Will Contests Listed below is a sample of will contests our firm handled.
Client engaged our services after his brother took their mother to live with them, refused to let him and his family see their mother. This started as a contested guardianship where it was alleged that opposing brother was accessing mother’s accounts and using them for his own. Unfortunately, mom passed during the contested guardianship proceedings. It was later discovered that significant transactions occurred when mom had moderate to severe dementia. This was a case of transactions consummated by undue influence and lack of capacity coupled with convenience accounts that should not have passed to the surviving owner. Litigation ensued contesting a new last will and testament, significant transfers of assets to opposing brother, and the establishment of the convenience accounts. We were successful in forcing the opposing brother to return the vast majority of funds taken from his mother. Very satisfied client.
Clients engaged our services after the decedent’s neighbor produced a new last will and testament that gave him everything and nothing to my clients. This “new beneficiary” did not even notify my clients of the new last will and testament and did not notify the court of the existance of my clients (which was required by law). This case extended to real property located in the District of Columbia where he transferred the property into his name. We were successful in concluding this matter extremely favorable to our clients (issue was a fraudulent will, capacity, and undue influence). One of our clients is now the sole Personal Representative. We got both pieces of very valuable real property in the District of Columbia transferred back to the estate. Our clients entered the case with nothing and now will end up with virtually everything and the estate is a nice sized estate. Needless to say, our clients are very happy.
Clients engaged our services after a new will was submitted for probate removing them entirely as beneficiaries and naming dad’s new wife as sole beneficiary. We successfully challenged the new will and achieved 100% recovery for clients. At issue was testator capacity and undue influence.
Clients engaged our services after a new will was submitted and they were removed as beneficiaries. At issue was photocopy of new will leaving new distribution. Client received 100% of what they were seeking.
Clients engaged our services after a new will was submitted in probate purporting to exclude clients and suddenly leave entire estate to another relative. At issue was testator’s capacity and undue influence. Client received 100% of what they were seeking.
Other Undue Influence Cases
In this matter, the financial power of attorney holder hired our firm to assist a member of the church whose broker asked for a “loan” of over $50,000. Unfortunately, this was no loan and was an outright stealing of this person’s assets. We were able to discover that this broker used a friend (another broker who worked with him many years ago) to transfer the assets to so as to not appear that the assets were going to the broker directly (the broker also previously filed for bankruptcy). This third party friend claimed he knew nothing of what was going on and was only doing a friend a favor. We obtained his affidavit. We then approached the bad broker’s employer with the affidavit in hand of this third party friend and were successful in obtaining a recover of the full amount. The employer, much to their credit, discovered another $17,000 in stolen funds that we also recovered. My client filed charges against the bad broker with the State’s Attorney’s Office. The bad broker is waiting trial for criminal wrongdoing. Update: broker is now in jail for his actions in this case.
Other Estate Litigation
There was great concern that the personal representative of the estate had improperly taken money from this estate and also a related estate whose sole beneficiary was the Estate of R.J. One of the concerns was that client was not an interested person of the related estate even though the actions by this same personal representative in the related estate case would have a direct bearing on his 50% share in the Estate of R.J. This matter was litigated before the Orphans’ Court. Our firm was successful in having the personal representative make 100% corrective actions in both estates so that client was not harmed by the personal representative’s “mistakes.”
Nursing Home and Assisted Living Facility Litigation We were involved in litigation that resulted in the following:
Patient v. Healthcare Provider. Settled for $425,000.
Patient v. Healthcare Provider. Settled for $285,000.
Patient v. Healthcare Provider. Award for $175,000. Contested Adult Guardianships Listed below is a sample of the adult contested guardianships our firm handled.
In this case, client’s father married their step mother the year earlier. There was a serious issue of dementia and whether or not the marriage was valid. There was strong concern that new wife used their father’s assets for her use to his detriment. Of course, there was a new financial power of attorney and advanced directive appointing new wife as his agent. We were successful in getting the court to agree to guardianship and appoint client as guardian of the person to control health care decisions for dad. Mr. Brown’s assets and income are now under court supervision.
This was a dueling estate planning document case. Client was her mother’s health care agent and financial power of attorney. Brother obtained new health care agent form designating him as sole health care agent and a new advanced directive appointing him as sole financial agent. Our firm was successful in having client appointed as sole guardian of the property (to make financial decisions) and sole guardian of the person (to make health care decisions) and removing brother from any decision making.
This was another dueling estate planning document case. Client was mother’s health care agent and financial power of attorney. Other family member had a new document allegedly giving other family member the right to act as sole health care agent and sole financial agent. Client and other family member had wide difference of opinion as to where and to what extent mom needed care at an assisted living facility that specialized in Alzheimer’s dementia. After a two day trial, court granted our request and client became sole guardian of the person and property.
Our firm successfully fought off challenge by other family members in a contested guardianship. Client was successfully appointed as sole guardian of the person and sole guardian of the property.
Medical Assistance Appeals The case below provides a sample of the Medical Assistance appeals we handle.
Our firm successfully protected a family yacht business, family farm, and investment properties from nursing home costs and from a Medical Assistance lien. All properties were fully protected. The department of social services initially contested the status of properties as non-countable assets. We immediately appealed the decision where our firm won a determination by the court affirming our position that the assets at issue were non-countable.
In this case, the client worked at the nursing home were his mother resided. He relied on his employer to process his mother’s Medical Assistance application properly and without issue. He continued to check in with his employer regarding the status of the application over the next few months. Months later he found out that the application was denied. He was given an invoice for over $100,000 and told that he either had to pay it or his mother was going to be discharged from the nursing home. That is when he hired our firm. We were successful in obtaining a court ruling that, based on our argument, that the Medical Assistance application was now approved. This meant that the nursing home was paid in full (as the client directed his mother’s income to the nursing home during the application period), the $100,000 liability was no more and there was no threat of nursing home discharge.
The majority of the Medical Assistance applications in our office do not involve appeals. Our office prides itself in taking the most complicated cases and achieving maximum savings and reducing or eliminating possible Medical Assistance penalties.
|Some of the Elder Law Cases Handled by Our Firm