Published on:

Testatrix Intended to Donate Entire Estate to Charity


A Probate Lawyer said that, this is an appeal from an order of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Second Judicial Department (229 App. Div. 809, 242 N. Y. S. 621), entered May 22, 1930, modifying and affirming as modified a decree of the Kings County Surrogate’s Court admitting to probate the last will and testament of Catherine C. Devine, deceased, so as to provide that costs of the trial be awarded to the contestant, who was named as executor in two other wills, under the provisions of section 278 of the Surrogate’s Court Act.

A Westchester County Probate Lawyer said that, in another case a proceeding was brought to probate and construe will. The fourteenth article of the will gave the residue of the estate of the testatrix to named executrix for any and all charities that she in her uncontrolled discretion might deem it best and fitting. In preceding articles of the will the testatrix made specific bequests to persons and organizations for various religious and charitable purposes. In the fifteenth article she stated that she made no provision in the will for any relative ‘for reasons best known to myself.’ The executrix died on February 26, 1961, and the testatrix died on October 26, 1962.

Suffolk County Probate Lawyers said the Surrogate’s Court, Kings County, construed the fourteenth article and held that will clearly disclosed that sole intention of testatrix was to devote her entire estate to charitable and religious purposes, and that fact that named executrix predeceased testatrix did not affect validity of gifts for benefit of ultimate charitable beneficiaries, and that the discretion reposed in the named executrix was not such an essential part of the testamentary plan that her death would thwart intended charitable purposes of testatrix, and that residuary estate should be equally distributed among beneficiaries designated in other articles of the will.

A New York Estate Lawyer said the Appellate Division affirmed the decree, insofar as appealed from. Appeal was taken to the Court of Appeals by permission of the Court of Appeals

Every will must be subject to probate, if you want to contest the provisions of a will, you will need the legal representation of a Kings Estate Litigation Attorney and Kings Will Contest Attorney at Stephen Bilkis and Associates.

Contact Information