A New York Probate Lawyer said that, the decedent was a citizen of the United States, domiciled in Mexico City, who possessed substantial assets in New York and in Mexico. On May 14, 1965 she executed a will in New York which disposed of all of her property ‘wheresoever’s situate’, directed that, regardless of her domicile at death, her will be offered for probate in New York County, that the administration of her estate be conducted subject to the jurisdiction of this court, and that her will and all dispositions therein be construed and regulated by the laws of the State of New York. The residuary estate administration was bequeathed in equal shares to two friends, one of whom resided in Brooklyn and the other in El Paso, Texas. The latter is the objectant here.
A New York Will Lawyer said that, on January 20, 1966–approximately eight months after the execution of her will in New York–the decedent executed a notarial will in Mexico City. An English translation of the Spanish text is incorporated in the probate decree of this court. The will contains several general legacies expressed in Mexican currency and ‘for the remainder of her estate (the testatrix) institutes as her sole heirs in equal one-third shares’ three individuals, all residents of Mexico City. This instrument made no mention of the New York will and no reference at all to estate taxes. It declares that ‘the testamentary provisions contained in this instrument shall apply only to the property or money which the testatrix has in the Mexican Republic’, and it appoints Mexican executors. A second notarial will was executed in Mexico on April 25, 1966. It is actually a codicil to the January will, revoking one general legacy and also the institution of one of the three as an heir, leaving the other two persons ‘as the sole heiresses in equal parts.’ This instrument also is silent with respect to estate taxes and their impact.
A Westchester County Probate Lawyer said that, the decedent died in Mexico on April 22, 1967. Her New York will and the two notarial instruments were offered for probate in this court. Preliminary letters testamentary were issued to the executor named in the New York will on June 2, 1967. By decree dated June 5, 1968 this court found that the will dated May 14, 1965 had been duly executed, that the instruments in the Spanish language dated January 20, 1966 and April 25, 1966 had been duly established as testamentary instruments in accordance with the laws of Mexico, and that the English translations offered for probate were true translations of the Spanish original. A New York Probate Lawyer said that, it decreed that the three paper writings be admitted to probate ‘as together constituting the last will and testament of the said Bessie Owen, deceased. Letters testamentary were directed to issue to Bankers Trust Company, the executor named in the New York will, ‘provided that such letters testamentary, and the authority, responsibility and accountability of Bankers Trust Company thereunder, shall not extend to property, money or matters administered in Mexico but shall otherwise be unlimited.’ Such letters were issued on June 7, 1968.