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Court Hears Will Contest over Real Property


This matter deals with the last will and testament of Irene N. Timblin, deceased. The case is being heard in the Surrogates Court of Suffolk County. The will has been propounded in the Surrogates Court of Suffolk County. The Public Administrator of Cascade County in California has raised objections to the probate upon the ground that the decedent died while living in Cascade County, California and not in Suffolk County.

Case Background

The decedent and her husband lived in Blueblinds at Smithtown in a manor home located on Long Island. The graves are located near Saint James. The husband passed away in November of 1955 and his wife passed away in May of 1956.

In 1955, the wife voted in the general election from her home in Smithtown. The couple had an apartment in Brooklyn where the business of the husband was located.

A New York Probate Lawyer said after her husband passed away, the wife went to Palm Springs, California in January of 1956 for a recuperative vacation. She intended to return to New York in the spring. She rented a home in Palm Springs for her extended stay. However, in March of 1956, she bought and furnished a home in the area. Around the same time she made a call to her housekeeper in New York and told her to bring the car, a pet, and some other household effects to California. The majority of her personal clothing had already been shipped to California.

Unexpectedly, the decedent was called to New York, likely to sign papers to sell her husbands business. While in New York she called some of her friends, each who state that the decedent expressed she would be returning to California to reside. She became ill while in New York and the last hotel she stayed in had her listed address as being in Palm Springs.

The decedent passed away without having her belongings shipped to Palm Springs and never spending a night in her new home.

Case Discussion

When the decedent first left New York it was clear that she intended to come back to the state to live. However, while in California she made the decision to move there. She did say that she planned on keeping an apartment in New York City. A Staten Island Probate Lawyer said the question before the court is where the decedent’s domicile was at the time of her death.

The decedent had lived in New York for her entire married life. Her friends and family are in the area and her husband and now she are both buried here. While it cannot be argued that she had intended to make the move to California before she became ill, it is established that her roots were in the state of New York.

Case Decision

When the facts of the matter are reviewed it is clear that the decedent had intended to move to California. However, Nassau County Probate Lawyers said at the time of her demise she was still deeply rooted in New York. For this reason, the objections made by the Public Administrator of Cascade County in California are dismissed.

Probate matters can become complicated, which is why it is important to have a qualified New York probate attorney on your side. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates to set up an appointment to speak with one of our experienced probate attorneys. Our offices are located in New York City and a free consultation with one of our lawyers is offered upon your first visit.

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