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Court Determines if Will is Valid


This case involves a probate proceeding and is being heard in the Surrogate’s Court of Kings County. A New York Probate Lawyer said he instrument that is offered for probate in this matter is written on a regular piece of notebook paper that has been folding in half to form four pages. The entire paper is written in the handwriting of the decedent all the way down to the signature. The words “my will and testament” appear near the bottom of the page. Brooklyn Probate Lawyers said there are two witness signatures on the paper as well, along with their addresses. However, both witnesses are now deceased and there is no attestation clause.

Case Background

It is shown at the time the will was executed the decedent was a notary republic. The decedent deposited the will with the Surrogates Court of Queens County for safekeeping in June of 1933. The will remained in the custody of the said court until it was released to this court when the decedent passed away in 1965.

The signatures of the decedent and the two witnesses have been proven and the testamentary capacity of the decedent is not in question. Probate of the will is resisted on the ground that there is an insufficient amount of proof to show that the will was in compliance with the formalities required by the Decedent Estate Law.

Case Discussion and Decision

The Surrogate’s Court Act provides that if all of the subscribing witnesses to a will are dead, the will may be established upon proof of the handwriting of the testator and of the subscribing witnesses.

In this case there is internal evidence showing that the document is sufficient to permit. Bronx Probate Lawyers said it is determined that the subscribing witnesses who signed the instrument must have been aware that it was a will as it clearly states what the purpose of the document is.

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