litigation groups, spoke at a program sponsored by Westchester County Bar Association‘s Trusts & Estates Section, entitled “Heckerling 2019 Review”.  This was a review of the January 2019 program given by the University of Miami School of Law, Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning. The Heckerling Institute on Estate Planning is the leading educational conference for estate planners. Heckerling offers practical guidance on today’s most important tax and non-tax planning issues, including the planning challenges and opportunities presented by the 2017 Tax Act and provides attendees the opportunity to expand their estate planning expertise. 

02/04/2019

Felsenfeld Joins Firm as an Associate Attorney

We are pleased to announce that Natalie S. Felsenfeld has joined our firm as an associate attorney. Natalie is a member of our Trusts & EstatesCharitable Gift PlanningExempt OrganizationsTaxation and Surrogate’s Court Litigation groups.

03/12/2018

Nimetz Joins Firm as Associate Attorney

Irma K. Nimetz

We are pleased to announce that Irma K. Nimetz has joined the firm as an associate attorney and is a member of our Appellate PracticeCommercial Litigation and Surrogate’s Court Litigation groups.  Prior to joining McCarthy Fingar, Irma was an attorney with the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where she received the Louis J. Lefkowitz Memorial Award for outstanding performance by an Assistant Attorney General. Irma has experience handling governmental investigations against individuals, businesses and not-for-profit organizations, as well as defending actions and Article 78 proceedings brought against the State of New York and its agencies.

02/08/2018

Boggio & Streng Speak on Estate Planning & Will Drafting

Frank W. Streng Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio, who co-chairs our Trusts & Estates and Surrogate’s Court Litigation groups, and Frank W. Streng, who co-chairs our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, participated in a program in Mt. Kisco, New York, entitled “Estate Planning & Will Drafting” for the Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. Gail was the moderator for the program and spoke on Digital Assets in estate planning; Frank spoke on Ethical Considerations.

04/28/2015

Streng Speaks on Ethical Issues for Museum of Natural History

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who co-chairs our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, lectured in Manhattan on “Ethical Issues for Trusts & Estates Lawyers” on April 28, 2015 for the American Museum of Natural History.

04/16/2015

Boggio Speaks on Estate Planning with Revocable Trusts for WWBA

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio, who co-chairs our Trusts & Estates and Surrogate’s Court Litigation groups, spoke on April 16, 2015 on “Estate Planning with the Revocable Trust” for the Westchester Women’s Bar Association (Trusts & Estates and New Lawyer Committees). 

03/25/2015

Streng Lectures on Ethical Issues for Trusts & Estates Lawyers in Yorktown

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who co-chairs our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, lectured in Yorktown, New York on “Ethical Issues for Trusts & Estates Lawyers” on March 25, 2015 for the Yorktown Bar Association.

01/28/2015

Boggio Elected to Executive Committee of Trusts & Estates Law Section of NYSBA

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio, who co-chairs our Trusts & EstatesTax and Surrogate’s Court Litigation groups, was elected to the Executive Committee of the Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. Gail serves as Vice Chair of the Continuation Legal Education Committee.

01/28/2015

Streng is Program Chair for NYSBA Trusts & Estates Law Section’s Annual Program

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who chairs our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, was the program chair for the annual CLE program held in Manhattan for the Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The program, attended by about 600 lawyers, was entitled, “Revocable Trusts: Administration & Litigation in New York.”  Frank was also part of the panel discussion at the program, entitled: “A Model for Litigating Revocable Trusts in New York.”

11/05/2014

Streng is State-Wide Chair of NYSBA CLE on Probate & Administration of Estates

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who chairs our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, was a state-wide moderator of a program entitled “Probate & Administration of Estates” for the Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The program was offered in seven locations: Albany [12/12/14], Buffalo [11/5/14], Manhattan [11/19/14], Long Island [12/8/14], Rochester [11/7/14], Syracuse [11/21/14] and Westchester [11/18/14]).

10/01/2014

Boggio, Bramson, Brophy, Donelli, Gebhardt, Miller & Streng Selected as Super Lawyers

Frank W. Streng Gail M. Boggio Howell Bramson Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Seven of our lawyers have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Gail M. Boggio has again been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation/Estate Planning & Probate/Elder Law. Howell Bramson has again been selected in the fields of Estate Planning/Tax and Corporate Business. Joseph Brophy has again been selected in the fields of Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice, General, Estate & Trust Litigation. Kathleen Donelli has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Dolores Gebhardt has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Judge Sondra Miller has again been selected in the fields of Appellate/Family Law. Frank W. Streng has been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation and Estate Planning & Probate. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have been recognized by their colleagues as having the highest degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

06/11/2014

Streng is a State-Wide Chair of CLE Program on Discovery Proceedings in Surrogate’s Court and Will Lecture in Multiple Locations

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who chairs our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, was a state-wide moderator of a program entitled “Discovery Proceedings in Surrogate’s Court” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The program was offered in seven locations: Albany [5/29/14], Buffalo [5/30/14], Manhattan [6/11/14], Long Island [5/30/14], Rochester [6/5/14], Syracuse [5/29/14] and Westchester [6/5/14). Frank lectured at three locations (Albany, Manhattan and Westchester) on the portion of the program entitled, “Turnover Phase, Discovery and Trial”.

05/15/2014

Streng is a State-Wide Chair of NYSBA Election Law Program

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who chairs our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, was a state-wide co-chair of a program entitled “The Path to Victory: Representing a Candidate under New York’s Election Law” for the New York State Bar Association. The program was offered in three locations: Albany [4/25/14],

Manhattan [4/30/14] and Westchester [5/15/14]). Frank was the moderator for the Westchester program.

12/10/2013

Boggio Lectures on Estate Planning & Family Wealth Transfers

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio, a member of our Trusts & Estates and Tax groups, lectured on December 10, 2013 on “Estate Planning and Family Wealth Transfers” for the Richmond County Bar Association (Surrogate’s Court Committee).

10/31/2013

Streng Co-Chairs NYSBA Program “Introduction to Estate Planning”

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who chairs our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, was a state-wide moderator of a program entitled “Introduction to Estate Planning” for the Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The program was offered in seven locations: Albany [10/30/13], Buffalo [10/29/13], Manhattan [10/30/13], Long Island [10/31/13], Rochester [10/28/13], Syracuse [10/31/13] and Westchester [10/29/13]).

10/01/2013

Boggio, Bramson, Brophy, Donelli, Gebhardt & Miller Selected as Super Lawyers

Gail M. Boggio Howell Bramson Hon. Sondra M. Miller

Six of our lawyers have been selected Super Lawyers in the New York Metropolitan area. Gail M. Boggio has been selected in the fields of Estate & Trust Litigation/Estate Planning & Probate/Elder Law. Howell Bramson has again been selected in the fields of Estate Planning/Tax and Corporate Business. Joseph Brophy has again been selected in the fields of Personal Injury/Medical Malpractice, General, Estate & Trust Litigation. Kathleen Donelli has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Dolores Gebhardt has again been selected in the fields of Family Law/Collaborative Law/Appellate. Judge Sondra Miller has again been selected in the fields of Appellate/Family Law. Super Lawyers is a listing of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have been recognized by their colleagues as having the highest degree of peer recognition and professional achievement.

06/20/2013

Boggio Lectures on Litigation on Revocable Trusts

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio, a member of our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, lectured on “Revocable Trusts – The Will Substitute, Part II – Litigation” for the Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section). The program discussed issues and options in attacking or defending a revocable trust, such as standing, jurisdiction, venue and statutes of limitations. Click at Outline to see seminar outline.

05/30/2013

Streng Co-Chairs NYSBA Program on Contested Accounting Proceedings in Surrogate’s Court

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who chairs our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, was a state-wide moderator of a program entitled “Contested Accounting Proceedings in Surrogate’s Court” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The program was offered in six locations (Albany [5/14/13], Manhattan [5/30/13], Long Island [5/15/13], Rochester [5/15/13], Syracuse [5/30/13] and Westchester [5/29/13]).

04/05/2013

Streng Co-Hosts Radio Show & Interviews Mayor Noam Bramson

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who chairs our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, co-hosted a radio show on April 5th, from 1 – 2 pm, with Shari Gordon, on WVOX AM Radio (1460) (New Rochelle, NY), called “First Friday”. Frank participated in an interview of New Rochelle Mayor, Noam Bramson, on among other subjects, Mayor Bramson’s candidacy for County Executive for Westchester County.

12/11/2012

Streng Co-Chairs NYSBA Program on Probate & Administration of Estates

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who chairs our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, wa a state-wide moderator of a program entitled “Probate and Administration of Estates” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The program was offered in seven locations: (Albany [12/3/12], Buffalo [12/11/12], Manhattan [12/10/12], Long Island [12/4/12], Rochester [12/5/12], Syracuse [12/10/12] and Westchester [12/10/12]).

11/02/2012

Streng in the News, Again, on his Nissan Leaf

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who chairs our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, continues to be in the news on his Nissan Leaf electric car. Previously, Frank was interviewed by News 12 Westchester as the first owner of the Nissan Leaf in Westchester. This time, Frank was interviewed by the New York Times on how he faired with his Leaf during Sandy, when he had no power at his home to charge his car. As the Time reports: “With no power (or generator) at home, Mr. Streng has been using a public charger at the White Plains train station, a couple of blocks from his office. ‘I’m now using that as a primary energy source,’ Mr. Streng said. ‘It’s my third day in a row doing it. It’s worked out fine.’”

09/07/2012

Streng Co-Hosts Radio Show

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who chairs our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, co-hosted a radio show on September 7th, from 1 – 2 pm, with Shari Gordon, on WVOX AM Radio (1460) (New Rochelle, NY), called “First Friday”. The topic of the program was the 2012 Presidential Election.

06/18/2012

Streng Moderates & Participates in CLE Program on Litigation on Powers of Attorney

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who chairs our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, was the moderator of a CLE program in White Plains, New York on June 18, 2012 for the Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section), entitled, “Power of Attorney: Practice and Litigation in Guardianship Court”. In addition to participating in a panel discussion on litigation issues and strategies, Frank conducted a mock interview of a client with legal exposure on actions taken as an agent under power of attorney forms.

06/12/2012

Streng Chairs & Moderates at NYSBA Program on Litigation on Powers of Attorney

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who heads our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, was the chair and moderator of a program entitled “Power of Attorney: Practice and Litigation under the New Law” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The program, which was offered as a “web cast”, took place in Manhattan on June 12, 2012.

03/14/2012

Streng Interviewed by Sierra Club on Electric Car

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who heads our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, continues to enjoy his “celebrity” status in purchasing the first pure electric car in Westchester County. Frank was interviewed by the Sierra Club.

01/25/2012

Streng Elected Chair of NYSBA’s Trusts & Estates Section’s CLE Committee

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng, who chairs our Surrogate’s Court Litigation  group and co-chairs our Trusts & Estates group, was reelected to the Executive Committee of the Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association and Chairs the section’s Continuing Legal Education committee.

10/28/2011

Boggio Elected to Executive Commitee of WCBA’s Trusts & Estates Section

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio, a member of our Charitable Gift Planning, Exempt Organizations, Surrogate’s Court Litigation, Taxation and Trusts & Estates groups, was elected to the Executive Committee of the Trusts & Estates Section of the Westchester County Bar Association on October 28, 2011.

10/24/2011

Streng is a State-Wide Moderator of NYSBA Program on “Introduction to Estate Planning”

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng is a state-wide moderator of a program entitled “Introduction to Estate Planning” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The program is offered in seven locations (Albany [10/24/11], Buffalo [10/26/11], Manhattan [10/24/11], Long Island [10/25/11], Rochester [10/25/11], Syracuse [10/24/11] and Westchester [10/27/11]).

09/21/2011

Streng & Boggio Lecture on Property Turnover Proceedings in Surrogate’s Court

Frank W. Streng Gail M. Boggio

Frank W. Streng and Gail M. Boggio, both members of our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, lectured in White Plains, New York on September 21, 2011 for the Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section) on “Everything you Wanted to Know about Property Turnover Proceedings in the Surrogate’s Court.” Frank was also the moderator for the program and the mock examination at the program. Click at examination to see Frank’s presentation and his “topical” examination, used for the mock examination. Click at nuts & bolts to see Gail’s outline for her presentation.

07/19/2011

Streng Lectures on Ethical Issues for Trusts & Estates Lawyers

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured in Manhattan on July 19, 2011 on “Ethics for Trusts and Estates Lawyers” for the Continuing Legal Education Section of the New York State Bar Association, as part of a program entitled, “Bridging the Gap 2 – Making a Smooth Transition.” Click at download to see Frank’s seminar outline.

06/15/2011

Boggio, Donelli & Gebhardt Elected Directors of Women’s Bar Association of State of New York

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio, Kathleen Donelli and Dolores Gebhardt were elected and then sworn in as directors of the Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York.

06/02/2011

Streng Helps Plans Estate Litigation Seminar for NYSBA and Lectures on Property Turnover Proceedings in the Surrogate’s Court

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was on the Program Planning Commitee of a program entitled “Estate Litigation” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The program was offered in seven locations (Albany [6/2/11], Buffalo [6/1/11], Manhattan [6/9/11], Melville [5/17/11], Rochester [5/24/11], Syracuse [5/19/11] and Tarrytown [6/3/11]. Frank lectured in Albany on “Property Turnover Proceedings in the Surrogate’s Court” and authored an outline for the program entitled, “Ethics for Trusts and Estates Lawyers.”

05/25/2011

Boggio Appointed as Court Examiner for Article 81 Guardianship Proceedings

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio has been appointed as an Article 81 Court Examiner for Westchester County by Gail Prudenti, the Presiding Justice in the Appellate Division, Second Department. Prior to her appointment as Court Examiner, Gail, who is also a certified public accountant, satisfied various training and educational requirements established by Justice Prudenti. As Court Examiner, Gail’s duties include examining the reports of guardians to ascertain whether such guardians have timely filed reports and accountings as required by Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law.  As Court Examiner, Gail must also certify whether such guardians have satisfied their statutory duties and the provisions of the court order appointing them.

03/08/2011

Streng Lectures on Ethical Issues for Trusts and Estates Lawyers

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured in Manhattan on March 8, 2011 on “Ethics for Trusts and Estates Lawyers” for the Continuing Legal Education Section of the New York State Bar Association, as part of a program entitled, “Bridging the Gap 1 – Making a Smooth Transition.”  Click at Outline for Frank’s coursebook materials.

10/19/2010

Streng is a State-Wide Moderator of NYSBA Program for Trusts & Estates Lawyers

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was a state-wide moderator of a program entitled “Practical Skills: Probate & Administration of Estates” for the Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The program was offered in seven locations (Albany [10/19/10], Buffalo [10/20/10], Manhattan [10/19/10], Long Island [10/20/10], Rochester [10/19/10], Syracuse [10/20/10] and Westchester [10/21/10]). Frank was also one of the contributing authors of educational materials for the program, and submitted an outline entitled, “Ethical Issues for Trusts and Estate Lawyers.”

06/23/2010

Streng is a State-Wide Moderator of an Election Law Program for NYSBA

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was a state-wide moderator of a program entitled “Everything you Wanted to Know about Representing a Political Candidate (. . . but was afraid to ask)” for the New York State Bar Association. The program was offered in six locations (Albany [6/22/10], Buffalo [6/23/10], Manhattan [6/24/10], Long Island [6/23/10], Syracuse [6/24/10] and Westchester [6/18/10]).

06/20/2010

Streng is a State-Wide Moderator of a Trusts and Estates Program for NYSBA

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was a state-wide moderator of a program entitled “Estate Planning after Divorce” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The program was offered in seven locations (Albany [6/20/10], Buffalo [5/20/10], Manhattan [6/9/10], Long Island [5/26/10], Rochester [6/9/10], Syracuse [5/6/10] and Westchester [5/7/10]).

06/07/2010

Streng Lectures on Fiduciary Litigation for WCBA

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured in Yonkers, New York on June 7, 2010 for the Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section) on “Select Issues in Fiduciary Litigation.”  For lecture materials, click on Seminar Outline.

05/14/2010

Streng Authors Seminar Outline for New York State Bar Association Program

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was a coursebook author on “Ethics for Trusts and Estates Lawyers”, as part of a program offered in Chicago, Illinois on May 14, 2010 through May 15, 2010 by the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, entitled, “Maintaining Rational Relations: Advising the Family, the Fiduciary, and the Drafter.” Frank’s coursebook materials were used at this program by numerous Surrogates as part of their presentation on different ethical and court-mediation topics. Click at Outline for Frank’s coursebook materials.

11/20/2009

Streng is a State-Wide Moderator of NYSBA Program on Contested Accountings

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was a state-wide moderator of a program entitled “Contested Accounting Proceedings in Surrogate’s Court” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The program was offered in seven locations (Latham (Albany) [12/3/09], Amherst (Buffalo) [11/17/09], Manhattan [12/10/09], Melville (Long Island)[12/8/09], Rochester [12/11/09], Syracuse [12/1/09] and Tarrytown (Westchester)[11/20/09]. Frank also participated in the Tarrytown session, where he lectured on the preparation of an estate and trust accounting.

10/20/2009

Streng is a State-Wide Moderator of NYSBA Program on Estate Planning

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was a state-wide moderator of a program entitled “Introduction to Estate Planning” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The program is offered in seven locations (Albany [10/20/09], Buffalo [10/20/09], Manhattan [10/19/09], Melville [10/20/09], Rochester [10/20/09], Syracuse [10/20/09] and Tarrytown [10/20/09]).

06/12/2009

Streng is State-Wide Moderator of NYSBA Program on Estate Planning

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was a state-wide moderator of a program entitled “Everything You Wanted to Know About Estate Planning for the Middle Class Client (But Were Afraid To Ask)” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. The program was offered in seven locations (Albany [5/20/09], Buffalo [5/27/09], Manhattan [6/9/09], Melville [5/30/09], Rochester [6/3/09], Syracuse [5/14/09] and White Plains [6/12/09]). Frank was also a course book author of the program materials for this program, entitled “Ethical Issues for Trusts and Estates Lawyers.” Click on Seminar Outline for his course book materials.

06/01/2009

Streng Lectures on Ethical Issues in Estates and Trusts Litigation

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured in White Plains, New York on June 1, 2009 for the Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section) on “Ethical Issues in Estates and Trusts Litigation.” For lecture materials, click on Seminar Outline.

10/23/2008

Streng is Moderator of NYSBA Program on Probate and Administration of Estates

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was the moderator of an all-day program in Mount Kisco, New York on October 23, 2008 entitled “Practical Skills: Probate and Adminstration of Estates” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

10/23/2008

Boggio Lectures for NYSBA on Estate Administration Issues

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio lectured on “Preparing for Estate Administration” and “Alternative Forms of Letters” as part of an all-day program in Mount Kisco, New York on October 23, 2008 entitled “Practical Skills: Probate and Adminstration of Estates” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

10/07/2008

Streng Participates in Mock Examination in Will Contest for Calvary Hospital CLE Program

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng participated in a mock examination of an attorney draftsperson in a prospective will contest in Manhattan on October 7, 2008 in a program sponsored by Calvary Hospital entitled “Ethics For Breakfast: ‘Who Is Your Client?’ — Ethical Considerations When Representing Multiple Parties in Estate Proceedings”.

06/12/2008

Streng Lectures in Discovery in Surrogate’s Court Litigation

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng presented in White Plains, New York on June 12, 2008 for the Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section) on “How to Win in Surrogate’s Court through CPLR Prehearing Discovery.”

06/03/2008

Streng is Moderator of NYSBA on 1404 Examinations in Probate Proceeding and Lectures on Professional Ethics

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was the moderator of a program in Tarrytown, New York on June 3, 2008 entitled “Successfully Handling an Examination under SCPA 1404” and presented on “Ethical Considerations” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

05/07/2008

Streng is a State-Wide Moderator of NYSBA Election Law Program

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was a state-wide moderator of a program entitled “Representing a Political Candidate (And Winning!)” for the New York State Bar Association. The program, offered in six locations (Albany [5/14/08], Buffalo [4/23/08], Manhattan [5/7/08], Melville [5/16/08], Syracuse [5/16/08] and Tarrytown [4/25/08]), was the first-ever election law program offered by the New York State Bar Association.

11/13/2007

Boggio Lectures for WCBA on Surrogate Court Accountings

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio lectured in White Plains, New York on November 13, 2007 for the Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section) on “Everything you Wanted to Know About Preparing Surrogate Court Accountings (but was afraid to ask)”. For lecture materials, click on Seminar Outline.

10/23/2007

Streng is Moderator of Estate Planning Program for NYSBA

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was the moderator of an all-day program in Mount Kisco, New York on October 23, 2007 entitled “Practical Skills: Introduction to Estate Planning” and presented on “Ethical Considerations” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

05/16/2007

Streng is Moderator of NYSBA Program and Lectures on Ethics for Trusts and Estates Lawyers

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was the moderator of an all-day program in Tarrytown, New York on May 16, 2007 entitled “Trust Your Planning: A Comprehensive Review of Trust Planning and Drafting Techniques” and presented on “Ethical Considerations” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

05/14/2007

Streng Lectures on Will Contests for WCBA

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng presented in White Plains, New York on May 14, 2007 for the Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section) on “Will Contests Including Preparation and Taking the Deposition and SCPA 1404 Witnesses”. The program includes a mock examination. For the presentation materials, click on Seminar Outline.

01/01/2007

Boggio Named Partner of Firm

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio has been named a partner of the firm. Gail will continue to practice in the areas of  Surrogate’s Court LitigationTrusts and Estates, Charitable Gift Planning, Exempt Organizations and Taxation.

12/01/2006

Streng Elected Co-Chair of WCBA’s Trusts and Estates Section

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was elected Co-Chair of the Trusts & Estates Section of the Westchester County Bar Association.

11/28/2006

Boggio Lectures for WWBA on Probating Problem Wills

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio lectured on November 28, 2006 on “Probating Problem Wills” in White Plains, New York, in a program co-sponsored by Westchester Women’s Bar Association and The Bank of New York Private Bank. For lecture materials, click on Seminar Outline.

11/15/2006

Streng Lectures at Pace Law School on Ethical Issues in Estate Planning

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured on Ethical Issues on November 15, 2006 in White Plains, New York at Pace University School of Law as part of a program entitled “What Every Lawyer Should Know about Estate Planning”.

10/26/2006

Streng is Moderator on Election Law Program for WWBA and WPBA

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was the moderator for a program in White Plains, New York on October 26, 2006 sponsored by the Westchester Women’s Bar Association and the White Plains Bar Association entitled “Potpourri on Election Law”.

10/24/2006

Streng is Moderator of NYSBA Program on Probate and Administration of Estates

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was the moderator of an all-day program in Tarrytown, New York on October 24, 2006 entitled “Probate and Administration of Estates” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

09/26/2006

Boggio Guest on Radio Show Talking About Medicaid and Other Planning

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio was a guest on September 26, 2006 on the Rockland County talk show “Mortgage Matters”, broadcast on 1300 AM, WRCR. Gail discussed reverse mortgages in medicaid planning as well as basic estate planning issues.

09/21/2006

Streng is Part of Panel Discussion on Testamentary Capacity and Undue Influence in Will Contests

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng participated in a panel discussion in Manhattan on September 21, 2006 sponsored by Calvary Hospital entitled “Ethics for Breakfast: Working through Issues of Capacity and Undue Influence”.

05/18/2006

Boggio Lectures for NYSBA on Uncontested Probate Proceedings

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio lectured on Uncontested Probate Proceedings in Tarrytown, New York on May 18, 2006 for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association as part of an all-day program entitled “Surrogate’s Court Proceedings”.

05/18/2006

Streng is Moderator of NYSBA Program on Surrogate’s Court Proceedings and Lectures on Post-Probate Proceedings

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng was the moderator of an all-day program in Tarrytown, New York on May 18, 2006 entitled “Surrogate’s Court Proceedings” for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association. Frank also lectured at that program on “Post-Probate Proceedings”.

11/01/2005

Streng Interviewed on Hiring Practices of Westchester Law Firms

Frank W. Streng

As one of the firm’s administrative partners, Frank W. Streng was interviewed by the Westchester County Business Journal on whether legal business for Westchester law firms has been negatively impacted by law firms from New York City or elsewhere that have established offices in Westchester. Frank’s comments were reported in the October 31, 2005 issue of the Journal. “I think local firms, like our firm, have entrenched relationships in the business community and it’s because of our long-standing and historic reputation that we’ve established historic relationships. . . . . As for competitiveness, we have a pretty terrific Web site and pride ourselves in being involved in the community and promoting what we do. . . . There are some firms in the city who come here for economic reasons, to get better rent deals than they could get in the city but their practice remains the same. . . . They become a firm in the city that happens to be in a position to continue their New York City work up here.”

10/27/2005

Streng Lectures for NYSBA on Surrogate’s Court Discovery Proceedings

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured in Mount Kisco, New York on October 27, 2005 for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association on Surrogate’s Court Discovery Proceedings.

10/05/2005

Streng Lectures on Ethical Issues for Trusts and Estates Lawyers

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured in Mount Kisco, New York on October 5, 2005 for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association on Ethical Issues as part of a program entitled Practical Skills: Introduction to Estate Planning. For lecture materials, click on Seminar Outline.

05/19/2005

Streng Lectures on Attorney Ethics

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured in Tarrytown, New York on May 19, 2005 for the Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association on Ethical Considerations as part of a program entitled Estate Planning and Will Drafting. For lecture materials, click on Seminar Outline.

04/18/2005

Streng Lectures on Separation and Matrimonial Agreements Issues in Estate Litigation

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured in White Plains, New York on April 18, 2005 for the Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section) on “Separation and Matrimonial Agreements and Implication in Estate Litigation”. For lecture materials, click on Seminar Outline.

03/15/2005

Streng Lectures on SCPA 1404 Examinations in Will Contests

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured in White Plains, New York on March 15, 2005 for the Westchester Women’s Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section) on “SCPA 1404: How to Examine the Witnesses to a Will and Defensive Estate Planning”. For lecture materials, click on Seminar Outline.

10/05/2004

Streng Lectures on Ethical Issues for Trusts and Estates Lawyers

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured in White Plains, New York on October 5, 2004 on Ethical Issues for Trusts and Estates Lawyers for Lorman Education Services as part of a program entitled Exploring Probate Issues in New York. For lecture materials, click on Seminar Outline.

06/07/2004

Streng Lectures on Property Turnover Proceedings under SCPA Article 21

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured in White Plains, New York on June 7, 2004 for the Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section) on “Property Turnover Proceedings under SCPA Article 21 and Ethical Issues in Surrogate’s Court Litigation”. For lecture materials, click on Seminar Outline.

11/24/2003

Streng Lectures on Powers of Attorney and Related Documents and Ethical Issues

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured in White Plains, New York on November 24, 2003 for the Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section) on “Ancillary Documents – Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy and Living Will; and Ethical Issues in Estate Planning”. For lecture materials, click on Seminar Outline.

05/05/2003

Streng Lectures on Contested Accountings

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured in White Plains, New York on May 5, 2003 for the Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section) on “Contested Accountings”. For lecture materials, click on Seminar Outline.

06/10/2002

Streng Lectures on Strategies for Avoiding Will Contests & Winning Will Contests

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured in White Plains, New York on June 10, 2002 for the Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section) on “Strategies for Avoiding Will Contests . . . But Winning if you Can’t”. For lecture materials, click on Seminar Outline.

06/01/2002

Streng Joins Calvary Hospital’s Professional Advisors Council

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng has joined the Professional Advisors Council of Calvary Hospital.

05/31/2002

Streng Lectures on Ethical Considerations for Trusts & Estates Lawyers

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured on May 31, 2002 for the New York State Bar Association on “Ethical Considerations” as part of an all day program on Trust Planning and Taxation.

05/21/2002

Streng Lectures on Ethics & Tactics in Surrogate’s Court Practice

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured on May 21, 2002 for The Bank of New York on “Ethics and Tactics in Surrogate’s Court Practice.” For lecture materials, click on “Ethics and Tactics in Surrogate’s Court Practice.” and Ethics and Tactics in Surrogate’s Court Practice Fact Pattern.

05/06/2002

Streng Lectures for WWBA on Estate Planning for the Dysfunctional Family

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured on May 6, 2002 for the Westchester Women’s Bar Association on “Estate Planning for the Dysfunctional Family.” For lecture materials, click on Seminar Outline.

03/01/2002

Boggio Elected Secretary of Eastchester Bar Association

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio was elected Secretary of the Eastchester Bar Association.

10/23/2001

Streng Lectured on Revocable Trusts and Ethical Considerations for Estate Planners

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured on October 23, 2001 and October 24, 2001 for the New York State Bar Association on “Revocable Trusts” and “Ethical Considerations for Estate Planners”.

09/11/2001

Streng and Firm Volunteer Legal Services for 9/11 Survivors

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng is volunteering his time in assisting families of victims of the World Trade Center disaster on September 11, 2001. The firm has also made available to attorneys throughout the New York City metropolitan region forms of trust agreements to serve as Memorial Trust Funds for the benefit of the families of the victims.

06/11/2001

Streng Lectures on Ethics in Surrogate’s Court Litigation

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured on June 11, 2001 for Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section) on “Ethics in Surrogate’s Court Litigation”.

11/14/2000

Streng Lectures on Executor’s Accounting

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured on November 14, 2000 for The Bank of New York on “Checklist Examination of Executor’s Account”.

10/18/2000

Streng Lectures on Ethical Considerations for Trust and Estate Lawyers

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng lectured on October 18, 2000 for the UJA-Federation of NY’s Conference on Estate, Tax & Financial Planning on “Ethical Considerations For Trust And Estate Lawyers”.

Ethics for Trusts & Estates Lawyers

by Frank W. Streng on 07/19/2011 Frank W. Streng Continuing Legal Education Section of the New York State Bar Association [Read in full]

Ethics for Trusts and Estates Lawyers

by Frank W. Streng on 03/08/2011 Frank W. Streng Continuing Legal Education Section of the New York State Bar Association [Read in full]

Probating Problem Wills

by Gail M. Boggio on 11/28/2006 Gail M. Boggio

Westchester Women's Bar Association and The Bank of New York Private Bank

[Read in full]

Revocation of Wills

by Gail M. Boggio on 11/28/2006 Gail M. Boggio

Co-Sponsored by Westchester Women's Bar Association and The Bank of New York Private Bank

[Read in full]

New York Wills and Trusts

by Frank W. Streng on 05/08/1990 Frank W. Streng

Co-Author, Fingar, Bookstaver and McQuaid, (Shepard’s, 1990)

[Read in full]

Matter of A.A. v. A., 2020 NY Slip Op 03468 (1st Dep’t 2020)

Michael S. Kutzin

Michael S. Kutzin

Guardianship Practice – Guardianship of Adult Child – Dispute Between Divorced Parents

McCarthy Fingar lawyers represent clients in the most difficult guardianship cases, including disputes over a guardianship of an adult child. While most people understand issues involving the care and custody of children is often front-and-center in a divorce case, sometimes even adult children with disabilities become collateral damage of a divorce as parents battle over guardianship of an adult child. This can happen for myriad reasons, including where well-meaning but ill-advised parents have a different vision for what kind of care the disabled child should receive. In Matter of A.A. v. A., Michael S. Kutzin, a partner of the firm whose areas of concentration include guardianship and Trusts & Estates, represented, on a pro bono basis, the mother of an incapacitated child in the appeal to the Appellate Division, First Department, of a lower court decision in which, after a divorce, the mother had been named the guardian for her daughter, J.A. The father had fought to become his daughter’s guardian and appealed the lower court decision, arguing that the daughter’s incapacity was brought on by the anti-psychotic medication that she was taking. The father further argues that he should have the right to take his daughter to a physician of his own choice, in his effort to demonstrate that it was the medicines that caused her illness. The mother, who had already prevailed in Family Court against such allegations when she obtained custody while the child was a minor, was named guardian in the lower court proceeding. Michael succeeded in having the father’s appeal denied on the grounds that the lower court had properly exercised its discretion in naming the mother as guardian and that he had no independent right to have his adult child brought to a physician of his choice to prove his case. The First Department uphold the lower court decision, finding that the mother “had been diligently caring for [the daughter] for years and appropriately attended to her needs, and the absence of any evidence supporting plaintiff’s claims of improper medical treatment . . . “

[Read in full]

Matter of Burrows, File No. 2014-171 (Surr. Ct., Herkimer County) (5-28-2020)

Robert H. Rosh, Howell Bramson

Robert H. Rosh Howell Bramson

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Trusts & Estates – Will and Trust Contests – Summary Judgment Motions

McCarthy Fingar’s Surrogate’s Court Litigation lawyers represent clients in Will and Trust Contests. In Matter of Burrows, Robert H. Rosh and Howell Bramson represented the decedent’s surviving spouse and the decedent’s financial advisor, as preliminary executors of the decedent’s estate and trustees of a revocable trust, in a will contest and a parallel proceeding that was brought by the decedent’s minor children from a prior marriage (through the children’s court appointed guardian ad litem and natural guardian), to set aside a revocable trust. The decedent’s children, through their guardians, argued that the decedent’s surviving spouse exerted undue influence upon decedent in connection with the making and execution of the decedent’s will and revocable trust, and that the decedent lacked the capacity to execute the disputed instruments. Through their guardians, the children moved for summary judgment, and Robert, on behalf of the proponents of the decedent’s will and trustees of the trust, cross-moved for summary judgment. On that cross-motion, Robert demonstrated, through voluminous documentary and testimonial evidence, that the decedent was cognitively alert, oriented, and otherwise fit and able to execute the disputed instruments, and that the instruments were not the product of undue influence or duress. The evidence included the following: deposition testimony of: (a) the decedent’s financial advisor; (b), the decedent’s personal chef; (c) the decedent’s lawyer; (d) the decedent’s accountant; and (e) the decedent’s heath care providers, including the decedent’s treating physician and nurse, Robert also showed that the decedent’s Will was consistent with the decedent’s testamentary plan (as shown by multiple prior wills that had been made by the decedent), and that the objectant-children had no basis to complain, having been made beneficiaries under a prior trust that had been established by the decedent, having a value of approximately $30,000,000. The decedent’s will was consequently admitted to probate, and the revocable trust was found to be valid and enforceable in all respects.

[Read in full]

Matter of Argondizza, 168 A.D.3d 426 (1st Dep’t 2019)

Michael S. Kutzin

Michael S. Kutzin

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Property Turnover Proceedings – Transfer of Co-op Apartment – Power of Attorney

Transfers of assets using a power of attorney often lead to conflict. The question is whether the transfer by the agent under the power of attorney was in the best interests of the principal. In Matter of Argondizza, 168 A.D.3d 426 (1st Dep’t 2019), Michael S. Kutzin succeeded in having the Appellate Division uphold the Surrogate’s Court in dismissing the claim brought by two children in a property turnover proceeding against their stepfather. Here, the Surrogate’s Court rejected the argument that the stepfather breached his fiduciary duties when, as an agent under a power of attorney, he transferred a co-op he co-owned with his wife into his own name. In this case, the decedent had told her treating physician that it was her desire that the co-op be transferred into her husband’s name, the transfer was being done in order to obtain eligibility for Medicaid coverage of long term care, and the children were aware of and took part in the transfers.

[Read in full]

Matter of Francine Wechsler, Surr. Ct., Rockland (File No. 2013-225/G/H) (2-1-2019)

Irma K. Nimetz, Frank W. Streng

Irma K. Nimetz Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Trusts & Estates – Will Contest – Construction Proceeding

McCarthy Fingar’s Surrogate’s Court litigators sometimes represent clients in will construction proceedings, sometimes involving the issue of ademption. In Matter of Wechsler, Frank W. Streng and Irma K. Nimetz represented a sister and brother in a will construction proceeding in Surrogate’s Court, Rockland County, against three of their siblings concerning a provision in their mother’s will with respect to two New York City taxi medallions, which their mother distributed unequally amongst her 13 surviving children and 40 grandchildren. Despite the inclusion of the taxi medallions in her will, the mother sold both taxi medallions during her lifetime. The net proceeds of the sale of the taxi medallions were held in a joint bank account in the name of the mother and one of her daughters. Frank and Irma successfully argued that the lifetime sale of the taxi medallions caused an ademption of the mother’s specific bequest of the taxi medallions. Ademption occurs when a specific bequest, here, the taxi medallions, does not exist at the time of the testator’s death because it was sold, lost or destroyed. Because the mother’s will did not address the possibility of a sale of the taxi medallions before she died, Frank and Irma argued that the bequest of the taxi medallions adeemed, and the proceeds of the sale should be distributed in equal shares to the mother’s children under the residuary clause of her will. The Surrogate’s Court ruled that Frank and Irma, on  behalf of their clients, established that the law of ademption applied, and granted summary judgment in favor of the firm’s clients ruling that the bequest of the taxi medallions adeemed. The court also rejected the argument that one of McCarthy Fingar’s clients exercised undue influence to cause the sale of the medallions prior to the decedent’s death.

[Read in full]

Probate Proceeding, Will of Francesca Morris, Surr. Ct., Dutchess (File No. 2019-240) (10-28-19)

Irma K. Nimetz, Frank W. Streng

Irma K. Nimetz Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Trusts & Estates – Will Contest – Will Not Signed at End

McCarthy Fingar’s lawyers represent clients in all types of will contests, including cases in which a will not signed at the end was offered for probate. In Matter of Francesca Morris, two of our Surrogate’s Court litigators, Frank W. Streng and Irma K. Nimetz, represented a deceased father’s three adult children, who challenged a propounded instrument purporting to be the last will & testament of Francesca Morris, their grandmother. Francesca Morris had two children, a son who predeceased his mother and was survived by our clients, and a daughter, the aunt of our clients. The aunt filed an amended probate petition seeking to probate a propounded instrument pursuant to which the decedent/her mother bequeathed her entire estate to her daughter. Under a prior will, the decedent bequeathed her estate equally between her daughter and her son. Frank and Irma made a motion to dismiss the amended probate petition on the grounds that the propounded instrument was not executed in accordance with the strict statutory formalities required by the law, specifically New York’s Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (“EPTL”) § 3-2.1(a)(1). Frank and Irma argued that the testator, Francesca Morris, never signed the purported will “at the end of thereof” as required by law. Instead, at the will execution, which was not supervised by an attorney, a notary public signed the purported will where the testator was supposed to sign. As Frank and Irma asserted in their motion to dismiss, the testator only placed her initials on a self proving affidavit, which is not an integral part of the propounded instrument. The Court agreed with Frank and Irma, and denied probate. The Court ruled that the decedent’s initials, appearing solely on the self proving affidavit, did not constitute a signature “at the end” of the propounded instrument and failed to satisfy the statutory requirements of EPTL § 3-2.1 as a matter of law. The Court granted Frank and Irma’s motion to dismiss the amended probate petition pursuant to CPLR Rule 3211 (a) (1) and (7).

[Read in full]

Probate Proceeding, Will of Elinor Haight, Surr. Ct., Westchester (File No. 2019-148/C) (2-28-19)

Irma K. Nimetz, Frank W. Streng

Irma K. Nimetz Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Trusts & Estates – Will Contests – Award of Preliminary Letters Testamentary

As part of our firm’s representation of clients in will contests, battles sometimes take place on applications for preliminary letters testamentary at the inception of the probate proceeding, that determines who shall administer the estate during the will contest. In Matter of Elinor J. Haight, Frank W. Streng and Irma K. Nimetz represented the sole nominated executor under her deceased mother’s codicil, dated March 10, 2015, and will, dated February 13, 2002. Both the codicil and the will were drafted by attorneys, who supervised the execution of the instruments. Our client’s mother named her daughter, as the sole executor in her 2015 codicil. In her earlier will, the mother nominated her daughter and her two sons, our client’s brothers, as co-executors. Frank and Irma filed an application for preliminary letters testamentary on behalf of their client in a contested probate proceeding. The two brothers opposed our client’s application for preliminary letters and asked the Court to deny our client’s application entirely, or to appoint one or both of them to serve as co-preliminary executor(s) arguing, among other things, that the codicil was procured by undue influence, duress and fraud. Frank and Irma argued that the Court should issue preliminary letters to their client pursuant to the well settled law under SCPA § 1412(2)(a), and reject the brothers’ unsubstantiated and conclusory allegations. Frank and Irma pointed out that by awarding preliminary letters to their client, the sole nominated executor, the Court would be honoring the testator’s preference in choosing the fiduciary and would enable the estate to be immediately administered since there may be a delay in probate. The Court agreed and awarded preliminary letters testamentary to the sole nominated executor, the firm’s client.

[Read in full]

Matter of Imperato, 149 A.D.3d 1072 (2d Dep’t 2017)

James K. Landau

James K. Landau

Appellate Practice – Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Property Turnover Proceedings – Statutes of Limitations

Our firm’s Surrogate’s Court Litigation group represents both fiduciaries and beneficiaries in Property Turnover Proceedings, and statutes of limitations issues frequently arise in such cases. Here, James K. Landau, who is also a member of our Appellate Practice and Commercial Litigation  groups, convinced the Appellate Division, Second Department, to reverse the Surrogate’s Court order that had granted the executor’s motion for summary judgment against Mr. Landau’s client in an action alleging conversion, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and the imposition of a constructive trust and denied Mr. Landau’s client’s cross-motion for summary judgment dismissing the petition. In reversing, the Second Department agreed with Mr. Landau’s argument that petitioner had failed to meet her prima facie burden of establishing her entitlement to judgment as a matter of law on the causes of action alleging fraud, breach of fiduciary duty and seeking the imposition of a constructive trust. The Second Department also agreed with Mr. Landau’s argument that his client’s cross-motion to dismiss the conversion cause of action in the petition should have been granted because it was not commenced within three years of the alleged conversion.

[Read in full]

Matter of Tedesco (Surr. Ct., Westchester 2016) (File No. 2012-7811D)

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Charitable Gift Annuities – Defense Against an Executor’s Claim to Decedent’s Gift

Our Surrogate’s Court Litigation lawyers sometime represent beneficiaries seeking to carry out a decedent’s intention as to gifts made to the client during the decedent’s lifetime. Here, Frank W. Streng successfully represented a client who was a successor beneficiary of a charitable gift annuity established by the decedent with Fordham University, against a claim brought against her by the executor of the decedent’s estate. The issue in the case was that the decedent, while fully competent at the time that he met with Fordham representatives and in the transfer of assets to fund the annuity, was hospitalized shortly thereafter and died in the hospital. The estate argued that the gift should be set aside because the decedent did not personally sign an annuity agreement sent to him by Fordham during his hospitalization. The Surrogate’s Court agreed with Frank and Fordham’s counsel, who sought and obtained summary judgment to dismiss the estate’s efforts to set aside the charitable gift. They argued, and the Court agreed, that the agreement to establish the gift annuity was fully enforceable well before the decedent was presented with the formal written agreement.

[Read in full]

Matter of Tedesco, Surr. Ct., Westchester (File No. 2012-781/B) (8-13-2014)

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Trusts & Estates – Will & Trust Contests – Summary Judgment Motions

In contested will proceedings, objections to probate must be grounded in admissible evidence to avoid dismissal.  Here, Frank Streng and Dina Aversano successfully defended our client in a will contest between the decedent’s niece and nephew and our client, the decedent’s long-time, but unmarried, partner of over 40 years, by moving for summary judgment to dismiss objections to probate. A motion for summary judgment is appropriate where, like in this case, there are no issues of material fact to warrant a trial by a fact-finder. What made the case particularly unusual is that the executor named in the Will did not move for summary judgment, forcing McCarthy Fingar and its client, representing a beneficiary, to seek to uphold the will through the successful summary judgment motion.

[Read in full]

Matter of Goldstein, Rockland County Surrogate’s Court (September 16, 2013, File No.: 2010-481/E)

Gail M. Boggio, Michelle L. Santoro

Gail M. Boggio Michelle L. Santoro

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Property Turnover – Alleged Gift by the Decedent

Often, controversies in families arise as to gifts allegedly made by a decedent during his or her lifetime. Such controversies frequently result in a property turnover proceeding in the Surrogate’s Court to deal with such alleged gifts. Here, McCarthy Fingar lawyers, Gail M. Boggio and Michelle L. Santoro, successfully opposed a summary judgment motion that sought dismissal of a property turnover proceeding brought by our client as Temporary Administrator of the decedent’s Estate and Co-Trustee of the decedent’s irrevocable trust. The turnover proceeding demanded that the Estate’s Executor/Co-Trustee, who was also an estate and trust beneficiary, turn over property belonging to the estate and trust. In addition to summary judgment, the Executor/Co-Trustee also sought to have our client’s interest in the decedent’s trust forfeited due to a claimed violation of its “no contest” clause, and to have our client personally pay the executor’s legal fees. The court denied the motion in its entirety because the Executor/Co-Trustee failed to meet her burden that she was entitled to summary judgment as a matter of law and that issues of fact exist that would preclude summary judgment. In a related matter, the court similarly denied the movant’s (the Executor/Co-Trustee) request to vacate a temporary restraining order whereby the movant is precluded from utilizing funds and encumbering property whose sources are from the purported gift, requesting that our client post an undertaking and sought to surcharge our client.

[Read in full]

Matter of Compulsory Interim Accounting Proceeding in the Estate of Jacob Heller, Surrogate’s Court, Westchester County (2011)

Frank W. Streng, Stephen Davis

Frank W. Streng Stephen Davis

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Trusts & Estates – Contested Accountings – Tax Apportionment – Equitable Adjustment

Sometimes, litigation in the Surrogate’s Court involves actions taken in another estate or trust that harm our clients. Stephen Davis, representing the executors of a surviving spouse’s estate, settled a dispute with the trustees of the estate of the first spouse to die, resulting from the requirement under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) for inclusion in the taxable estate of a surviving spouse the testamentary trust created by her pre-deceased husband for her lifetime benefit (QTIP Trust). Although the IRC specifically apportions the increase in taxes solely to the QTIP Trust, the IRC nonetheless creates conflict between next generation beneficiaries when executors are called upon to make a tax election unfavorable to them personally, but resulting in a greater tax benefit to the QTIP Trust.  Reaching back to past estate litigation experience, Steve, now chair of the firm’s Tax Certiorari & Condemnation group, in collaboration with Frank W. Streng, chair of the firm’s Surrogate’s Court Litigation group, asserted at Surrogate’s Court and to the Trustee of the QTIP Trust, ancient and esoteric rules of fairness to achieve recoupment of the Estate’s $44,000 tax advantage (compared to a date of death valuation). In this instance, equitable adjustment, a form of implied contract, manifested itself as the duty of the QTIP Trust to make whole the beneficiaries of the surviving spouse’s estate from a loss imposed to achieve the Trust’s greater $345,000 tax benefit. Although equitable adjustment had been applied to other types of tax elections made by fiduciaries, e.g., a Warms Adjustment (1041 deduction vs. 706 deduction), there exists no reported case in New York applying the concept to a surviving spouse’s estate’s conflict with a QTIP Trust.

Matter of Hasbrouck, Orange County Surrogate’s Court (Decision dated November 7, 2011 – File No. 2010/460)

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio

Trusts & EstatesSurrogate’s Court LitigationWill & Trust Contests – Opposing Summary Judgment Motion to Dismiss Objections to Probate

In will & trust contests, success or failure in a case often depends upon the facts uncovered through pre-trial discovery. Here, Katherine Sohr Jedlicka and Gail M. Boggio successfully opposed a dismissal of their client’s objections that were made to the probate of the decedent’s purported Will on the grounds of lack of due execution, undue influence, and fraud. The Court denied the other side’s motion for summary judgment, since the motion was made even before the completion of court-ordered discovery.

[Read in full]

Matter of Sasso, unpublished decision of Westchester County Surrogate’s Court dtd. July 25, 2011 (File No. 2000-1938/E)

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio

Trusts & EstatesSurrogate’s Court Litigation – Invalidating Release & Discharge Agreement

Litigation sometimes takes place when agreements are signed by clients and issues exist as to the enforceability and validity of such agreements. Here, Katherine Sohr Jedlicka and Gail M. Boggio successfully opposed a motion by the former attorney for an estate fiduciary and a cross motion by the estate fiduciary seeking, among other things, to dismiss objections to the fiduciary’s judicial accounting based on a Release and Discharge agreement signed by McCarthy Fingar’s client, who was not represented by a lawyer at the time the agreement was signed. The Surrogate’s Court denied the motions and set aside the agreement. The court ruled the movants had not proven that the objectant was given a copy of the fiduciary’s informal account on which the agreement was based, and that she was not given a sufficient amount of time to review the same. The court also denied the motion to dismiss on an alleged violation of the statute of limitations, finding the fiduciary had not openly repudiated her fiduciary duties. 

SCPA 2102 Information for Estate Beneficiaries & Injunctive Relief

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Dispute on IRA Accounts

One of the mostly commonly litigated matters in estate litigation is whether an estate or an individual will become the owner of of an insurance policy, qualified plan account or IRA account on the decedent’s death. Representing a 50% beneficiary of the residuary estate, Dina M. Aversano and Frank W. Streng sought in the Surrogate’s Court information from the estate’s co-executors as to information from the estate surrounding a substantial asset – two IRA accounts – of the decedent that was believed to be part of the estate. The Surrogate’s Court granted the beneficiary’s petition and enabled discovery, under SCPA 2102, to go forward as to the co-executors’ knowledge of this asset. The residuary beneficiary was further awarded injunctive relief in the form of a restraining order, preventing any transfers and disbursements to the beneficiaries of the IRA accounts during the pendency of litigation.

Revocation of Letters Testamentary, Settlement Prior to Hearing

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court LitigationTrusts & EstatesFiduciary Removal Proceedings – Settlement Prior to Removal Hearing

Clients often to choose to settle their cases. Here, Katherine Sohr Jedlicka and Frank W. Streng successfully settled a case in which the firm was retained to represent the decedent’s brother and sister in removing the current executor because of his failure to file a judicial account as ordered by the court. McCarthy Fingar’s client was immediately appointed as temporary fiduciary pending a hearing for the executor’s removal. The executor resigned voluntarily prior to a hearing for his removal, and our client was appointed fiduciary.

[Read in full]

Matter of Zacharakis (Surr. Ct., Rockland County 3-12-2009)

Frank W. Streng, Gail M. Boggio

Frank W. Streng Gail M. Boggio

Surrogate’s Court LitigationTrusts & EstatesContested Accountings – Business Assets

Business and real estate assets are often a source of controversy in estates and trusts. Here, control of shopping centers in Rockland County was in controversy. The fiduciary of the estate had maintained legal control and management of the corporations that owned the shopping centers by voting the estate’s shares in the corporations to continue that control. Representing a beneficiary desiring to end the fiduciary’s control over such shopping centers, Frank W. Streng and Gail M. Boggio successfully moved in Surrogate’s Court, Rockland County, to compel the distributions of shares of stock in the corporations in order to permit the majority of the beneficiaries (which included the firm’s client) to control the management of the shopping centers.

[Read in full]

Matter of Lyon, 9/28/2009 N.Y.L.J. 22 (col. 3) (Surr. Ct., Westchester County)

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Property Turnover Proceedings – Motion for Summary Judgment/Dismissal

McCarthy Fingar often represents executors/administrators in SCPA 2103 proceedings. In these proceedings, an executor/administrator sometimes seeks to recover assets that were the subject of an alleged lifetime gift or a lifetime beneficiary designation. In this case, Frank W. Streng and Katherine Sohr Jedlicka represented family members, appointed as limited administrators, seeking to rescind a transfer of real estate on the grounds, amongst others, that the agent under a power of attorney form improperly gifted the property to himself. Here, the estate of the individual who received the alleged gift of real estate made a motion to dismiss our case, primarily citing the alleged failure of our clients to file their proceeding within the applicable three-year statute of limitations. The Surrogate’s Court denied the motion, finding, among other things, that the statute of limitations never started, since our clients had no notification of the existence of the power of attorney, which power of attorney form was used to make the gift in question.

[Read in full]

Matter of Correa (Surr. Ct., Westchester County 5-20-2008)

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court LitigationTrusts & EstatesWill & Trust Contests – Summary Judgment Motions

Many Will contests are won or lost by summary judgment motions. Often, but not always, after pre-trial discovery is concluded, the petitioner – the “proponent” seeking to probate a Will – makes a motion for summary judgment to dismiss the objections to probate. Here, Frank Streng and Dina M. Aversano, representing a beneficiary under a Will, successfully moved to dismiss the objections to probate, despite allegations that the beneficiary had acted improperly in the management of the decedent’s assets when the beneficiary had acted as a guardian for the decedent during the decedent’s lifetime. Holding that such allegations were wholly unrelated to the otherwise unsubstantiated proof submitted to set aside the Will, the Surrogate’s Court, Westchester County, granted the joint motion for summary judgment made by our firm and the attorney representing the nominated executor under the Will, and dismissed the objections to probate.

[Read in full]

Davis v. Willinger, 31 A.D.3d 429 (2d Dep’t 2006)

Stephen Davis

Stephen Davis

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Appellate Practice – Post Nuptial Agreement Contest – Replacing Condo Unit Triggers Ademption

Our lawyers represent clients on dispute on prenuptial and post  nuptial agreements. Here, in a declaratory judgment action involving an esoteric point of law, Stephen Davis and Joel M. Aurnou achieved an abatement of a surviving spouse’s contract with her husband to bequeath the proceeds of sale of the couple’s Miami Beach oceanfront condominium residence to her late husband’s daughter. Applying the ademption concept, the trial court – unanimously affirmed by the appellate court – ruled that the promise to bequeath pertained only to the condominium owned by the couple at the time of the promise, notwithstanding that they replaced their original condominium with another in the very same Collins Avenue condominium building.

[Read in full]

Matter of Goetz, 8 Misc. 3d 200 (Surr. Ct., Westchester 2005)

Gail M. Boggio

Gail M. Boggio

Surrogate’s Court LitigationTrusts & EstatesWill & Trust Contests – Invalidation of Trust Amendment

Will and Trust Contests comes in different forms. Here, the Surrogate’s Court faced the fairly novel issue of whether an attorney-in-fact could use the authority conferred on her in a power of attorney form to amend a trust created by another person to grant to herself a limited power of appointment over the trust remainder. Pursuant to the terms of the trust in question, the grantor reserved to himself the right to amend or revoke its terms during his lifetime. Representing a client that was adversely affected by the trust amendment, Gail M. Boggio and Robert M. Redis successfully argued that the attorney-in-fact had no authority to make the trust amendment and that the trust amendment was invalid. The Surrogate held, among other things, that although the terms of the subject trust gave the grantor himself the right to revoke the trust or amend its terms, it did not confer the same authority upon the grantor’s agent or upon any other person.

[Read in full]

Distribution of Proceeds of Settlement of Medical Malpractice

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Allocation of Settlement of Medical Malpractice Award Among Estate Beneficiaries

After a medical malpractice verdict or settlement, litigation sometimes takes place on who gets the money. Frank W. Streng successfully represented a surviving spouse in a Surrogate’s Court Litigation matter on the allocation of a settlement award of over $3 million. The wife of the firm’s client had died in childbirth, survived by children of her first marriage and the only child of her marriage to our client. The executor of the estate, who was our client’s wife’s first husband, took the position that, for various reasons, no part of the settlement proceeds should be paid to our client.

Matter of Hoffman, 6 Misc. 3d 1011A, 800 N.Y.S.2d 342 (Surr. Ct., Westchester 2004)

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Will & Trust Contests – Revocable Trusts

“Will Contests” take different forms, and the lawyers in our Surrogate’s Court Litigation group have experience in virtually every area. Trustees of a purported revocable inter vivos trust may claim title to property that would otherwise be disposed of under a Will or by intestacy (without a Will). In a relatively novel case, in Hoffman, the firm represented a client who was a beneficiary under her husband’s Will of a membership in the New York Stock Exchange. However, even before the execution of his Will, the decedent allegedly created a revocable trust agreement for the benefit of a child of a prior marriage and allegedly transferred his NYSE seat to the trust. The NYSE seat had not been transferred to the trust through any assignment process but had been listed on a schedule of assets of the trust, with the following notation: “1. Membership in the New York Stock Exchange. The NY Stock Exchange does not permit registration of memberships in the name of trustees. Grantor and Trustees recognize this to be the case.” Citing the provisions of a relatively new statute, EPTL 7-1.18, McCarthy Fingar lawyers, Frank W. Streng, Deborah Yurchuk McCarthy and Robert M. Redis, sought summary judgment against the trustees strictly on the question of the effectiveness of the transfer, arguing, among other things, that the recital of the NYSE seat as an asset of the trust in a schedule was not enough to consummate the transfer. The Court agreed and dismissed this portion of the trustees’ case.

[Read in full]

Matter of Seekins, 194 Misc. 2d 42 (Surr. Ct., Westchester 2002)

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Trusts & Estates – Kinship Proceedings – Proving Inheritance Rights of Nonmarital Children through DNA Testing

Sometimes, inheritance rights depends upon proving kinship of family members through DNA testing. Here, Frank W. Streng represented children of the decedent who were born out of wedlock and were seeking their rightful share of their father’s estate. As part of discovery, Frank sought a court order directing DNA testing of the post-humously produced blood serum of the decedent. In an evolving area of the law, the Surrogate’s Court conditionally permitted such testing, provided that proof existed of the decedent’s “open and notorious” acknowledgement by the decedent of his children. Later on, the case was settled and a DNA test was conducted. As a result of the DNA test, Frank’s clients then received their fair share of their father’s estate.

[Read in full]

Settlement of Will Contest When Decedent had Lifetime Guardian Proceeding

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Trusts & Estates – Settlement of Will Contest

Clients often choose to settle their cases. Here, Frank W. Streng successfully settled a case in which the firm was retained to represent the Decedent’s brother, nephews and nieces in a Will/Trust contest. In this case, the decedent executed a Will and Trust Agreement very close in time to the date when proceedings for the appointment of a guardian had been brought in the Supreme Court. The guardianship proceeding was based on grounds that the decedent was not able to manage his property.

Matter of Marsh, 265 A.D.2d 253 (1st Dep’t 1999), app. denied, 95 N.Y.2d 755 (2000), app. dismissed, 95 N.Y.2d 956 (2000), cert. denied, 532 U.S. 1038, 121 S. Ct. 1999, 149 L.Ed.2d 1002 (2001)

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court LitigationAppellate Practice – Contested Accountings

Our lawyers often represent beneficiaries in contested accountings of executors and trustees. In one such case, Frank W. Streng and Robert M. Redis succeeded at the trial court level and obtained a surcharge against a former executor in excess of $1.6 million and an award of attorneys fees against that former fiduciary in the amount of $250,000. Bob and Frank then succeeded in upholding the Surrogate’s Court’s determinations on all appeals.

[Read in full]

Matter of Marsh, 236 A.D.2d 404 (2d Dep’t 1997)

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Appellate Practice – Will & Trust Contests

McCarthy Fingar often represents clients in Will & Trust Contests. Frank W. Streng, as counsel to the named executor, successfully defended against objections to the filing of a Codicil to the Decedent’s Will. At trial, a jury upheld the Codicil to the Decedent’s Will and threw out objections made to such Codicil by one family member. On appeal, we persuaded the Appellate Division, Second Depatment, to uphold the trial judge’s refusal to set aside the jury verdict.

[Read in full]

Lefkowitz v. The Bank of New York as Preliminary Executor of Estate of Irene B. Marsh et al., 996 F.2d 600 (2d Cir. 1993)

Howell Bramson

Howell Bramson

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Appellate Practice – Taxation – Spousal Consent – Challenge of Beneficiary Designation on Qualified Plan

Our lawyers often represent clients in dealing with beneficiary designations on pension and qualified plans. In one such case, Howell Bramson, Robert M. Redis and other lawyers at the firm successfully represented a surviving spouse’s estate and persuaded the lower court to invalidate a beneficiary designation on a qualified plan for the Decedent’s child (to the exclusion of the decedent’s spouse) on the grounds that the beneficiary designation violated the spousal consent rules under ERISA. The trial court’s determination was upheld, on appeal, by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal also deal with significant legal questions, such as the applicability of ERISA to controlled foreign corporations and whether these sufficiently implicated the Interstate Commerce Clause of the United States Constitution.

[Read in full]

Matter of Marsh, 173 A.D.2d 336 (1st Dep’t 1991), app. dismissed, 78 N.Y.2d 990, mot. for lv. to appeal denied, 79 N.Y.2d 751

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Appellate Practice – Fiduciary Removal – Business Issues

Our lawyers often represent beneficiaries that suffer financial injury through improper actions of executors and trustees. Here, Frank W. Streng represented a beneficiary at a trial to obtain the removal of a preliminary executor who had acted improperly in the administration of the estate. The removed fiduciary appealed, and Frank and other McCarthy Fingar lawyers, Robert M. Redis and Deborah Yurchuck McCarthy, successfully persuaded the appellate court to affirm the trial court’s decision to remove the fiduciary.

[Read in full]

Matter of Hickok, 140 Misc. 2d 650 (Surr. Ct., Orange 1989), affirmed, 158 A.D.2d 690 (2d Dep’t 1990), mot. for lv. to appeal denied, 76 N.Y.2d 712

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Appellate Practice –Contested Accountings – Interpretation of Decedent’s Will

Often, there are issues on the interpretation of a Decedent’s Will that can have large effect on the Decedent’s testamentary plan.  In this case, Frank W. Streng, and other lawyers at  the firm represented children of a Decedent’s first marriage in litigation against the Decedent’s surviving spouse where the surviving spouse sought (unsuccessfully) to obtain an interpretation of her husband’s Will which would have effectively excluded the Decedent’s children as beneficiaries under the Will. The other side appealed, and the appelate court affirmed the lower court ruling.

[Read in full]

Matter of McKinney, 117 Misc. 2d 173 (Surr. Ct., Westchester 1982), affirmed, 101 A.D.2d 477 (2d Dep’t 1984), mot. for lv. to appeal denied, 63 N.Y.2d 607

Frank W. Streng

Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Appellate Practice – Taxation – Interpretation of Decedent’s Will – Allocation of Estate Taxes

Sometimes, the tax apportionment clause – an often overlooked clause in a will – has a huge impact on the actual distributions under a will. In this case, Frank W. Streng and others at the firm successfully represented a major health care institution in a contested accouting proceeding in which we challenged the executors’ interpretation of the decedent’s tax apportionment clause in her Will. The charitable beneficiary would have been deprived of hundreds of thousands of dollars of its proper share of a multi-million dollar estate had the executors’ interpretation been adopted. The lower court opinion was affirmed by the appellate court.

[Read in full]

Testimony of Witnesses on Due Execution

Michael S. Kutzin

Michael S. Kutzin

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Will Contest – Testimony of Witnesses on Due Execution

Surrogate’s Court litigators know that getting the facts is essential to success in a will contestMichael S. Kutzin obtained a substantial settlement on behalf of a nephew even though it was clear that his client’s uncle intended to disinherit him. In that case, the uncle prepared his own will and had two elderly neighbors witness his signing. Emails from the uncle indicated that he had reasons to disinherit his nephew and that he had the necessary legal capacity to sign a will. When Mr. Kutzin took the will witnesses’ depositions, however, their memory (or lack thereof) of the events in question left it unclear what exactly was signed in their presence and whether the requirements for due execution of a will were met.

Fiduciary Removal – Lack of Cooperation of Co-Executor

Michael S. Kutzin

Michael S. Kutzin

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Fiduciary Removal – Lack of Cooperation of Co-Executor

Sometimes family members are named as co-executors of Wills but cannot work together. If the dysfunction is egregious and results in harm to the Estate, there may be a need to seek the removal of one of the co-Executors. In Surrogate’s Court, Kings County, Michael S. Kutzin, in a proceeding to remove an executor, obtained the removal of the sister of one of the two co-executors. Here, the sister would not cooperate with her co-executor in selling real property to pay estate taxes, changed addresses without notifying the Court, and did not deny that she was suffering from dementia. Moreover, she would not cooperate with the co-executor with making necessary repairs of other real property held by the Estate to prevent waste. As a result, the Court ordered the revocation of her letters and the issuance of letters testamentary solely to the brother.

Compel Distributions from Trust – Beneficiary with Medical Expenses

Michael S. Kutzin

Michael S. Kutzin

Surrogate’s Court Litigation – Compel Distributions from Trust – Beneficiary with Medical Expenses

When beneficiaries of trusts have needs, sometimes they need counsel to compel trustees to make distributions.  Here, a beneficiary of two trusts lacked medical insurance and desperately needed money to pay for expensive cancer care. The trustee of both trusts refused to provide the funds, in part on the grounds that it was more appropriate for the funds to be paid from the other trust. Michael S. Kutzin brought a petition in Surrogate’s Court, New York County, to request that one of the two trusts be compelled to provide the necessary funds on an emergency basis. The Surrogate’s Court ordered the corporate trustee of the larger of the two trusts to make the necessary payments on the beneficiary’s behalf.

Presenter Description Organization Date
Gail M. Boggio
Gail M. Boggio

Estate Planning & Will Drafting – “Digital Assets”

Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association

02/08/2018
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Estate Planning & Will Drafting – Ethical Considerations

Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association

02/08/2018
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Ethical Issues for Trusts and Estates Lawyers

American Museum of Natural History, Manhattan

04/28/2015
Gail M. Boggio
Gail M. Boggio

Estate Planning with the Revocable Trust

Westchester Women’s Bar Association (Trusts & Estates and New Lawyer Committees)

04/16/2015
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Revocable Trusts: Administration & Litigation in New York

Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, Manhattan

01/28/2015
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Discovery Proceedings in the Surrogate’s Court (Turnover Phase, Discovery & Trial)

Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar AssociationManhattan

06/11/2014
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Discovery Proceedings in the Surrogate’s Court (Turnover Phase, Discovery & Trial)

Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar AssociationWestchester

06/05/2014
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Discovery Proceedings in the Surrogate’s Court (Turnover Phase, Discovery & Trial)

Trusts & Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar AssociationAlbany

05/29/2014
Gail M. Boggio
Gail M. Boggio

Estate Planning and Family Wealth Transfers

Richmond County Bar Association (Surrogate’s Court Committee)

12/10/2013
Gail M. Boggio
Gail M. Boggio

Revocable Trusts – The Will Substitute, Part II – Litigation. Click at Outline to see seminar outline.

Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)

06/20/2013
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Power of Attorney: Practice & Litigation in Guardianship Court

Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)

06/18/2012
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng
Gail M. Boggio
Gail M. Boggio

Everything you Wanted to Know about Property Turnover Proceedings in the Surrogate’s Court

Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section), White Plains, New York

09/21/2011
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“Ethics for Trusts & Estates Lawyers”, as part of a program entitled, “Bridging the Gap 2 – Making a Smooth Transition.”

Continuing Legal Education Section of the New York State Bar Association, Manhattan

07/19/2011
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“Property Turnover Proceedings”, as part of a program entitled “Estate Litigation”

Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, Albany, New York

06/02/2011
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“Ethics for Trusts and Estates Lawyers”, as part of a program entitled, “Bridging the Gap 1 – Making a Smooth Transition.”

Continuing Legal Education Section of the New York State Bar Association, Manhattan

03/08/2011
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“Duty to Inform” as part of a program entitled, “Select Issues in Fiduciary Litigation”

White Plains, New York. Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)

06/07/2010
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Preparation of an estate and trust accounting, as part of a half-day program entitled “Contested Accounting Proceedings in Surrogate’s Court”

Tarrytown, New York, Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association

11/20/2009
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“Ethical Isssues in Estates and Trusts and Litigation”

White Plains, New York. Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)

06/01/2009
Gail M. Boggio
Gail M. Boggio

“Preparing for Estate Administration” and “Alternative Forms of Letters” as part of an all-day program in entitled “Practical Skills: Probate and Adminstration of Estates”

Mount Kisco, New York, Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

10/23/2008
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Participant in a mock examination of an attorney draftsperson in a prospective will contest, in a program entitled “Ethics For Breakfast: ‘Who Is Your Client?’ — Ethical Considerations When Representing Multiple Parties in Estate Proceedings”.

New York, New York, Calvary Hospital

10/07/2008
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“Ethical Considerations”, as part of an all-day program entitled “Successfully Handling an Examination under SCPA 1404”

Tarrytown, New York, Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association.

06/03/2008
Gail M. Boggio
Gail M. Boggio

“Everything you Wanted to Know About Preparing Surrogate Court Accountings (but was afraid to ask)”

White Plains, New York, Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)

11/13/2007
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“Ethical Considerations”, as part of an all-day program entitled “Practical Skills: Introduction to Estate Planning”

Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, Mount Kisco, New York

10/23/2007
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“Ethical Considerations”, as part of an all-day program entitled “Trust Your Planning: A Comprehensive Review of Trust Planning and Drafting Techniques”

Tarrytown, New York, Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association

05/16/2007
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“Will Contests Including Preparation and Taking the Deposition and SCPA 1404 Witnesses”

White Plains, New York. Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)

05/14/2007
Gail M. Boggio
Gail M. Boggio

“Probating Problem Wills”

White Plains, New York, in a program co-sponsored by Westchester Women’s Bar Association and The Bank of New York Private Bank.

11/28/2006
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Ethical Issues (program entitled “What Every Lawyer Should Know about Estate Planning”)

White Plains, New York, Pace University School of Law

11/15/2006
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Ethical Considerations and Attorney Fees

Tarrytown, New York, Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association

10/24/2006
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Panel Discussion, “Ethics for Breakfast: Working through Issues of Capacity and Undue Influence”

New York, New York, Calvary Hospital

09/21/2006
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“Post-Probate Proceedings”

Tarrytown, New York, Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association

05/18/2006
Gail M. Boggio
Gail M. Boggio

Uncontested Probate Proceedings, as part of an all-day program entitled “Surrogate’s Court Proceedings”

Tarrytown, New York, Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association

05/18/2006
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Surrogate’s Court Discovery Proceedings

Mount Kisco, New York, Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association

10/27/2005
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Ethical Issues as part of a program entitled Practical Skills: Introduction to Estate Planning

Mount Kisco, New York, Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association

10/05/2005
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Ethical Considerations, as part of a program entitled Estate Planning and Will Drafting

Tarrytown, New York, Trusts and Estates Law Section of the New York State Bar Association

05/19/2005
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“Separation & Matrimonial Agreements & Implication in Estate Litigation”

White Plains, New York. Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)

04/18/2005
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“How to Examine the Witnesses to a Will and Defensive Estate Planning”

Westchester Women’s Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section

03/15/2005
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Ethical Issues as part of a program entitled Advanced Elder Law

Mount Kisco, New York. Elder Law Section of the New York State Bar Association

12/03/2004
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Ethical Issues for Trusts and Estates Lawyers as part of a program entitled Exploring Probate Issues in New York

Lorman Education Services

10/05/2004
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“Ancillary Documents – Power of Attorney, Health Care Proxy and Living Will; and Ethical Issues in Estate Planning”

Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)

11/24/2003
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Contested Accountings

Westchester County Bar Association

05/05/2003
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“Strategies for Avoiding Will Contests . . . But Winning if you Can’t”

Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)

06/10/2002
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

“Ethical Considerations” as part of an all day program on Trust Planning and Taxation

New York State Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Section)

05/31/2002
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Ethics & Tactics in Surrogate’s Court Practice

The Bank of New York

05/21/2002
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Estate Planning for the Dysfunctional Family

Westchester Women’s Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)

05/06/2002
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Revocable Trusts and Ethical Considerations for Estate Planners

New York State Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Section)

10/23/2001
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Ethics in Surrogate’s Court Litigation

Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)

06/11/2001
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Issues in Accounting Proceeding – Checklist Examination of Executor’s Account

The Bank of New York

11/12/2000
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

UJA Federation Conference On Estate, Tax & Financial Planning – Ethical Considerations For Trust And Estate Lawyers

UJA-Federation of NY

10/18/2000
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Claims against the Estate, Spouse’s Right Of Election, Prenuptial Agreements and Waivers of Right of Election, Disclaimers and Construction/Reformation Proceedings

New York State Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Section)

05/11/2000
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Estate Planning And Will Drafting – Ethical Considerations For Trust And Estate Lawyers

New York State Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Section)

11/16/1999
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Forensic Examination of Estate Accountings

National Conference of CPA Practitioners

11/09/1999
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Forensic Examination of Estate Accountings

Interpay/Fleet Bank

06/16/1999
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Contested Probate Proceedings

Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)

06/07/1999
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Formal Settlement of Estates and Checklist Examination of Executor’s Account

New York State Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Section)

05/09/1999
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Spouse’s Right of Election and Disqualification

New York State Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Section)

12/10/1998
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Litigation in Accounting Proceedings in Estates & Trusts

Westchester Women’s Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)

11/17/1998
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Ethical Considerations And Attorneys’ Fees

New York State Bar Association (Trusts and Estates Section)

10/02/1998
Frank W. Streng
Frank W. Streng

Discovery Proceedings, Creditor’s Claims and Other Miscellaneous Proceedings

Westchester County Bar Association (Trusts & Estates Section)

06/09/1997