Articles Posted in Litigation

AdobeStock_77977180-300x200By E. Jennifer Reale

“This is the last thing Mom and Dad would have wanted” – one of the most common sentences I hear when representing clients in contested probate litigation.

When a Will or a trust or even the actions of a trustee are challenged, there often is what we call an extensive discovery, which brings to light personal information that you’d rather not go public.

MG_4904-300x200In a decision released February 1, 2018, the Connecticut Supreme Court found in favor of the plaintiffs, represented by one of our principals Carmine Perri, who had challenged the Commissioner of Social Services over a determination from the Department of Social Services (DSS) regarding whether or not a preexisting spousal support order rendered by the Probate Court was binding on DSS.

The plaintiffs in the case were a father and his daughter; the daughter was acting in her capacity as conservator for her father and executrix of her father’s wife’s estate. Shortly after her father’s wife was discharged from a medical facility to a skilled nursing facility, the conservator filed an application in the Probate Court seeking an order of spousal support for her father.  The Probate Court approved the application thereby allowing the conservator to transfer the wife’s assets to the husband and ordered the conservator to pay the wife’s income to her father as monthly spousal support.

Less than a month after the Probate Court issued its decree, a Title XIX (Medicaid) application was filed with DSS on the wife’s behalf.  While DSS granted the application, it did not factor the previously existing Probate Court order when calculating how much money could be allocated to the support of the husband; in short, DSS ignored the Probate Court order when arriving at its calculation of spousal support.

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Contrary to popular belief, a Will or Last Will and Testament, isn’t always written in stone.

Quite frequently, disputes arise over the contents of a Will and the parties who are at odds must seek outside help to resolve the issues. Because there are often conflicts of interest around such disputes, it’s important for each party Continue reading

power of attorney actConnecticut has amped up the protection that a power of attorney provides.

Effective October 1, 2016, Connecticut will do away with the statutory short form power of attorney act, replacing it with the Uniform Power of Attorney Act (UPOAA).

The UPOAA both clarifies and modernizes Connecticut’s principal-agent laws, and gives you greater protection under the law from exploitation.

The UPOAA sends a clear message that there will be harsh consequences for any agent who breaks the trust and welfare of a senior for financial gain. Continue reading

mercuryBy Carmine Perri

Recently, I came across an email that listed 45 synonyms for “old” and “old fashioned.”

In reviewing the 45 word list, I got to thinking more about the consequences of the meaning of each of these words.

As an example, what jumps to mind when I write the word vintage?  Maybe that classic car?  Maybe that high quality wine?

Certainly something that is excellent, enduring, and classical. Continue reading

Grabbing moneySo you’ve got your house in order, estate plan complete and signed, wishes documented. What are the chances of your Will being challenged?

From our experience, the chances are greater than before.

Will contests

Will contests, when one or more parties challenge a Last Will & Testament, are a direct attack in probate court against one’s estate plan.  There is a growing trend however,  of attacks against estate plans that take place outside of probate court.

We’ve been seeing a marked increase in people challenging Continue reading

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