Russell J. Fishkind, Esq.
A Partner in the Personal Wealth, Estates and Trusts Practice, Russell Fishkind focuses his practice on high net worth estate planning, business succession planning, family office consulting, estate administration and probate litigation.
Prior to joining the Firm, Russell served as Chair of the Trusts & Estates Team at Wilentz, Goldman & Spitzer P.A. in Woodbridge, New Jersey. Following law school, he was a trust and estate administrator and financial officer for the United States Trust Company of New York. He was also the founding partner of Rudolph & Fishkind in New York City and East Brunswick, New Jersey.
Russell is an Assistant Adjunct Professor in New York University’s Department of Finance, Taxation and Law where he teaches estate and business succession planning. He frequently writes and lectures about trusts and estates related issues. He is the author of Legacy of a Lifetime, a layman’s guide to understanding estate matters; a co-author of J.K. Lasser Pro’s™ Estate Business Succession Planning – A Legal Guide to Wealth Transfer, and the author of Probate Wars of the Rich & Famous: An Insider’s Guide to Estate Planning and Probate Litigation.
Ronald P. Colicchio, Esq.
Ronald Colicchio is a graduate of New York University School of Law where he received his Juris Doctor and an LL.M. in Taxation. For 27 years, his practice has been focused on probate and trust litigation in Courts throughout New Jersey, New York and Florida. Ronald represents individuals and corporate fiduciaries, executors, trustees, beneficiaries, intestate heirs, spouses and guardians in matters involving:
- Abuse of Power of Attorney
- Accounting Actions
- Breach of Fiduciary Duty
- Contested Gifts
- Estate Administration
- Estate and Business Succession Planning
- Joint Account and POD Account Litigation
- Lack of Capacity Claims
- Legal Fees
- Probate Litigation
- Removal of Personal Representative
- Trust Disputes
- Undue Influence Claims
- Will Contests
In addition to his litigation practice, Ronald assists clients in creating and updating their estate and business succession plans. This includes drafting wills, trust agreements, special needs trusts, family limited partnerships, private foundation documents, shareholder and buy/sell agreements, employment and private annuity agreements, and federal and state tax filings. He also assists clients in probating wills and administering estates in New Jersey, New York and Florida.
Ronald handles will contests including those involving allegations of lack of capacity, fraud and undue influence.
Select representations include:
- Conducted a number of successful trials in the Superior Court of New Jersey (Bergen, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris and Somerset Counties (among others)), and the Supreme Court of New York (New York, Kings, Suffolk, Queens and Erie County) defending against and filing claims of lack of capacity and undue influence.
- Successfully achieved a trust reformation in an action pending in Atlantic County, New Jersey.
- Personally responsible for conducting all trials, depositions, hearings and motions.
- Filed and then settled a Will contest and shareholder dispute in Delaware Chancery Court and in the Probate Court, Palm Beach County, Florida concerning the disposition of Florida and New Jersey real estate assets in excess of $25.0 million.
- Litigated a matter in the New Jersey Supreme Court involving the admission of an unsigned copy of a will to probate.
- Successfully settled a matter brought in the Queens County Surrogate’s Court seeking to set aside a will and revocable trust agreements which removed a client as a beneficiary of her mother’s rather sizeable estate as the product of undue influence, after taking only a few depositions.
- Successfully concluded a jury trial in the King’s County Surrogate’s Court in favor of decedent’s longtime friend and neighbor who was named as beneficiary of his estate in lieu of distant relatives who had alleged that the will was the product of fraud and undue influence.
- Achieved a quick settlement in a will contest filed in the New Jersey Superior Court, Chancery Division, Probate Part brought against a second husband of the decedent.
- Negotiated a meaningful settlement on behalf of decedent’s children after filing an action based on undue influence in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Somerset County, involving various transfers of real estate interests prior to decedent’s death.
Accounting and other Actions Involving Executors and Trustees
Ronald represents both executors and trustees in legal disputes involving the accounting of money, property and other assets in estates and trusts. He also handles related matters, such as disputes on the distribution of assets and misappropriation of monies from estates and trusts.
Select representations include:
- Conducted a trial and successfully defended an administrator in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Hunterdon County
- After a full hearing in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, achieved a verdict in a matter surcharging the substitute administrator of the estate for failure to properly distribute assets of the estate to decedent’s son.
- Achieved a quick settlement in a hotly contested accounting action filed in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Ocean County, after many months of unsuccessful litigation by prior counsel.
- Successfully defended an executor in an action in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Bergen County, filed by his brothers alleging fraud and misappropriation of monies regarding their mother’s estate.
- Negotiated a settlement on behalf of decedent’s spouse against co-trustees of a trust which was set up for her benefit, after alleging breach of fiduciary duty and failure to properly distribute assets.
Other Estate and Trust Litigation
Ronald also handles matters involving contested inter vivos transfers, changes of beneficiaries on accounts, actions for breach of fiduciary duty, contested guardianships, power of attorney actions, forgeries, and other estate and trust related litigation.
Select representations include:
- Successfully petitioned to have niece appointed as guardian in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Middlesex County, after the death of the prior guardian.
- Obtained a judgment in the Superior Court of New Jersey involving the alleged forgery of a deed prior to the decedent’s death.
- Negotiated a settlement between beneficiaries of an estate pending in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Hudson County after alleging undue influence and fraud against a party who was instrumental in procuring a new will.
- Successfully probated a hand written codicil of the decedent after filing an action in the Superior Court of New Jersey.
- Was instrumental in achieving a resolution of trust litigation in the New York County Surrogate’s Court.
Memberships and Affiliations
- American Bar Association
- Real Property Law and Probate and Trust Law Section, New Jersey Bar Association
- Trusts and Estates Law Section, New York Bar Association
- Real Property Law and Probate and Trust Law Section, Florida Bar Association
- Middlesex County Bar Association
- Mercer County Bar Association