An instrument alleged to have been executed in December of 1955 by the decedent is being offered for probate in the Surrogate’s Court of Queens County. The instrument names an executor and an attorney and draftsman as well.
The decedent passed away in April of 1957. She was survived by her sister to whom she left $500 and the right to be buried in her plot. The decedent left $200 to a former employee. The rest was given to a “dear friend.” The estate has an estimated worth of $5,500.
The sister of the decedent passed away in October of 1957. The proponent filed an amended petition and citation was issued to the unknown kin and the public administrator. The public administrator appeared and interposed objections to the purported will, stating that it was improperly executed as the decedent was not competent at the time the execution of the will took place.
The attorney and draftsman of the will testified that on the first of April, 1955, the decedent along with her friend who is named as the residuary legatee came to his office and asked him to draw power of attorney in favor of her friend so she could handle her bank account and property. The attorney stated that this was the first time that he had represented either woman.
He states that the women did not have an appointment at the time and that he is unsure how the conversation was initiated. He went on to testify that in October or November of 1955, the friend visited his office and requested that he visit the decedent as she wanted to make a will. A New York Probate Lawyer said he went to the nursing home where the decedent told him that she wished to draw a will, but not at that time.
Later, the attorney received a phone call from the friend and was told that the decedent wished to leave $500 to her sister, $200 to one of her employees and the rest of her estate to her friend. He prepared the instrument in accordance with these instructions.
Case Discussion and Decision
Suffolk County Probate Lawyers said when the court looks at the way the will was executed it is easy to see that the decedent’s physical and mental condition at the time allowed her to be easily subjected to the influence of a person who wanted to obtain her property.
The lawyer stated that he did not witness the will being signed by the witnesses and therefore proper procedure was not followed to allow for the will to be considered as legitimate. Westchester County Probate Lawyers said it seems likely that the friend arranged the afternoon meeting where the will was executed as none of the family of the testatrix was present at the time.
For these reasons, the court cannot allow this will to be admitted for probate. The will was not signed in accordance to the law and is therefore considered null.
There are many legal issues involved with probate proceedings. It is a good idea to have a qualified and experienced New York probate lawyer on your side during these types of cases. Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates to speak with one of our lawyers regarding any legal matter that you may have. You may call any of our offices located in New York City to set up an appointment for a free consultation.