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This is a petition to modify restrictions on an endowment fund, pursuant to section 8-1.1 of the Estates, Powers and Trusts Law or, in the alternative, section 522 of the Not-for-Profit Corporation Law. Petitioners, trustees of a university, seek an order authorizing the subdivision of an endowment fund created by a testamentary bequest to the College of Medicine. The Attorney General of the State of New York (on behalf of ultimate charitable beneficiaries) has reviewed the current audit of the fund and raises no objection to the relief requested in the petition.

The decedent died on March 9, 1985. Her last will and testament was admitted to probate by a decree of this court dated April 5, 1985. Decedent was a graduate of the University, a member of the Board of Trustees and a benefactor of the University. In September 1986, the University received $1,500,000 from the estate of the deceased.

The University states that the income from the fund exceeds the amount required to fund a chair in clinical medicine. Specifically, the income exceeds the amount that can be utilized under the University’s guidelines. The guidelines for endowment funds provide payment of a salary to the professor appointed to the professorship and expenses including laboratory space and research services. Beginning in 2007, the University has required $2.5 million to fund an endowment for a full professorship and $1.5 million to fund an endowed associate or an assistant professorship. The currently expendable income from the Uris professorship generates annual expendable income of $242,284. A current endowment of $2.5 million generates expendable income of $107,500.

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This is an estate case where the proceeding raises an issue of virtual representation of unborn contingent remaindermen. The purpose of the virtual representation statute (SCPA 315) is to dispense with the necessity of service of process on necessary or proper parties.

Testator was survived by his widow and one son. The son is unmarried. His unborn children are contingent remaindermen of two trusts.The first is the usual marital deduction A trust with power in the widow to appoint the principal. In default of the exercise of such power, the son is the remainderman. If he should predecease his mother, his unborn children are the contingent remaindermen. The second is a B trust. The widow and son share the income. Upon the death of the widow, the son receives the principal if then living; and if not, then his as yet unborn children are the remaindermen.

The interests of the unborn contingent remaindermen which may be adversely affected arises in this as in most cases not from the nature of the proceedings or of the trusts but from the predictable impact of the decree. It suffices simply to note that the sole assets of both trusts are shares of stock in a family corporation which represent a controlling interest in the hands of the trustee.

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This is a proceeding to construe and reform the last will and testament of a decedent who died on August 31, 2006 survived by four adult children. The will was admitted to probate by decree dated March 7, 2007, and the children were appointed as the coexecutors of the estate. The court has appointed a guardian ad litem to represent the disabled daughter’s interests in this proceeding. Jurisdiction is complete. The guardian ad litem has filed his report, and the matter has been submitted for decision.The daughter has filed a document entitled “Response to Executor/Fiduciary Petition for Construction of Will” in which she terms herself “petitioner.” The guardian has submitted a report in which he informs the court that after an article 81 hearing on April 23, 2008, the judge rendered a decision wherein he concluded that the daughter has certain deficiencies and limitations and further concluded that son would be appointed as daughter’s guardian with certain limited powers, which the ward does not enumerate.

Although the New York State Department of Health (DOH) has no current claim or pecuniary interest, it was cited and appeared in this proceeding by its attorney, the Attorney General of New York. DOH consents to having the will reformed to name trustees for the ARTICLE FOURTH trust, but takes no position as to who should be named as trustees. DOH opposes Irwin’s request to reform the ARTICLE FOURTH trust into a supplemental needs trust. DOH asserts that reforming the trust to create a supplemental needs trust is not necessary or appropriate given the language the decedent used in the will to pay Susan all of the net annual income of the trust without any trustee discretion or interference about how the money is to be used. DOH points out that the will postdates the enactment in 1993 of EPTL 7-1.12, the statute that authorizes the establishment of supplemental needs trusts for individuals with severe and chronic or persistent disabilities.

In opposing the establishment of a supplemental needs trust, DOH points to the decedent’s direction to the trustees to provide Susan with the “lifestyle that would provide for her the standard of living which she had enjoyed during [the decedent’s] lifetime. I direct that my Trustees provide her with the proper residence, a full time companion, all her physical needs, recreation, support, maintenance and welfare to the fullest entend [sic] possible.” DOH acknowledges that the payment of income from the trust to daughter will likely disqualify her from some governmental benefits. DOH argues that it is for the court or for a guardian of daughter’s property to determine whether Susan’s best interests are served by receiving the income payments from the ARTICLE FOURTH trust or whether she requires the creation of a self-settled supplemental needs trust.

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In 1970 a group annuity contract plan was entered into by defendant Company and a hospital as contractholder. On April 25, 1972 the company issued its certificate to a doctor, which named him as a participant in that group annuity plan.

The certificate had originally been issued on April 4, 1972 with the same designated beneficiaries, but the name was misspelled. In a handwritten note, a request was made to correct the spelling and as a result company issued the corrected certificate dated April 25, 1972, referred to supra.

The decedent, who was the first wife and the mother of their two sons, died on August 23, 1973. Approximately one year after her death the doctor remarried. His new wife was the plaintiff in this action. The doctor died in February, 1979 and his will, executed March 3, 1976, was admitted to probate in March, 1979.

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This is a petition to terminate a testamentary trust pursuant to EPTL 7-1.19. The trust was established under the will of a decedent, which was admitted to probate on January 23, 2004. Under her will, the testator left her residuary estate, consisting of her residence located at 2531 Ocean Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, in trust. The trustee was authorized to distribute the income to her daughters for their “maintenance, education, advancement, health, comfort or benefit, including but not limited to the need for a suitable residence of the two daughters.

Upon the death of the survivor of the two daughters, the trust terminates and the principal is distributed to the testator’s son, or, if he does not survive her sisters, to his children living at the testator’s death.

On February 18, 2005, the daughter entered into a contract to sell the Ocean Avenue property for $990,000. In April, 2005, the siblings entered into a stipulation allowing the sister to borrow $175,000, secured by a mortgage on the property, to enable her to buy another home. The mortgage was to be satisfied upon sale of the property and the amount used to satisfy the mortgage charged to the daughter’s share of the sales proceeds.

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This is a proceeding to construe the last will and testament of a testatrix who died on April 18, 2010, survived by five children. Her will, dated September 1, 2006 (the “Will”), was admitted to probate on July 2, 2010 and letters testamentary issued to petitioner, one of her children. Article SECOND of the Will established a credit shelter trust for her husband, with remainder to her children. Article THREE left the “rest, residue and remainder” of her estate to her husband outright. Her husband predeceased her and she provided in Article FOURTH that if her husband predeceased her, she left “all the rest, residue and remainder of my estate, real, personal and mixed and wheresoever situated”

The estate is sufficiently large to generate a New York State estate tax. Article FIFTH of the will provides that “All estate, inheritance, transfer, succession or other similar taxes shall be payable out of the residuary of my estate”. The executor asks that the Court construe the gift to real property to the devisee in Article FOURTH(A) as a preresiduary gift and the remainder clause of Article FOURTH(B) as the residuary estate. The executor brings this construction proceeding, since he claims that not all of the residuary beneficiaries agree with his interpretation.

In the Will in question, Article FIFTH directs that the payment of estate taxes be paid from the residuary estate. The problem is that the Will contains two residuary clauses. The first is found in the preamble to Article FOURTH, which disposes of the “all rest, residue and remainder of my estate, real , personal and mixed and wheresoever situated” of the testator’s estate if the testator’s husband predeceased the testator. The second is Article FOURTH(B), which purports to dispose of the “rest and remainder” of the testator’s estate after the devise of real property in Article FOURTH(A).

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In this Probate case, Petitioner moves for summary judgment on her entitlement to take an elective share of the decedent’s estate pursuant to EPTL 5-1.1-A. Petitioner filed a petition seeking a decree determining that she is entitled to take her elective share against the estate, and that her notice of election was properly served, filed and recorded as provided by law.

The respondents filed a verified answer alleging various affirmative defenses1 and counterclaims seeking to: (1) have the alleged marriage between the decedent and petitioner deemed null and void ab initio, and to annul the marriage nunc pro tunc; (2) dismiss the petition in its entirety; (3) vacate petitioner’s notice of election; and (4) award the estate damages for the costs of this proceeding. Alternatively, if petitioner is not disqualified as a surviving spouse, they seek an award of compensatory damages equal to the elective share, plus interest and costs of the proceeding for the loss to the estate resulting from petitioner’s fraudulent conduct.

The decedent died on June 16, 2006, survived by two sons, the coexecutors herein, and four grandchildren from a prior marriage. Petitioner served as the decedent’s caretaker during the last decade of his life. The decedent’s will dated July 10, 1982, was admitted to probate on October 30, 2006. Letters testamentary were issued to the nominated coexecutors on that date. The decedent’s children and grandchildren were the sole beneficiaries under the will.

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Submitted for decision in this uncontested accounting proceeding are the issues of the fees of counsel for the executor, accountant’s fees and reimbursements to the executor of sums advanced by him.

Mrs. VY died on August 27, 2003 a resident of Massapequa, New York. Her son, petitioner DJ, and her daughter, KR, survived her. Her will of September 30, 1970 and a codicil thereto-dated June 22, 1972 were admitted to probate on November 12, 2003 and letters testamentary issued to petitioner. The will provides that the residuary estate be divided equally between the two children but that KR, if unmarried, be given a two year right to occupy the decedent’s Massapequa home provided she pay real estate taxes. KR resided in the premises until late August, 2005 and the estate sold the property on February 14, 2006.

As with any request for a fee, the court bears the ultimate responsibility for approving legal fees that are charged to an estate and has the discretion to determine what constitutes reasonable compensation for legal fees rendered in the course of an estate regardless of a retainer agreement.

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In an action to recover damages for medical malpractice and lack of informed consent, etc., in which the defendant SSS Medical Center commenced a third-party action against KC, as successor executor of the estate of Mr. RR, KC appeals from an order of the Supreme Court, dated May 1, 2009, which, inter alia, denied her motion to dismiss the third-party complaint based upon her allegation that her status as personal representative of the estate of Mr. RR terminated by operation of law.

On July 18, 2002, the plaintiff Mr. T underwent surgery at SSS Heights Medical Center (hereinafter SSS), and Mr. RR served as his anesthesiologist. Mr. RR died on October 1, 2002. On October 21, 2002, Mr. RR’s father, Mr. X, as executor of Mr. RR’s estate, petitioned the Surrogate’s Court, New York County, to have Mr. RR’s will admitted to probate. The petition to admit the will to probate stated that Mr. RR died while a domiciliary of New York, and that KC was named in the will as successor executor. By decree dated November 25, 2002, the will was admitted to probate, and on November 26, 2002, letters testamentary were issued to Mr. X. Thereafter, Mr. X died.

In 2003 the plaintiffs commenced the main action against, among others, SSS. In 2008, SSS commenced the instant third-party action against KC (hereinafter the appellant), as successor executor of Mr. RR’s estate, seeking common-law indemnification. The appellant, a resident of Colorado, retained Colorado attorneys X&Y. On behalf of their client, X&Y entered into a stipulation with SSS, in which, inter alia, the appellant admitted that she was served with the third-party summons and complaint, and stated that the third-party summons and complaint would be forwarded to the medical malpractice insurance carrier for Mr. RR. The stipulation also stated that SSS “will seek no recovery from the Estate of Mr. RR, M.D., except to the extent of any professional liability insurance available to the Estate of Mr. RR, M.D., deceased.”

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Motion is made to strike out a counterclaim interposed in this action wherein plaintiff seeks to compel defendants to deliver to her a bank passbook of an account in the Interest Department of the ABC Trust Company of Albany issued to and opened in the name of ‘Ms. B, in Trust for Ms. OD.’

Ms. OD is the plaintiff and Ms. B is now deceased. The defendant Mrs. V is the named executrix in the last will and testament of Ms. B, which has been offered for, but as yet has not been admitted to, probate. The co-defendant Mrs. M, an attorney, drew such will, was a subscribing witness thereto, and is acting as the attorney for Mrs. V in offering it for probate. It is alleged that such defendants have possession of the passbook, without which plaintiff cannot withdraw the fund, and that they have refused to deliver it to her upon demand.

The defendants’ answer admits all of the allegations of the complaint except that plaintiff ‘is entitled to possession of the said bank book’ and it also contains certain matter asserted as ‘a separate defense and by way of counterclaim.’ In that contention defendants allege the opening of the account by Ms. B in form in trust for plaintiff, as well as the making of the will hereinabove referred to. They further allege that objections to the probate of the will have been made by certain persons, to wit, KK, QQ and ET, who would be the intestate distributees of Ms. B, of whom plaintiff is not one; that such objections, among other things, challenge her testamentary capacity; that the funds going into the bank deposit set up for plaintiff derived from a sale of real property of the deceased, and that no part thereof ‘was produced or provided by the said Ms. OD;’ that the bank account was set up approximately two months prior to the execution of the will; that if such objections to it are sustained the validity of the disposition of the aforesaid bank account likewise will be attacked; that the defendants have been presented with adverse claims to the funds represented by such bank account by both plaintiff and such distributees of Ms. B, and that they ‘cannot determine, without hazard to themselves, the right of the said persons to the said property and are exposed to double liability as the result of such adverse claims.’ Defendants assert their willingness to deliver the passbook and the fund it represents to whomsoever shall be adjudged entitled to it. They allege that they have impleaded the distributees who make the adverse claims as aforesaid by service upon them of a summons and interpleading complaint, together with a copy of the original summons and complaint served upon them in this action.’

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