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Court Rules on Undue Influence Allegations


The petitioners in this case have filed a motion for summary judgment which will dismiss the public administrator’s objections. The petitioners are also seeking the admission of the testator’s will for probate.

Before the death of the testator, he had been living in a facility for the elderly for many years. One of the two petitioners in this case is the current administrator of the elderly home. The other petitioner held the position of director of the same place. As co-executors of the will, the entire estate of the decedent will go to them.

A New York Probate Lawyer said that upon learning of the will, the petitioners have filed for probate but the public administrator prevents the action. The public administrator is obliged under the law to become one of the parties in litigation. The objections were raised because during that time, the decedent allegedly did not have the ability to draft a testament. The public administrator also made allegations that the contested will was only written because of the undue influence of the petitioners.

Staten Island Probate Lawyers said that the preliminary letters were issued to petitioners but these were later revoked because the petitioners failed to comply with the requirements. During that time, the court has ordered them to pay the bond. The public administrator was appointed by the court as the temporary executor while the petitioners’ case is pending.

Suffolk County Probate Lawyers said that the motion filed by the petitioners was due to a recent discovery. The petitioners’ statement is supported by their respective statements, the affirmation of the lawyer and various evidences. The deposition testimony was also presented as evidence. Under the provisions of the law, the petitioners for the summary judgment have the burden of providing proof that they are entitled to the motion. The petitioners must present sufficient proof that the issues raised by the public administrator have no legal basis.

According to the law, the court can grant summary judgment if the petitioners have enough evidence to support their case. The public administrator must support his objections with sufficient proof that undue influence was used to write the will of the decedent.

The decedent has been found on the doorstep of an apartment building. He was hospitalized for treatment and observation. The social worker who was assigned to the hospital contacted the petitioners if they could admit the patient into their facility. The petitioners agreed and placed the decedent in a private room.

According to the statement of the lawyer who drafted the will, the decedent had called his offices and wanted to talk to a lawyer concerning financial matters. The lawyer could not remember if there was someone else involved in their conversation. The lawyer said that the decedent was not a former client and he doesn’t know where he got the contact number. He assumed that the number had reached the decedent by word of mouth.

When the lawyer had agreed to meet with the decedent in the facility, the decedent proceeded to inquire about drafting a will. According to his testimony, it was his first time to draft a will for one of the residents in the facility. After his meeting with the decedent, he advised the old man to talk to a psychiatrist. The lawyer gave this advice after finding out that the decedent wanted to bequeath his assets to the petitioners.

The next day, the decedent went for a psychiatric exam. The exam was performed with the petitioners inside the room. After the results were obtained, the physician ruled that there were no signs of dementia. According to the doctor, the patient only showed slight memory problems. He also confirmed that the patient was fully capable of making financial decisions.

The public administrator also presented another expert opinion from the state psychiatrist who interpreted the exam results. The physician claimed that the decedent was also suffering from dementia thus he is incapable of making any decision regarding his money. The conflicting opinion of both doctors has created a significant issue.

The motion for summary judgment was denied by the court based on circumstantial evidence regarding undue influence used by the petitioners to get the decedent to sign the will.

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