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Court Rules on a Will Contest Matter


Arthur D. Norcross, executed a will that gives all his residuary estate to charity. His daughter, because the bequest exceeded half of the estate filed a will contest. The executors countered this contest saying that the daughter had signed an agreement that she will not contest any gift to charity through her father’s will.

The executors move for a summary judgment for this contest on the will to be invalid. The executor also stated that the daughter is not bound to gain anything with the success of the contest. Therefore, she does not have a stand to contest. Queens Probate Lawyers say they do not dispute that the bequest to the charity is more than half of the testator’s estate. What they point out is that in the will, it also states that “’I make no provision in this will, other than the provision in Article FIRST hereof, for my children, HELEN NORCROSS CEDER and ARTHUR D. NORCROSS, JR., not from any lack of affection, but because I have adequately provided for their welfare by inter vivos deeds of trust and otherwise.”

The law does not prevent any person from giving all his estate to charity, nor does it require for them to give any part of the estate to relatives. The law aims to prevent giving an undue portion to charity when relatives have a better claim.

A New Probate Lawyer also states that the law intends to alienate charities but to protect family members if they decide to raise this statute.

The words in the last will and testament will be the one to determine if the testator had really intended to disinherit a family member for the charity. The doctrine of Stare decisis, or basing decisions on previous rulings can take effect here. In this case, what the court did was to compare the words used in the testaments in the matter of Cairo. Both had stated that they do not want their relative to get more than what they have stated in their will. In this case though, the testator further states that it is not because of lack of affection, but because he has already provided them well while he was still alive. They do not want the charities to get nothing, in this matter though, it would seem that it allows the will to be defeated.

Mr. Norcross’ will is not showing disinheritance but s stating that he does have affection for his children, and he has given then sufficient benefits while he was still alive. In the matter of Cairo, what the will specifically state is that the testator wants to deprive the grandson of any property that will be left after all debts and fees have been paid from the estate. The intent to disinherit was conveyed. In this matter, the court determined that the testator did not intend to disinherit. They moved then that the motion for the summary dismissal be denied, according to Manhattan Probate Lawyers.

Sometimes when wills are not interpreted properly, it may hurt the people who are left, and they may be without what should have been for them. To see to it that you get your fair share, you would need a first-rate legal counsel. They will make sure that the will is interpreted the best way that will be beneficial to everyone, especially you.

This is where Stephen Bilkis & Associates have Probate Lawyers come in. They are there in the front lines when your interest is the one in line. Before an issue even arises they would already plan on it for you. You can get a free consultation with them at 1-800 NY – NY- LAW. They handle cases from anywhere in New York or Long Island.

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