Articles Posted in Manhattan

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A New York Probate Lawyer said that, this is an application for a certificate of letters of administration, which involves a question as to the status of the county treasurer as administrator, on which question there appears neither direct statutory provision nor decision directly in point.

A Nassau Estate Lawyer said that, on June 23, 1960, the County Treasurer of Nassau County, was appointed administrator of this estate. On January 11, 1962, his term of office as county treasurer expired, and on February 5, 1962, the County treasurer, by his attorneys, requested a certificate of letters of administration in this estate.

A New York Probate Lawyer said that, on February 6, 1962, this court issued a decision in which it held that the present county treasurer, was interested in this matter, and directed that he be brought into this application. Subsequently, on February 9, 1962, the present county treasurer, by his attorney, filed a notice of appearance in which he opposed the issuance of the certificate of letters to the former treasurer and asserted that he, the present treasurer should be appointed successor administrator of this estate, and that he would petition for such appointment if the application of the former treasurer were denied. The application was submitted for determination, and both sides have submitted memoranda of law.

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A New York Probate Lawyer said in this Will Contest proceeding, a motion was filed for the allowance of an attorney from testifying at an examination before trial, and for a further order precluding the respondent for failure to file an adequate bill of particulars.

A New York Will Lawyer said that in August 1980, the decedent consulted another attorney, in connection with the preparation of a new will which because of her death shortly thereafter was never prepared or executed. The lawyer has been briefly examined, the examination was interrupted in order to obtain rulings from the court in regard to the attorney-client privilege.

While an attorney will generally not be compelled to testify as to matters revealed to him by his client within the course of his professional employment, there are, however, several exceptions, one of which permits an attorney “to disclose information as to the preparation, execution, or revocation of any will or other relevant instrument” in an action involving the probate, validity, or construction of a will. The proponent argues that this exception clearly applies in the instant proceeding.

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A New York Probate Lawyer said in this probate proceeding, petitioner, by motion, seeks an order vacating a stipulation of settlement and a renunciation and disclaimer purportedly executed to effectuate the settlement.

A Nassau County Probate attorney said that decedent was survived by his spouse (petitioner) and two children of a prior marriage (respondents).

A New York Will Lawyer said the petitioner filed a petition for probate of an instrument and preliminary letters issued to her. Decedent’s son appeared by counsel in the probate proceeding and settlement negotiations ensued. The negotiations resulted in a stipulation of settlement which was “so ordered”. The settlement provided that the assets be divided into three equal parts: 1/3 to the spouse, 1/3 to the respondent, respectively, in trust.

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A New York Probate Lawyer said that, before the court are a probate proceeding and a discovery proceeding. The decedent, died on June 14, 2008 a resident of Nassau County, survived by her four adult children. Decedent had been married for fifty (50) years. They divorced in April 2001. At the time of her death, decedent resided in property located at 55 Chestnut Hill, Roslyn, New York.

A New York Will Lawyer said that, these proceedings arise out of the same facts and involve four (4) documents. Decedent and her husband executed a joint will dated December 20, 1993. The joint will provided in relevant part the following: SECOND. Upon the death of one of us, leaving the other of us surviving, the entire estate of the one dying first and all property of which she or he has power of disposal, whether owned jointly or severally, is hereby given to the survivor, upon the condition, however, that whatever remains of the above estate after the death of the survivor shall be given as set forth herein Paragraph Fourth hereof. Paragraph FOURTH created a trust for the benefit of the testator’s grandchildren and an outright bequest. The will further provided: FIFTH: We have mutually agreed upon the foregoing disposition of our property, and, in consideration thereof, it is further mutually agreed by both of us that this Will shall be forever binding upon both of us and upon the estate of each of us, and shall bind our legatees, distributes (sic) and representatives. We further mutually agree that this Will shall be irrevocable and shall not be modified or revoked by either of us or by the survivor of us, except that it may be revoked or modified only by a writing subscribed by both of us and executed by both of us with the formality of a Will. SEVENTH: Upon the death of one of us leaving the other surviving, the survivor is hereby appointed executor or executrix of the estate of the one dying first; and upon the death of both of us.

A Bronx Probate Lawyer said that, decedent and her husband entered into a Marital Settlement Agreement in January 2001 which provided, in part, that: 7. The Husband and Wife have heretofore executed a Joint Irrevocable Last Will and Testament in New York, which is again reaffirmed by the parties as their Last Will and Testament, and both parties agree to maintain and support the obligation and covenants made therein and further agree not to attempt to Revoke such Last Will and Testament. Decedent and her husband owned two residences; one was a condominium in Boca Raton, Florida, the other, a condominium in Roslyn, New York. The Marital Settlement Agreement provided that Jerome acquired title to the Florida property and the decedent acquired the Roslyn property.

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A New York Probate Lawyer said that, the testatrix died on April 7, 1970. Her will, dated January 30, 1967, was admitted to probate on June 9, 1970 and letters testamentary issued on June 24, 1970. In Paragraph SIXTH thereof she created a perpetual charitable trust to be known as ‘THE MEMORIAL FUND’, hereinafter referred to as the Trust. The beneficiary was the husband of the testatrix and died on February 6, 1961.

A New York Will Lawyer said that, the executors apply for a decree directing that testatrix’ will be deemed to be amended, or, in the alternative, construed to contain certain provisions which will comply with the changes made by Title I, Section 101(a) of the Tax Reform Act of 1969 which added Section 508(e) to the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. It became effective on December 31, 1969. Petitioners allege that the Trust will initially receive funds from three sources, i.e.: (a) an undetermined sum from this estate; (b) approximately $550,000 from the trustees of an Inter vivos trust created by this decedent by agreement dated October 9, 1967; and (c) $200,000 from the trustees of the decedent’s estate by virtue of the power of appointment in his will which was executed by this decedent in favor of the Trust.

The issue in this case is whether the petition to amend the testatrix should be granted.

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The proponent, A, in this probate proceeding is a devisee and nominated co-executor under the propounded instrument dated 16 February 1994. A moves for summary judgment admitting the will to probate, dismissing the joint objections filed by B, the decedent’s cousin, who is the beneficiary of a larger bequest under an earlier testamentary instrument, and C, the decedent’s brother and distributee; and dismissing the brother’s petition for letters of administration.

A New York Probate Lawyer said the objectants oppose the motion and cross move to dismiss the proponent’s application for letters testamentary and for the appointment of either or both of them as the fiduciary of the estate. They allege that the 1994 instrument is invalid due to lack of due execution, lack of testamentary capacity, forgery, undue influence and fraud. They further assert that the petitioner’s prior felony convictions render him ineligible to be appointed a fiduciary of the estate.

On 23 October 2003, the decedent, a widow, died at the age of 77.

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A New York Probate Lawyer said that, in this uncontested proceeding to probate a will dated December 2, 1991, the issue presented is whether the bequest to decedent’s friend is void under EPTL 3-3.2 in light of the fact that he was one of the three attesting witnesses and that decedent’s son, whose legacy under the will is less than his intestate share as one of decedent’s six surviving children, was also one of the attesting witnesses. The third attesting witness does not receive any disposition or appointment under the will.

The issue in this case is whether the bequest to decedent’s friend is void under EPTL 3-3.2 in light of the fact that he was one of the three attesting witnesses and that decedent’s son, whose legacy under the will is less than his intestate share as one of decedent’s six surviving children, was also one of the attesting witnesses.

A New York Will Lawyer said the court in deciding the case said that, EPTL 3-3.2(a)(1) provides that an attesting witness to a will to whom a beneficial disposition is made is a competent witness who can be compelled to testify with respect to the execution of such will but that the disposition to the attesting witness is void “unless there are, at the time of execution and attestation, at least two other attesting witnesses to the will who receive no beneficial disposition or appointment thereunder.” The purpose of the statute is to preserve the maker’s testamentary scheme to at least some extent by making all attesting witnesses competent while preserving the integrity of the process of will executions by removing the possibility that attesting witnesses who receive a disposition under the will might give false testimony in support of the will to protect their legacies.

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A Bronx Estate Litigation Lawyer said that, plaintiff asserts that summary judgment should be granted in his favor. He was married to his wife in January of 1995. New York Probate Lawyer said that on January 30, 1995, property was purchased at 2426 St. Raymond Avenue in Bronx County and title was held by defendant his wife and, her husband. Plaintiff asserts that his wife passed away on December 16, 2000 and since plaintiff and his wife held the property as tenants by the entirety, upon the death of his wife, her interest transferred to plaintiff as a matter of law.

A New York Will Lawyer said that, defendants oppose the motion by plaintiff and assert that plaintiff’s deceased wife, in her Last Will and Testament, bequeathed her half share of the property equally to her husband, the plaintiff, and defendant. Moreover, her will provided that defendant must approve, in writing, any decision to sell said property. Therefore, defendants contend that plaintiff is entitled to a 3/8 share of the value of the property as is defendant. In addition, defendant provided all of the money for the down payment on the property including closing costs in the sum of $27,000 and she paid for all renovations made to the property in the approximate sum of $7,000. Defendants assert that if the property is partitioned and sold, she should receive credit for those payments. Defendants further contend that there is a probate proceeding pending in

A Bronx Probate Lawyer said that, Surrogate Court in Bronx County as to the same issues raised in plaintiff’s cause of action herein and Surrogate Court is the proper forum in which to determine this matter. Therefore, defendants assert that the instant matter should be dismissed in the interest of judicial economy.

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A New York Probate Lawyer pursuant to SCPA Article 19, the executrix, the decedent’s sister, commenced this proceeding for an order allowing her to sell mortgaged real property allegedly belonging to the estate so that she may reimburse herself and another distibutee for various estate administration and other expenses. There was no appearance in opposition on the return date of process. One of the respondents, the former lender and mortgagee of the property, A, however, moves for an order excusing and vacating its default in answering and granting it leave to file late objections. Upon the grant of such leave, A also seeks summary judgment dismissing the petition interposed against it asserting, inter alia, that it is not the real party in interest.

A New York Will Lawyer said that on 22 November 2004, the decedent died leaving a will which was admitted to probate by a decree entered 23 December 2005, specifically devises certain real property in the Bronx to her three children, in equal shares as joint tenants with the right of survivorship. The executrix alleges that sometime after the decedent’s death, but prior to the issuance of letters testamentary, two of the three children recorded a deed to themselves of the real property which previously was held in the decedent’s name alone, and then reconveyed that realty so it was held solely in the name of one daughter, enabling her to borrow against and mortgage the realty. After that, the executrix commenced an action in the Supreme Court, Bronx County with Index No. 20710/2006 seeking, inter alia, to void the deed and cancel the mortgage, and she then commenced this proceeding based upon an executor’s deed she filed with the Bronx Registrar of Deeds and Office of the City Register.

The mortgage states that A is the lender and, for purposes of recording the mortgage, B is the mortgagee of record and is acting as nominee for Lender and Lender’s successors and assigns. The executrix contends, inter alia, that the mortgage is invalid because the daughter who gave it and obtained the loan from A did not have full title to the property. In addition to the three children and A, process was served on a title insurance company and B. Manhattan Probate Lawyers said that after defaulting on the initial return date of process, A served and filed its instant motion seeking to excuse that default and related relief, including summary judgment dismissing the petition against it. In support of its contention that it is not the real party in interest, A annexes various documents to establish that it sold the loan to another entity. A also objects to the sale of the realty on various grounds.

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A New York Probate Lawyer said that, petitioner-appellee, instituted a proceeding in the county judge’s court, seeking construction of the will of the deceased as to her rights under that instrument. She asserted her status as surviving pretermitted spouse of the deceased and alleged that she was entitled to distribution of the estate as if the deceased had died intestate, or distribution as his sole surviving heir-at-law. A Bronx Probate Lawyer said that, the probate court, after hearing, entered the order appealed from, adjudging that the petitioner, as the surviving pretermitted spouse, was the sole distributee of the estate and that she should receive that portion of it which she would have received had her husband died intestate.

A Bronx Estate Administration Lawyer said that, the Will in question, dated February 9, 1955, was admitted to probate November 18, 1959, and petitioner was appointed as Administratrix Cum Testamento Annexo on January 29, 1960. At the hearing, she was the only witness to appear before the court. The estate was valued at approximately $114,000.00. There were no lineal descendants, the only blood relative of deceased being a sister.

A New York Will Lawyer said that, the testator, in the will, directed that he be interred near the remains ‘of my beloved wife, with terms of endearment being employed elsewhere in the will in reference to her. One of the bequests in the will gave: ‘(d) the sum of Thirty Thousand ($30,000.00) Dollars to the petitioner, now residing at 2610 Grand Avenue, Bronx, New York.’ The person bequeathed was one and the same person as the petitioner. Other bequests in the will ranged from $2,000.00 to $25,000.00 left to various friends of testator, to his sister, and to nine different charitable institutions.

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