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Application having been made to this Court by the trustees herein for a construction of the Will of Mrs. ALF, and for instructions regarding the trust for Mrs. VR, and it appearing that Mrs. ALF died a resident of Millbrook, Dutchess County, New York, on December 28, 1939, and that her Will was duly admitted to probate in this Court on January 15, 1940, and that LLE Inc. and the Bank of New York are duly acting under letters of trusteeship issued by this Court, and it further appearing that Mrs. VR, the primary income beneficiary of one of the trusts under article Sixth of the Will of Mrs. ALF, died on May 21, 1956, and that by reason of her death that trust is terminated, and it appearing that Louis Lee Stanton and the said Bank of New York as trustees, have submitted to the Court an account of their proceedings in respect to said trust so terminated, and it further appearing that a citation was issued to all the parties interested in this proceeding and that ABB, Esq., attorney and counselor at law of Beacon, New York, was designated to receive a copy of said citation on behalf of Mr. JAV, an infant under the age of 14 years, and the matter having come on to be heard by this Court on December 13, 1956, and no one having appeared but petitioners through their attorneys, CCC, Esqs., of 15 Broad Street, New York 5, New York, with WWW, Esq., of counsel, and the Court having appointed ABB, Esq., as Special Guardian for the infant, Mr. JAV, and after receiving a copy of the Special Guardian’s Report, and a Memorandum of Law submitted by the Special Guardian on behalf of his ward, and after hearing the respective attorneys and after due deliberation thereon, the Court finds and decides as follows:

It appears that Article Sixth of the Last Will and Testament of Mrs. ALF states as follows:

‘Sixth: To my Trustees hereinafter named I give and bequeath In Trust the sum of Twenty-five thousand Dollars ($25,000) in respect to each of my grandchildren (whether heretofore or hereafter born) who shall be living at the time of my death to hold one such sum of Twenty-five thousand Dollars ($25,000) for the benefit of each of my said grandchildren me surviving, and In Further Trust to invest and from time to time to reinvest each such trust fund of Twenty-five thousand Dollars ($25,000) and collect the income therefrom and during the minority of the grandchild for whom such trust fund is held to accumulate said income and, when such grandchild shall have attained the age of twenty one years, to pay the accumulated income to such grandchild and in Further Trust after each such grandchild shall have attained the age of twenty-one years to pay to such grandchild the whole net income of said trust fund. I direct that, when each such grandchild shall have attained the age of twenty one years, my Trustees pay over to him or her Ten thousand Dollars ($10,000) of the principal of said trust fund and, when he or she shall have attained the age of twenty five years, pay over to him or her the balance of the principal of said trust fund then remaining in Trust, whereupon the trust for the benefit of such grandchild shall cease and determine. In case any grandchild who shall survive me shall die before he or she shall have attained the age of twenty-five years, upon his or her death I give and bequeath the principal of said trust fund then held in trust and the accumulations of income, if any to such person or persons, and in such portions or shares as such grandchild by his or her last will and testament, duly admitted to probate and not otherwise, shall appoint, or in default of such appointment to the issue of such grandchild him or her surviving in equal shares per stirpes, or in default of any such issue then to my issue then surviving in equal shares per stirpes.’

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The issue in this probate proceeding is that ‘Has the propounded 1958 instrument been revoked?’

Testator died in 1971, a resident of this county. He left a modest estate consisting of personal property in New York and real property in Barbados, West Indies.

In 1958 he executed a will in New York. In that will he devised his real property in Barbados to two sisters residing there. His entire residuary consisting of personal property he bequeathed to his brother residing in New York.

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In a contested probate proceeding, the objectants appeal from a decree of the Surrogate’s Court, dated November 5, 2003, which, after reserving decision on the proponent’s motion pursuant to CPLR 4404 for judgment as a matter of law, made at the close of the evidence, and after the trial ended in a hung jury, upon the granting of the motion and determining that the will in question was duly executed and not a forgery, inter alia, directed that it be admitted to probate.

Ordered that the decree is affirmed, with costs payable personally by the objectants.

After the parties rested at trial, the proponent moved pursuant to CPLR 4404 for judgment as a matter of law. The Surrogate’s Court reserved decision on the motion and submitted the issue to the jury. After the trial ended in a hung jury, the Surrogate’s Court, upon granting the motion and determining that the will in question was duly executed and not a forgery, inter alia, directed that it be admitted to probate. Contrary to the objectants’ contention, the Surrogate’s Court properly entertained the motion after the trial ended in a hung jury.

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The proponent moves for an order directing the respondent, to furnish security for costs pursuant to section 282 of the Surrogate’s Court Act, on the ground that he is a nonresident. The respondent opposes the motion on the ground that: “An examination of the records of this court will reveal that the said respondent merely filed a notice of appearance herein. He filed no answer”.

The proponent alleges that his attorney was served with a copy of respondent’s objections to the propounded instrument The records, however, do not disclose the filing of the original objections (Surrogate’s Ct. Act, § 147) with proof of service thereof (Kings Co. Surrogate’s Ct., rule XIII), nor the payment of the filing fee required therefor (Surrogate’s Ct. Act, § 29-a, subd. 15).

The primary issue presented, therefore is whether the facts stated constitute the respondent a contestant within the purview of section 282 of the Surrogate’s Court Act, which provides: “282. In any proceeding where an issue is raised by answer or objection by or on behalf of a nonresident of the state of New York against the proponent of a will such proponent shall be entitled in the discretion of the surrogate to have the person or persons raising such issue give security for costs.” That section further provides that the Surrogate may dismiss the “objections” or “answer” if the order granting the motion be not complied with.

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The unique issue before the court is whether service of process upon the Public Administrator is sufficient to confer personal jurisdiction over an estate: (a) which petitioner claims is worth less than $10,000, (b) where no probate proceeding has been initiated and (c) where no letters of administration have been issued. The Public Administrator has specially appeared in this proceeding to contest service of process upon it on behalf of the named estate respondent. Co-Respondent seeks dismissal of the entire proceeding based upon petitioner’s failure to serve a necessary party, to wit: the estate.

The Petitioner is a cooperative housing company organized under the Mitchell-Lama law. Pursuant to the Rules and Regulations governing such cooperative, on August 14, 1991 petitioner obtained a certificate of eviction from HPD authorizing petitioner “to immediately commence any legal proceedings deemed appropriate for the termination of a tenancy” against both “the Tenant (deceased) and co-respondent Occupant.” The certificate of eviction mentions in part that co-respondent who also appeared as a respondent in the administrative proceeding, submitted to the administrative tribunal a will purportedly made by the tenant in which the co-respondent’s daughter and co-respondent are named as the sole beneficiaries. The administrative tribunal rejected his argument that as his mother’s beneficiary he was entitled to live in the apartment.

It is uncontested that the aforementioned will was never admitted to probate and that otherwise no estate representative, either permanent or temporary, was ever appointed by the Surrogates Court. Petitioner thereafter commenced this summary dispossess-holdover proceeding. Service upon the estate of the decedent was made by service upon the Public Administrator.

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Indicted for multiple counts of handgun possession and a single count of possession of weapons with intent to sell, the defendant, waived a jury and the case was tried by the court. Decision was reserved pending submission of briefs. This is the decision and its reasoning.

The case could have been tried on an agreed statement of facts; the only issue for the court to decide and upon which my decision turns is the defendant’s state of mind during the time he purchased and stored the handguns. On April 15, 1985, pursuant to a search warrant, officers of the New York City Police Department searched the defendant’s room in a YMCA and recovered 14 handguns and a quantity of ammunition. The defendant had been employed as a cab driver and hoped to open a sporting goods store; the weapons had been purchased as stock for the yet to be opened store. The police learned of his cache through his procurement of the necessary federal licenses to make the initial wholesale purchases.

On March 25, 1985, a federal inspector visited his room at the “Y” to conduct an administrative inspection of the premises listed on the defendant’s federal firearm’s license; two citations resulted. Defendant contested the citations in the form of a “Notice of disagreement” wherein he argued that since he was not presently conducting a retail business in his YMCA room, he was not in violation of the particular regulations; he served the notice upon both the federal agency and the Police License Bureau. The visit of April 15 was the official response.

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Petitioner is the niece of the testator. In January, 1961, she and testator entered into an ante-nuptial agreement in which testator agreed to bequeath $25,000 to her. Testator and petitioner were thereafter married in accordance with the rites of the Jewish faith. In January, 1962, the marriage was annulled, the judgment awarding petitioner alimony. Testator died in April, 1965. Petitioner filed objections to probate of his will. Her objections were dismissed on the ground she was not a person interested in the probate proceeding. In April, 1966, petitioner sought a construction of the will. The court declined to entertain the petition inasmuch as the will was wholly unambiguous insofar as petitioner was concerned. The will does not contain the bequest of the $25,000 agreed to in the ante-nuptial agreement.

Petitioner moves to compel the executors to render and settle their account. She asserts she is a creditor of the estate because of the ante-nuptial agreement and also because of unpaid alimony. The executors dispute the enforceability of the agreement and claim the alimony was paid. In response petitioner states she rejected the tender of the alimony after this proceeding was commenced on the ground that the tender did not include interest.

The court construes the filing of the petition, based on the said claims of the petitioner, to be a sufficient presentation of the claims of which the executor had previous knowledge, and the executors’ answer to the petition to be a sufficient rejection of the claims within the intendment of section 208–a of the Surrogate’s Court Act.

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The proceeding before the court is one for construction of paragraph “THIRD” of the will of the decedent. It has a long and checkered history before the court. The facts, not complex in themselves, but made so because of the number of parties and their constantly altering positions, unfortunately, requires review in detail to do justice to all. The legal issues presented are unusual and present questions of procedure as well as substance, not typically found in probate proceedings.

Under paragraph THIRD of his will, the testator bequeathed his residuary estate, valued upon the accounting at $50,393.65, to “The Franciscan Fathers, Christ the King Seminary, St. Bonaventure University, Olean, New York, with the request that High Masses be said for the repose of my Soul and the repose of the Soul of my said wife “. The question of the identity of the residuary legatee or legatees first arose on proceedings for judicial settlement.

On October 18, 1976, court was convened on the construction proceeding pursuant to order for the purpose of taking such proof and making such decree as justice requires pursuant to provisions of Sec. 1420, Subd. (1) of SCPA. The attorney for the executrix was called as a witness. His testimony, given without objection, was as follows: He was the scrivener of the will; he had known the testator and his wife for several years and had been their attorney on prior occasions; he had drawn the will of the testator’s wife as well as the testator; the testator’s wife for several years had been an employee of one of the Franciscan Friars at St. Bonaventure University; illness had compelled her to cease her employment immediately before the wills were prepared; under her will, the wife provided for a legacy to the Friars at St. Bonaventure University; the testator and his wife were very close; the provisions for the bequest of the residuary estate of the testator’s will had been influenced by his wife’s position.

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In a proceeding to settle the account of the executor of the decedent’s estate, the objectant appeals, as limited by her brief, from so much of a decree of the Surrogate’s Court, Kings County, dated July 21, 1989, as, after a nonjury trial, dismissed certain of her objections to the final account.

The son is the executor of the estate of his father, the decedent herein. According to the terms of the decedent’s will, the executor was to receive a specific bequest of corporate stock, valued at approximately $144,000.

The remainder of the estate, valued at approximately $673,000, was to be equally divided between the son and his sister, the appellant. However, filed several objections to the probate of the will. Prior to the trial of her objections, a stipulation was entered into in open court whereby, in consideration of the son paying her $75,000, she agreed to withdraw her objections to the probate of the will. Subsequently, an amended final account was filed by the son. The daughter objected to this amended account on the ground, inter alia, that it credited the estate with paying the $75,000 settlement. This had the effect of increasing her pro rata share of the estate taxes. After a nonjury trial on this issue, the Surrogate’s Court concluded that the stipulation of settlement required the $75,000 to be paid by the estate and not the son personally. We disagree.

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Petitioner seeks a final judicial settlement of its accounts as Executor under the last Will and Testament of the deceased. As a part of the judicial settlement, petitioner requests this Surrogate’s Court to direct by appropriate order that future payments of support to decedent’s surviving first wife be made an obligation of the Trustee of decedent’s residuary estate and payable from the income and, if necessary, the principal of that residuary trust.

It appears without dispute that by an agreement dated October 10, 1952, decedent assumed an obligation to pay the sum of $300 a month to his first wife, for her support. It was provided that such monthly payments were to continue for the lifetime of the first wife. The Executor properly concluded that the obligation for payment survived the decedent and was binding upon the estate. The agreement is valid and enforceable. The accounts of the Executor disclose that the required payments have been considered as periodically accruing debts and have been paid monthly by the Executor throughout the administration of the estate.

In this accounting proceeding, provisions for future payments of support to decedent’s first wife are required. It is axiomatic that these provisions must comply with the applicable statutes and fairly resolve the equities of all parties concerned. Proceeding within this general framework, an examination of relevant statutory provisions is first in order.

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