Published on:

Court Looks at the Intent of the Decedent


This is a petition for probate of the will of the decedent. The decedent died as a resident of Richmond County on the 19th of September, 1901 and left a last will and testament that was admitted to the courts on the 10th of October, 1902.


The petition for probate sets forth that the next of kin are his widow, a son, and two daughters. A granddaughter is now seeking construction of paragraph five of the will that directs the executrix of the will to sell the farm located in Springfield in Queens County, New York. A New York Probate Lawyer said the proceeds from the sale are to be paid in the sum of $500 each for his daughters and the rest of the proceeds are to be invested and the rents, issues and profits are to be divided between his daughters in equal shares. Upon the passing of my daughters the sum invested shall be divided among their children. If they leave no issue of them surviving, then my son’s children as may be living shall receive the sum.

One of the daughters died leaving issue and the other daughter died without issue. The question has come up as to whether the entire estate passes to the granddaughter left by one of the decedent’s daughters or if the estate should be equally divided among his son’s children as well.

Case Discussion and Decision

In order to make a determination in this case the court must carefully consider the language of the will. It is quite clear that the decedent had the intention of leaving each of his family members with a portion of the estate. His widow was left with his residence. His son was left with a parcel of land. Staten Island Probate Lawyers said the daughters were left with the proceeds from a parcel of land to be sold and the profits placed in a trust to be distributed to his daughters. He obviously did not want the title of the property passed on to his daughters as they were both married and he did not want a right of courtesy passed in favor of their husbands.

The court must carefully look at how the decedent left his assets to his family in this case. He left his wife and son well taken care of as they each received their own parcel of land. However, his daughters were only given $500 each and the income of the corpus. Nassau County Probate Lawyers said it hardly seems as if he intended for one of the children of his daughter to suffer simply because the other daughter failed to have issue.

For this reason, the only children described in the will as far as the distributions being passed would be the granddaughter or his daughter’s daughter. She should be the only person who shares the distributions and the children of his son should be excluded from this distribution.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates offers a free consultation for those visiting our offices for the first time. Our offices are located throughout New York City. We have a team of expert New York lawyers waiting to discuss your case with you to help you through any legal issue that you may have.

Contact Information