Estate Planning…and Litigation? What to do to prevent it, How to avoid it, and Recent Developments

Date: Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Time: 9:00am - 10:45am
Location: Webinar
Speaker: The Honorable Robert P. Contillo (Ret.) and Steven K. Mignogna, Esq.


Please join the Greater New Jersey

Estate Planning Council

When: Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Where: Webinar Only
Time: 9:00 am to 10:30 am
Please note this is a Zoom Webinar Event. 


We’ve been hearing more about it. We’ve been reading a lot more about it…Estate Litigation. Whether it be litigation post-death between heirs and surviving family members, or litigation because of estate planning, more and more common in today’s day and age is litigation related to estate planning. When constructing an estate plan for clients…today, you need to think about the future…not just the family’s future and the plan that is being crafted, but about so much more… the heirs, and family members who will be receiving assets, and how they will be receiving them, family members who may not be receiving assets, questions, potential inquiries, scrutiny, other professionals who may be advising these people, and yes, you need to think about potential litigation. All of us, attorneys, accountants, financial professionals, and others, we sit with clients today and develop plans that will live and breathe for decades, for lifetimes, the lifetimes of our clients and their children, sometimes their grandchildren.

Unfortunately, estate litigation can drag on for many months, and often many years. However, as we look to the future, an unknown future, we must start thinking about who might or will be second-guessing our work. Who will be looking at what we did? From the challenges to the validity of a will, requests to interpret language in a will or trust, to breach of fiduciary duties/responsibilities of a trustee, anything and everything can potentially happen. Is your client treating one child unequally than another? Or others? Is there a family business involved, where one or more children are involved, and another or others are not? Regardless of the specifics, effective, sound, quality estate planning can and should look to avoid estate litigation. It does not matter if you are an attorney, an accountant, or a financial professional! If you are involved in estate planning and the financial affairs of your clients – you need to know what to do! So, what should we be doing today? Do we begin to “paper” our file? What should we be memorializing and how? Do we note the file numerous times as to why things are being done a certain way?

In this exciting session, hear from two leading experts – The Honorable Robert P. Contillo (Ret.) and Steven K. Mignogna, Esq. The Honorable Robert P. Contillo (Ret.), is formerly the Presiding Judge of the Chancery Division of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County, NJ. Judge Contillo served twelve years in the Chancery Division, eight as Presiding Judge, handling both General Equity and Probate cases. Prior to serving in Chancery, Judge Contillo served four years in the Civil Division, handling the full array of civil cases. While serving in the Judiciary, Judge Contillo received appointments to a number of Supreme Court committees, including the Judiciary-Surrogates Liaison Committee and the Supreme Court Advisory Committee on Public Access to Court Records, and was a Domestic Security Judge. Today, Hon. Contillo is a member of the law firm of Ferro Labella and Weiss, LLC, based in Hackensack, NJ, where he co-chairs the firm’s alternative dispute resolution practice. Judge Contillo serves as a mediator, arbitrator, and special master. In addition, he consults both internally and with attorneys outside the firm on a variety of business, fiduciary, and other litigation matters.

Steven Mignogna, Esq. is a partner with Archer Law PC (formerly Archer & Greiner PC) and serves as both the Co-Chair of the firm’s Estates and Trusts Department and Chair of the Estate and Trust Litigation Group. Steve is a nationally known lecturer and author, having lectured and published for the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC), the Heckerling Institute, the National College of Probate Judges, and the New Jersey Bar Association, to name just a few. Steve specializes in commercial litigation, including litigation involving probate matters, estates, trusts, gifts, fiduciaries, guardianships, and real estate, handling cases in the state and federal courts, at both the trial and appellate levels. Representing both institutions and individuals, Steve’s clients include banks, corporate fiduciaries, investment companies, educational and charitable institutions, and real estate firms, as well as beneficiaries of estates and trusts, executors, trustees, guardians, incapacitated persons, surviving spouses, and persons having an interest in real estate.

Steve serves on the Advisory Committee of the Heckerling Institute. He is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC) and the ACTEC State Chair for New Jersey. Steve is the Vice Chair, and will become the Chair, of ACTEC’s Fiduciary Litigation Committee. He is active in ACTEC in several other areas, including the Professional Responsibility Committee, the Program Committee, the Joint Task Force of ACTEC and the National College of Probate Judges, and the Advisory Committee to ACTEC’s Mid-Atlantic Fellows Institute.

During this event, you will get to hear “from both sides” regarding recent and interesting cases, best practices, and more. This is a rare opportunity and will be a do not miss event!

Join us for a web meeting and hear from two experts who are in the trenches every single day! What do they see, what are they doing, and how can you be better prepared, better educated, and a better professional. Whether you are an estate planning attorney, an accountant/CPA, or a financial/wealth management professional who does estate planning, anything and everything you are doing today…will have your fingerprints on it forever.

Don’t miss this special event and learn about what you should be doing in your practice today!



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