Articles Posted in Queens

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In this proceeding the petitioner requests probate of a will executed in 1955 while the decedent was domiciled in New York County. A New York Probate Lawyer said that the petitioner is an appointed executor of a will which bequeaths the residuary estate to a New York charity. Decedent journeyed to Bavaria, West Germany in 1965 and executed a holographic will while still there in 1967; that will provides that it revokes all prior wills. She died, still in Germany, having neither home nor presence in New York from after departure in 1965 until her death in 1968.

A New York Will Lawyer said that Respondent cross-petitioner is the sole legatee under the later will, which was established in court proceedings in West Germany in 1972. Respondent cross-petitioner moved for summary judgment dismissing the petition and denying probate to the prior 1955 will. Respondent further petitions for ancillary letters c.t.a. on the basis of the 1967 will.

A Staten Island Probate Lawyer said that the court finds that judicial decrees, not administrative certificates, were rendered by courts of record in Germany in the establishment of the 1967 holographic will of the decedent. Furthermore, the ‘Certificate of Inheritance’ issued by the District Court in Germany constitutes a final decree and not merely an interlocutory determination. In addition a finding of German domicile was essential to the establishment of the 1967 will in Germany. On the basis of the recognized rules of comity, this court gives full recognition to the establishment of the 1967 will of the decedent in the German courts.

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A New York Probate Lawyer said that, the decree admitting this testator’s will to probate restrained the executor from paying or satisfying any legacy or distributive share until further order of the Surrogate. The executor now moves to have such restriction removed. The facts essential to a decision are not in dispute. At the time of his death on January 2, 1964 the testator was an American citizen domiciled in Switzerland. His will, which was executed in New York on November 6, 1961, attempted to exercise a power of appointment granted to this testator by the will of his mother and bequeathed his entire residuary estate to his second wife. Article TENTH of the will reads as follows: ‘I direct that this will be submitted for probate in New York County, State of New York, United States of America, and that the provisions of this will shall be governed by the laws of the State of New York in accordance with section 47 of the New York Decedent Estate Law.’

A New York Will Lawyer said that, the testator’s first wife, as the general guardian of two infant children, interposed objections in the probate proceeding. One objection concerned the effectiveness of the quoted text of the will since it was the contention of the general guardian that the testator’s property must be disposed of in conformity with Swiss law under which the infant children would be entitled to shares of the estate as forced heirs of the testator. This objection was not ruled upon in the probate proceeding but, because of the objection, the restrictive provision was placed in the probate decree.

The issue in this case is whether the restrictive provision that was placed in the probate decree should be removed.

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Barbara Fairbairn, primary beneficiary and second wife of Howard Fairbairn was named primary executor of all his estates in June 1997. But according to New York Will Contest lawyer, Howard’s son, Richard Fairbairn by previous marriage filed an objection on the last will and testament of his father claiming Barbara exercised excessive and unlawful influence on his father and that the Will was executed with fraud. He filed an objection to his father’s will because he believed that Barbara was not the rightful person to execute or manage his father’s properties and other cash and assets. Unfortunately no such evidence was found by the court and Barbara was still and remained to be the sole executor of Howard Fairbairn’s will.

However, Barbara went on and continued filing a case against Howard’s daughter, Carolyn Desilva. Barbara claimed that Carolyn sent two letters Richard Fairbairn’s attorney and that both letters contained false accusations about her personality as well as her family’s reputation. The said letters were also sent to court as part of the evidence against Carolyn. According to reports, Barbara claimed that Carolyn was objecting to Barbara’s inheritance and the letters were her way to contest her father’s will. It was noted that Barbara had already filed a previous case against Carolyn to remove her from participating in her father’s estate. The court ruled in favour of Carolyn saying that there was no sufficient evidence or any cause to bar Carolyn from such participation. That is why Barbara again filed another case, still pursuing to remove Carolyn from her father’s will and testament. Barbara further claimed that Carolyn and Richard conspired against her to remove her from being the executor of their father’s estate. However, Barbara’s only evidence was the letters Carolyn wrote and sent to Richard’s attorney.

Carolyn on the other hand said that she only wrote those letters because she was asked by Richard Fairbairn’s attorney for some background information on Barbara and that those letters were never meant to hurt anybody or discredit anybody from anything. The court also said that it was also true that Carolyn was not properly informed that her personal letters were going to be admitted as evidence against her in the court of law. A New York Estate Administration lawyer was also informed that Carolyn even signed a waiver and consent that her father’s will was valid and that Barbara’s title as primary executor or beneficiary of his estate of properties were all executed legally and lawfully. These documents signed by Carolyn with regards to her father’s estate and also with regards to her father’s chosen executor or beneficiary only made Carolyn’s defence stronger, strong enough to dismiss Barbara’s appeal to remove her from her father father’s last will. Cases like this are handled in a similar way in Queens and Westchester County.

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In February 14, 1980, the will of Sally Lippner, deceased, was contested by her daughter Suzanne H. Epstein. Ms. Lippner died in January 11, 1980, and the will questioned is dated December 1, 1979. In Ms. Lippner’s last will and testament, she bequeathed all her property to five charities. There is a gift of Israeli bonds to the State of Israel. The will also state that her daughter Ms. Epstein receives no part of her estate as she had adequately provided for her in her lifetime.

The will further specify that in case that the will fail and becomes useless all the property will go to her trustees. In conformance to the trust agreement that she has set up while she was alive. The inter vivos trust was also set on the same date of the will. The paperwork says that the trust will be funded if in any case that the gift, devise or legacy made under the last will and testament made by Ms. Lippner will be ineffective. The trustees on the document are the same people named as executors of her will. Meaning, the trustees will give the income from the fund to the same charities she has named in her will, says a New York Estate Administration Lawyer. After five years, the charities then will receive the principal divided equally between them.

Ms. Lippner’s will included a “no contest” clause. A New York Probate Lawyer also said, from the records, it specifically stated that any person who will contest the will, it does not matter what reason will lose the right to any part of the estate which, would have been theirs. Aside from these papers documenting litigation between the Ms. Lippner and her daughter, Ms. Epstein, was attached. It had the history of the litigation to show that Ms. Epstein, although the only descendant was really intended to be excluded from the estate distribution.

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