Latest Case Studies
Learn how Smith Legacy Law has helped individual and business clients resolve their complex legal matters.
Spouse of deceased artist Barry Le Va (“Decedent”) was concerned about the will being offered for probate by nominated executor, who was also the Decedent’s representative/gallerist. Spouse had concerns about possible undue influence and will signing irregularities as will was executed when Decedent was in the hospital, and during covid, so zoom was utilized by witnessing attorney. Additionally, will provided less to spouse than she would be entitled to under the elective share.
The decedent had a very complex estate plan in order to avoid estate taxes upon her death. In her will, she named our client as the executor of her estate. Our client was also named as trustee for numerous trusts she created primarily for the benefit of her three children. Upon the decedent’s passing, two of the decedent’s children initiated litigation against our client in his numerous roles, including executor and trustee. The litigation claimed, among other things, that our client was withholding information, refusing to provide accountings for the trusts and the estate, and breach of fiduciary duty.
Decedent was married to his second wife at the time of his passing. Decedent executed a Power of Attorney while he was alive, naming his second wife as his agent. Children believed that second wife used the Power of Attorney to improperly transfer funds belonging to decedent and/or the Marital Trust that he created. Parties agreed to court ordered Mediation. During the mediation, parties reached a settlement regarding the accounting proceedings, compulsory accounting proceedings, Marital Trust issues and issues regarding a retirement home refund.