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Daughter Brings Will Contest Action Against Estate


This is a summary proceeding case involving the public administrator of New York versus the respondent who was one of the heirs of the decedent. The facts of the
case states that the decedent died in 1977 leaving a will. In that will, the house and lot was devised to one of the daughters and the other two children that includes the herein respondent were allotted legacies in the form of bank account of their testator-father. It turned out that there were no more deposits in the said bank accounts and the only property left by the decedent was the house and lot which was allotted to just one daughter. The two daughters that included the respondent in effect did not inherit anything.

The daughter who inherited the entire estate of the decedent died on September 2000 without leaving a will. The court issued letters of administration to the public administrator who is now the petitioner in the case, for the legal disposition of the daughter’s properties and assets which included the estate of her father. In 2008, the respondent filed objections to the probate of the will of her father alleging that the said will is a forgery and that there was an earlier true will that was made by her decedent father. Notwithstanding the objection of the respondent, a New York Probate Lawyer said the proceedings continued and the house and lot originally coming from the decedent father was sold in June 18, 2010. After the house and lot was sold, the public administrator filed a petition for the final accounting of the proceeds of the sale as well as the finalization of his duties in this particular issue.

The respondent filed objections to the petition for final accounting filed by the petitioner and posed certain issues that according to her are enough to consider that the entire procedure for the estate administration and consequent sale of the property of her decedent father was erroneous. Among the claims of the respondent included the charge of impropriety on the part of the public administrator because he was also the one who bought the property in the auction and re-sold it later at a higher price. Another was that the property was sold at a very low price as compared to the valuation that is based on the government assessor’s office. The other issue posed by the respondent refers to the commission that was due to the public administrator and such other expenses that were all charged to the proceeds of the sale and also the possibility of incurring additional assessment and charges from the tax division of the government.

With the objections posed by the respondent, and the reply presented by the petitioner, the issue was submitted by the petitioner for summary judgment of the court. A Staten Island Probate Lawyer said both parties agreed to the move for summary judgement with their position papers as the sole basis of court’s judgment.

In ruling on the motion for summary judgment in this estate litigation, the court addressed the issues presented by the respondent one by one and also the reply given by the petitioner. The will contest earlier presented by the respondent was not given due course as there was nothing that could prove the same to be true. In deciding, the court ruled that there was nothing irregular with the sale of the property and that the petitioner followed the mandate given to him by the court in an orderly manner. Queens Probate Lawyers said that the price of the property was sold at a price lower than the fair market value was based on the fact that the house at that time needed repairs as it was neglected. The government makes a valuation of the property based only on limited factors while in reality additional considerations are factored in determining the actual price that it can be sold like the condition of the house, its location, the neighbourhood, etc. Finding no reason to give credence to all the arguments of the respondent, the court granted the petition for summary judgment in favour of the petitioner public administrator.

Property dispositions of the decedent will require the assistance of a skilled lawyer. Losing a case such as the one discussed above can be avoided if legal counsel is an experienced in handling proceedings such as this one. To protect your rights in the manner that is dictated by the law, hire a competent lawyer at the first instance to protect your rights as an heir, devisee or legatee. Stephen Bilkins and Associates can give you the necessary legal assistance when it comes to these types of legal issues.

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