Anthony R. La Ratta

Tony concentrates his practice in the area of Trust & Estate litigation, with an emphasis in litigation involving probate matters, estates, trusts, guardianships, and fiduciaries.

Tony has represented institutions and individuals in a variety of contexts, including banks, corporate fiduciaries, executors, trustees, beneficiaries of estates and trusts, incapacitated persons, surviving spouses, and intestate heirs.  He has handled cases involving will contests, undue influence, diminished capacity, contested guardianships, writings intended as wills, breach of fiduciary duty, and accountings of estates and trusts.

Tony is also admitted by the State of New Jersey to the roster of court-approved mediators for probate cases and has been appointed by the courts to assist in resolving such disputes through mediation.

Representative Experience

Examples of estate and trust litigation matters Tony has handled on behalf of his clients include:

  • Representing corporate and individual fiduciaries in actions brought by beneficiaries concerning the administration of estates and trusts
  • Representing will contestants in disputes over the validity of wills, based on undue influence, lack of testamentary capacity, and similar grounds
  • Handling accounting actions and exceptions thereto
  • Representing institutions seeking reformation and cy pres relief relating to charitable bequests or endowments
  • Litigating will construction cases involving the doctrine of probable intent
  • Representing surviving spouses, omitted spouses, and those claiming an elective share
  • Litigating cases concerning holographic wills and writings intended as wills, including the successful admission to probate of a videotaped will
  • Representing family members in contested guardianship disputes
  • Serving as court-appointed counsel to alleged incapacitated persons
  • Serving as court-appointed guardian of the person and the property of elderly adults or those adjudged to be mentally incapacitated
  • Serving as court-appointed mediator in probate and general equity cases

Professional And Community Involvement

Current Professional Organization Membership

  • Fellow, American College of Trust and Estate Counsil (ACTEC)
  • Estate and Financial Planning Council of Southern New Jersey (2012-2013 Immediate Past President; 2011-12 President; 2010-11 1st Vice President; 2009-10 2nd Vice President; 2008-09 Treasurer; 2007-08 Secretary)
  • American Bar Association
  • American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust and Estate Law, Probate & Fiduciary Litigation Committee (Chair)
  • New Jersey State Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association Equity Jurisprudence Committee (2013 – )
  • New Jersey State Bar Association Bylaws Committee (2009 – 2013)
  • Burlington County Bar Association
  • Burlington County Bar Association Probate Committee
  • Camden County Bar Association
  • Camden County Bar Association Probate Committee (Co-Chair)
  • Cape May County Bar Association
  • Cape May County Bar Association Chancery & Probate Committee (Co-Chair)
  • Gloucester County Bar Association
  • Gloucester County Bar Association Probate Committee
  • Justinian Society
  • Member, New Jersey Supreme Court District IV Ethics Committee, Camden and Gloucester Counties

Current Community Board Service

  • Kennedy Health System Foundation Board
  • La Salle University Communication Department Alumni Advisory Board

Prior Community Board Service

  • Lector, Saints Peter and Paul Church
  • Saints Peter and Paul Church Parish Council
  • Glassboro Center for the Arts

Additional Community Service

  • Guest lecturer on radio and at La Salle University, Villanova University, Rutgers University-Camden, and Camden County College
  • Coach of youth recreation and travel sports teams (baseball, basketball, soccer, and softball)

Awards And Recognition

  • Named a “Top Attorney” by SJ Magazine for Estate Litigation and Trust/Guardianship (2007)
  • Selected by the New Jersey Law Journal to its prestigious “40 under 40” list, an honor bestowed on 40 promising young professionals in New Jersey’s legal community (2010)
  • Recognized by peers as one of the Super Lawyers New Jersey Rising Stars in the area of Estate and Trust Litigation (2011)
  • Awarded by American Bar Association Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law’s Probate & Property magazine Excellence in Writing Award (2014)

Articles

Articles

  • 11/04, The Power of (Probable) Intent, EFPC Southern New Jersey newsletter
  • 1/06, New Standards for Termination of Trusts, NJ Law Journal
  • 9/10/09, The Increasing Prospect of the Imposition of Fees or Sanctions on Parties Estate Litigation, EFPC Southern New Jersey newsletter
  • 2/21/11, Are Unsigned Wills a Sign of the Times?, NJ Law Journal
  • 8/12/13, No Signature Required: NJ Leads the Way with Writings Intended as Wills, NJ Law Journal
  • 5/14, What’s in a Name: Writings Intended as Wills, ABA Probate & Property

Seminars

  • Hot Litigation Topics Every Estate Planner (and Litigator!) Should Know, 9/25/02 (Provided by CCBA)
  • Administering the Modest Estate: Challenges and Solutions, 1/25/03 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • The Future of Probate Litigation: Doctrine of Probable Intent and Tortious Interference with Inheritance, 4/22/03 (Provided by BCBA)
  • Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 11/19/03 (Provided by CCBA)
  • 51st Semi-Annual Tax and Estate Planning Forum, 6/9/04 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • Estate and Trust Litigation: Will Contests and More, 10/2/04 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • Annual Forum: Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 11/17/04 (Provided by CCBA)
  • Mock Probate Trial, 4/21/05 (Provided by CCBA)
  • Guardianship: The Basics and Beyond, 4/25/05 (Provided by CCBA)
  • The “New” New Jersey Probate Code, 4/26/05 (Provided by BCBA)
  • Probate & Fiduciary Litigation: What’s on the Horizon, 10/15/05 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • Annual Forum: Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 12/7/05 (Provided by CCBA)
  • Critical Estate Planning Topics and Issues, 10/19/06 (Provided by PBI)
  • Guide to Surrogate’s Court and Probate Proceedings, 11/2/06 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • Annual Forum: Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 12/13/06 (Provided by CCBA)
  • Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 2/5/07 (Provided by BCBA)
  • Orphans’ Court Practice & Procedure, 8/2/07 (Provided by PBI)
  • Annual Forum: Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 12/6/07 (Provided by CCBA)
  • 5-part workshop: Contested Guardianships from the Front Line, 2-4/08 (Provided by CCBA)
  • Accounting for Estates and Trusts, 6/27/08 (Provided by Lorman)
  • Proper Will Drafting: How to Avoid a Will Contest, 9/25/08 (Provided by GCBA)
  • NJSBA Annual Mid-Year Convention — Recent Trends in Estate Litigation, 11/6/08 (Provided by NJSBA)
  • Hot Trends in Trust and Estate Litigation, 11/20/08 (Provided by EFPCSNJ)
  • Annual Forum: Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 12/4/08 (Provided by CCBA)
  • Latest Trends in Estate Litigation, 2/12/09 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • Hot Trends in Trust and Estate Litigation, 4/6/09 (Provided by BCBA)
  • ABA Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section;20th Annual Real Property & Estate Planning Symposia:Last Beneficiary Standing — Identifying the Proper Parties in Breach of Fiduciary Cases, 4/30/09 (Provided by ABA)
  • Where There’s a Will There’s a Way — Guide to Surrogate’s Court and Probate Proceedings, 6/6/09 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • 11th Annual NJ Trust & Estate Law Forum, 10/29/09 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • Annual Forum: Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 12/9/09 (Provided by CCBA)
  • Annual Forum: Hot Trends in Estate Litigation, 3/1/10 (Provided by BCBA)
  • Latest Trends in Estate Litigation, 3/27/10 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • 2010 Atlantic Regional Osteopathic Convention: End of Life & the Law, 4/15/10 (Provided by NJ Assoc. of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons)
  • ABA Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section; 21st Annual Real Property & Estate Planning Symposia: What to Do When the Client Slips the Leash: Real-World Trust Litigation and Ethics, as You Hope You’ll Never Have to See Them, 5/7/10 (Provided by ABA)
  • ABA Real Property, Trust & Estate Law Section; 21st Annual Real Property & Estate Planning Symposia: What to Do When the Client Slips the Leash: Real-World Trust Litigation and Ethics, as You Hope You’ll Never Have to See Them, 7/13/10 (Provided by ABA)
  • Recent Developments in NJ Law — Fiduciary Litigation, 8/11/10 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • 12th Annual NJ Trust & Estate Law Forum, 9/21/10 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • Do It Yourself Estate Planning: Why It Costs More Than It Saves, 10/21/10 (Provided by ABA)
  • Annual Forum: Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 11/30/10 (Provided by CCBA)
  • Annual Forum: Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 2/7/11 (Provided by BCBA)
  • Latest Trends in Estate Litigation, 2/11/11 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • Interplay Between Family Law and Trust & Estate Practitioners, 2/15/11 (Provided by CCBA)
  • Attorney Fees in Civil Cases: When They Are Available & How to Get Them, 2/26/11 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • What Every Financial Professional Should Know about Estate Litigation, 3/10/11 (Provided by EFPCSNJ)
  • Recent Developments in NJ Law – Fiduciary Litigation, 7/28/11 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • Wills and Estates in NJ, 8/18/11 (Provided by NJ State Retired Police & Fire Assoc.)
  • 13th Annual NJ Trust & Estate Law Forum, 10/24/11 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • Annual Forum: Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 12/6/11 (Provided by CCBA)
  • Guest Lecturer, Film and the Law, “Anatomy of a Murder,” 1/25/12 (Provided by La Salle Univ.)
  • Latest Trends in Estate Litigation, 2/13/12 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • What’s New in Estate Litigation, 2/16/12 (Provided by EFPCCNJ)
  • Annual Forum: Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 3/5/12 (Provided by BCBA)
  • Anatomy of a Will Contest: How to Succeed at Trial, 4/26/12 (Provided by Lorman)
  • What’s New in Estate Litigation, 5/8/12 (Provided by SFSP-SJC)
  • Recent Developments in NJ Law – Fiduciary Litigation, 7/28/12 (Provided by NJICLE, New Brunswick,NJ)
  • Developing Trends in Probate Litigation, 9/12/12 (Provided by
    Constitutional Officers Assoc. of NJ, Surrogate’s Section, Atlantic City, NJ)
  • Contested Guardianships – Winning in the Courts, 9/22/12 (Provided by NJICLE, New Brunswick, NJ)
  • Estate Litigation Update 2012, 10/13/12 (NJSBA/Mid-Year Meeting in Las Vegas, NV)
  • 14th Annual NJ Trust & Estate Forum, 10/23/12 (Provided by NJICLE, New Brunswick, NJ)
  • Annual Forum: Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 12/11/12, (Provided by CCBA)
  • Latest Trends in Estate Litigation, 2/12/13 (Provided by NJICLE, New Brunswick, NJ)
  • Annual Forum: Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 3/13/13 (Provided by BCBA)
  • Anatomy of a Will Contest: How to Succeed at Trial, 3/27/13 (Provided by Lorman)
  • Archer Estate Litigation Seminar, 4/18/13
  • What PA Lawyers Need to Know about NJ Estate Practice, 7/24/13 (Provided by PBI)
  • Recent Developments in NJ Law, 7/25/13 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • Developing Trends in Probate Litigation, 9/19/13, (Provided by
    Constitutional Officers Assoc. of NJ, Surrogate’s Section, Atlantic City, NJ)
  • 15th Annual NJ Trust & Estate Forum, 10/29/13 (Provided by NJICLE, New Brunswick, NJ)
  • Annual Forum: Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 11/5/13, (Provided by CCBA at Tavistock)
  • Trust & Probate Challenges: Minimizing and Litigating Claims of Undue Influence, Fraud, Capacity, and Mistakes, 1/16/14, (Provided by Strafford)
  • Special Situations in Estate Administration, 1/23/14, (Provided by NJICLE)
  • Anatomy of a Will Contest: How to Succeed at Trial, 2/13/14 (Provided by Lorman)
  • Latest Trends in Estate Litigation, 2/24/14 (Provided by NJCLE)
  • What Pennsylvania Lawyers Need to Know About NJ Estate Practice, 3/11/14 (Provided by PBI)
  • Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 3/12/14 (Provided by BCBA)
  • 2nd Annual A&G Estate Litigation Seminar, 4/2/14 (Provided by Archer)
  • Ethics CLE Series: Part 1, 4/28/14 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • Preparing And Trying An Undue Influence Case, 6/3/14 (Provided by ABA)
  • Estate and Trust Fiduciary Litigation: Minimizing and Defending Breach of Duty Claims, 7/15/14 (Provided by Strafford)
  • Contested Guardianships: Effective Strategies To Quickly and Confidently Handle These Challenging Situations, 7/21/14 (Provided by NJSBA)
  • Recent Developments in New Jersey Law: 2014 Update, 7/31/14 (Provided by NJSBA)
  • Anatomy of a Will Contest: How to Succeed at Trial, 8/14/14 (Provided by Lorman)
  • What PA Lawyers Need to Know about NJ Estate Practice, 8/19/14 (Provided by PBI)
  • Developing Trends in Probate Litigation, 9/18/14 (Provided by COANJ)
  • Potential Ethical Pitfalls of Estate Practice, 10/14/14, (Provided by CMCBA / Cape May Court House)
  • Writing Intended as Wills, 11/13/14 (Provided by NCPJ)
  • Annual Forum: Hot Trends in Probate Litigation, 11/20/14 (Provided by CCBA)
  • Latest Trends in Estate Litigation, 2/4/15 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • Writings Intended as Wills, 3/25/15, (Provided by CMCBA / Cape May Court House)
  • Recent Developments in New Jersey Law: 2015 Update, 7/30/15 (Provided by NJICLE)
  • Estate and Trust Fiduciary Litigation: Minimizing and Defending Breach of Duty Claims, 8/18/15 (Provided by Strafford)

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