Articles Posted in Manhattan

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In this estate case, the question for the determination of the Court is whether the codicil of March 8, 1956 revived the will of November 23, 1954 and a codicil thereto of December 20, 1954 which had been revoked by the will of July 31, 1955.

The proof adduced establishes that the propounded instruments were executed by decedent and subscribing witnesses in accordance with statutory requirements. The republication of decedent’s 1954 will by the 1956 codicil operated as a revocation of the will dated July 31, 1955. The absence of a revocation clause in the 1956 codicil does not change the result.

The Court holds that decedent validly revoked the instrument dated July 31, 1955 and reexecuted and republished the propounded instruments bearing dates November 23, 1954 and December 20, 1954 by the codicil dated March 8, 1956, and that at the time the decedent was of sound mind, fully competent to make a will and under no restraint. probate of the will of November 23, 1954 and the codicils of December 20, 1954 and March 8, 1956 is decreed. Proceed accordingly.n an action to invalidate two deeds and two general releases and to recover damages grounded on fraud and forgery, the plaintiff appeals from an order of the Supreme Court, Kings County, dated April 7, 1987, which, after a nonjury trial directed that judgment be entered in favor of the defendant.

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A New York Probate Lawyer said that, before the court is a petition for the probate of an instrument dated March 11, 2008. Petitioner is the nominated executor. Respondents are children of decedent and children of a predeceased son. Also pending before the court is a proceeding by the nominated executor for the recovery of property alleged to be an asset of the estate (SCPA 2103). The examinations of the attorney-draftsman, the nominated executor, and the attesting witnesses have been completed.

A New York Will Lawyer said that, on this motion, respondents seek: (1) a stay of the probate proceeding pending conclusion of the SCPA 2103 proceeding; (2) a stay of the probate proceeding pending a construction of the in terrorem clause in the instrument offered for probate; (3) an order granting petitioner the right to depose the nominated successor executor prior to filing objections; and (4) an order granting petitioner the right to depose the attorney-draftsman of a prior instrument purporting to be the last will and testament of decedent, again, prior to the filing of objections.

A Nassau Estate Litigation Attorney said that, in support of that branch of the motion which seeks a stay of this proceeding pending a construction of the instrument offered for probate, petitioners allege that the in terrorem clause violates public policy. An issue as to whether a provision of a last will and testament violates public policy must be resolved by construction of the instrument to determine the testator’s intent and the effect of the provisions on the persons to be influenced. However, the court has no authority to construe a will before its admission to probate. That branch of the motion is therefore denied.

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A New York Probate Lawyer said that, the petitioner, asserting a status as the widow of the deceased, seeks an order under section 20 of the Surrogate’s Court Act re-opening the decree admitting the will to probate. In support of her application she relies upon the omission of the respondent executors to cite her in the earlier proceeding. She admits it to be her purpose, in the event she is successful on this application, to relieve herself of her default in serving a notice of election to take against the will which was admitted to probate on September 24, 1952, an event of which she has been shown to have been fully cognizant though at the time she made no attempt to intervene in the proceeding.

A New York Estate Litigation Lawyer said that, the issue has been joined by the filing of an answer in which it is alleged that the petitioner and the deceased were never married and that she has voluntarily relinquished whatever rights she might have had in his estate by an instrument executed by her as a release together with a written agreement of settlement which terminated an action she had instituted against the executors in the Supreme Court for monies loaned to the deceased, for work, labor and services rendered, and for breach of an agreement allegedly requiring the respondents ‘to provide for plaintiff’s good care and support.’ She was represented in that action and in the negotiations for settlement by competent counsel of her own selection.

A New York Will Lawyer said that, the executors, pleading the agreement and release in bar, have moved for summary judgment dismissing the petition on the merits. The petitioner had previously filed her reply in which she had challenged the effectiveness of the instruments upon which the respondents rely. This being the state of the pleadings the court is called upon on this motion to decide as a matter of law whether the release and agreement would be sufficient in content and context to bar the petitioner from asserting rights to which she would be entitled were she in fact the widow of the deceased and if so, to determine whether an issue of fact exists in connection with the question as to whether the documents are nevertheless incapable of producing that result because of the circumstances surrounding their execution and exchange.

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According to a New York Estate Lawyer, this is a case about the estate of Bertha Weil Fitzgerald. Reports that reached his office said that the estate was left to a number of charitable institutions and couple of churches according to her will. These charities and churches are Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, including Manhattan and Staten Island, National Society for Prevention of Blindness, Inc., The Fresh Air Fund, First National City Bank as Committee of the Property of Paul S. Ames, Jr., Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Archbishopric of New York and for Terence Cardinal Cooke, The Salvation Army, Heart Fund, American Cancer Society Inc., and the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center.

According to the Will that was executed in 1970, all of these charities and churches shall receive each an amount of $50,000. The Fitzgerald Estate was valued at $2 million. The remainder of the estate shall be given to the Archbishopric of New York. However, Bertha Weil Fitzgerald had a 41 year old son who was, according to sources told a New York Probate attorney, legally entitled to the estate of his deceased mother. It was also said on the Will that Bertha did not intend to leave any amount r any part of her estate to her son, who was also invalid and incompetent. The son according to reports had been institutionalized since childhood and therefore was under no condition to care for himself much less to her mother’s estate. It was also noted that the grandmother, Bertha’s mother already left half a million dollars to her grandson when she passed away some years back.

This case was filed by the trust company of Bertha’s son claiming that the son, under their representation did not receive any notice about the Will of Bertha. They claim that the son was not able to file an objection to his mother’s last will and testament and that it was right to do so. It was also noted that by law an incompetent spouse or in this case a son can file for an objection if he or she was left with a sum leas than or not equal to the sum that were left to other beneficiaries in this churches and charitable institutions. It is also what is known as a case of excessive or too much charity.

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We all want to trust those we love to do the right thing. For some, that blind faith in family and loved ones to do what is right may prove to be detrimental. According to a report by a NY Estate Planning Lawyer, when a will, trust or inheritance is concerned, people get dollar signs in their eyes, so much so that they become irrational in their thinking and in turn, in their behavior. Since money is touted as the most important survival tool in our country, once some people have access to it, they will take it even if it belongs to someone that they have loved and respected all of their lives. 

Such is the case for an 89 year old woman whose grandson was named the trustee of her estate, which included her house, social security checks and a trust fund that had been gifted to her 35 years ago. Within just two weeks of having been awarded the position of trustee, the grandson began removing money out of his grandmother’s accounts and plugging it back into his own, now defunct, carpet and construction businesses. 

The New York Estate Planning Lawyer reports that the elderly woman went from having $105,000 to live on for the rest of her life to losing her house and having her bank account blasted to less than $6000 by her grandson, who was caught after his own mother, the daughter of the elderly woman, realized what he was doing and called authorities. 

Though the money is gone and the grandmother is now living in a small trailer with no money, revealed the New York Estate Planning Lawyer, the woman has forgiven her grandson and is worried that if he goes to jail for his crimes against her then she will never see another penny from him, leaving her worse off than before. In Brooklyn and Manhattan this action could be prosecuted by the authorities. It just goes to show that in matters of financial planning, blood relation is not always a guarantee that your finances will be safe.



If you are concerned with your estate or your inheritance, call a New York Estate Planning Attorney today for guidance and support. Whether you are looking for a beneficiary or wanting to construct a will, a New York Estate Planning Attorney will be there to serve your needs. The law offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates has caring New York Probate Lawyers that can help you plan your estate. Our New York Probate Lawyers can help you probate an estate, write a will or set up a trust. We have convenient offices in New York City, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Suffolk and Nassau County. We want to help you through what may be a difficult time with as little problems as possible and offer a free consultation at 1-800-NYNY-LAW (1-800-696-9529). Call us today to take advantage of this free consultation and speak to a New York Probate Lawyer from our firm.

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