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Court Hears an Accounting Proceeding


This case deals with the accounting of Ann Feely Schmidt who is the administrator C.T.A. of the estate of Walter Peter Schmidt who is deceased. The case is being heard in the Surrogates Court of Suffolk County. This is an uncontested administratrix’s accounting proceeding. There has been a stipulation submitted to the court for approval and incorporation into the provisions of an intermediate accounting decree.

A New York Probate Lawyer said the jurisdiction over the necessary parties in this case has been obtained and there is no one appearing in opposition to the relief that has been requested by the petitioner in this case.

Case Background

The decedent passed away testate on March 17th, 1980. The decedent is survived by his spouse and an infant daughter who was born of the marriage between himself and his former wife who also survived him. The last will and testament of the decedent was dated the 6th of December, 1972. The will bequeathed his real and personal property along with the maximum amount allowable as the marital deduction under federal law to his former spouse. The rest of the estate was disposed of in trust for the benefit of his former spouse during her lifetime. Upon the death of his said spouse the decedent directed that the principal of the trust estate continue to be held for the benefit of his daughter until she reached the age of 30. The trust would be paid to his daughter outright at that time if she is living and if she is not living then to her living issue and if she had no living issue the trust would be given to a named charity. There were no provisions in the will for his second wife. As a consequence, the decedent’s daughter became the sole beneficiary of the estate by virtue of the divorce between him and his former spouse on the 19th of October, 1979.

The former spouse of the decedent as the guardian of the infant daughter filed a petition with the court to request probate of the decedent’s last will and testament and for the issuance of letters of administration to her. New York City Probate Lawyers said the surviving spouse of the decedent opposed this motion. The objections made by the spouse were denied and the former spouse was issued with the letters of administration.

Around three months later the surviving spouse filed a notice of election against the estate. A discovery proceeding was commenced by the fiduciary against the decedent’s spouse and was discontinued with prejudice.

Case Discussion and Decision

Two years later the decedent’s surviving spouse sought a determination of her elective share against the estate. The fiduciary initially contested the petition, but eventually the two parties resolved their differences and a settlement were reached.

Manhattan Probate Lawyers said the instant accounting proceeding was filed with the court requesting judicial allowance for claims filed against the estate, approval of a payment for claims that are allowed, fixation of counsel fees, and authorization to pay the administrators commissions in the amount of $6634.03.

After reviewing the case the court has determined that the legal fees will be set at $25,000 to be paid out of the estate, of which $15,000 has already been paid. The court finds that the settlement that was made to the decedents surviving spouse is fair and is confirmed.

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