A New York Estate Lawyer is familiar with the manner in which a Last Will should be prepared. Among the fundamental rules when drafting a Will is to make certain that the provisions clearly set forth the manner in which the testator intends to dispose of assets. The spelling of the names of beneficiaries should be correct along with their relation to the testator, such as a child, brother or friend. Other provisions such as those relating to the amount or percentage of a bequest need to be delineated and the terms of any testamentary trust or other instructions should be spelled out to avoid any confusion.
Unfortunately, there are many instances where the language of a Will or a Trust is unclear or ambiguous and estate litigation in the form of a Will construction proceeding is needed to resolve the controversy over the document’s meaning and the proper distribution of estate assets. In Matter of Romanello, decided by Manhattan Surrogate Nora Anderson on July 17, 2014, the Court was presented with a Last Will that contained a testamentary trust. Although the Will referred to the trust as a “special need trust fund,” the language of the trust did not comply with Estates, Powers and Trusts Law Section 7-1.12 which is entitled “Supplemental needs trusts established for persons with severe and chronic or persistent disabilities“. Continue reading