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Court Discusses Validity of Will


A Probate Lawyer said that according to sources, both cases involved issues as to the estate. In the first case, as an incident to an account by trustees of the trust for the benefit of testator’s daughter, which terminated by her death, a construction is sought of the validity of the attempted exercise of a power of appointment of the corpus of the trust under the will of testator’s other daughter. By article ‘Second’ testator created a trust of his residuary estate, the income of which was to be paid to his wife during her life. Upon the latter’s death one-third of the corpus of such trust was continued for the life of testator’s daughter, with the income payable to her during her life. On her death the principal was payable to her issue per stirpes, and in default of issue, the principal was payable to another daughter. The will further provided that if the other daughter predeceased her sister, the principal of said trust was payable to such person or persons as said other daughter directed or appointed by her will. If not effectively appointed, distribution was to be made to next of kin of the other daughter in proportions provided under the statute of distribution in effect at her death.

A New York Estate Lawyer said the daughter, the secondary life beneficiary died leaving no issue. Another daughter, predeceased her sister leaving a will which was admitted to probate. Under the third article of the will of the other daughter, her appointive power was exercised by creating further trusts for the benefit of her children, the principal payment to each child being deferred until they attained respective ages of 35, 40, 45 and 50 years. The Court holds that the appointment made under the will of the other daughter is invalid as violating the rule against perpetuities, in effect at the time of its exercise . The trust created thereunder suspended unlawfully the trust created under the testator’s will. The principal of the trust must therefore be distributed equally to said children of the said other daughter living at her death as the alternative beneficiaries under the testator’s will.

A Nassau County Probate Lawyer said that on the second case, Proceedings were brought to contest the probate of an alleged will. The Surrogate’s Court, entered a decree granting in part the proponents’ motion for summary judgment which directed specific performance of an agreement of compromise made in open court and denied contestants’ cross motion to dismiss the petition. The Appellate Division reversed on ground that it was an improvident exercise of discretion to direct testatrix’ daughters to specifically perform agreement of compromise allegedly made and recorded in open court, and an appeal was taken. Motion to dismiss the appeal granted upon the ground that the order appealed from does not finally determine the proceeding within the meaning of the constitution.

A Staten Island Probate Lawyer said that the law provides that, “Before admitting a will to probate the court must inquire particularly into all the facts and must be satisfied with the genuineness of the will and the validity of its execution. The court may, however, accept an affidavit of an attesting witness in the manner and under the circumstances prescribed in this article. 2. If it appears that the will was duly executed and that the testator at the time of executing it was in all respects competent to make a will and not under restraint it must be admitted to probate as a will valid to pass real and personal property, unless otherwise provided by the decree and the will and decree shall be recorded. 3. Where the petition alleges that the testator has disappeared under circumstances sufficient to justify the belief he is dead the court shall take proof of the facts. If it appears that the testator is dead the court may make a decree determining such fact and admitting the will to probate. The decree shall be binding in its effect upon the interests in the estate of persons under disability and of future contingent interests of persons not in being as well as the interests of adult competent persons.”

If you are facing complications in the probate, estate administration, or those of estate settlement of a loved one, the courts has the proper authority in declaring the validity and legality of actions involved therein. Hence, secure the services of a counsel. Stephen Bilkis & Associates, with offices throughout New York, has its Kings County Estate Lawyers, and its New York Estate Litigation Attorneys who can assist you.

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