Published on:

Beneficiaries Bring Will Contest Action


This is a probate proceeding involving the estate of Alexander MacLeman, deceased. The case is being heard in the Surrogate’s Court of the City of New York located in Westchester County. The probate of the estate is being contested in this case. Karen MacLeman Morgese, who is one of the three children of the decedent and a nominated co-executor of the will, has offered the will for probate. Karen’s two brothers, John and William MacLeman have each filed objections to the probate.

Case Background

The decedent passed away on the 10th of December, 2003. He was 91 years old at the time and living in an assisted living facility located in Ossining in Westchester County, New York. The decedents will, gave the real property located in Amagansett, Suffolk County to his daughter Karen. The will bequeathed $50,000 to William to equalize loans he had made to his other children. A New York Probate Lawyer said the loans of the other children were forgiven in the will. The personal property and residuary estate were given to all three children in equal parts. A further provision in the will stated that any checking accounts, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, etc. that he held jointly with any of the children at the time he passed would be estate assets and not provided to the surviving joint tenant of the assets.

Probate Objections

The two brothers allege that Karen has transferred $300,000 in bank accounts and certificates of deposit from the decedents name to “in trust for” accounts for her own benefit. The further allege that the accounts that she held jointly with the decedent were transferred as well.

It is also alleged that Karen had significant control over the finances of the decedent from before the time the will was instrumented and beyond the date of the decedent’s death. Suffolk County Probate Lawyers said they further argue that this will departed from two other wills from 1991 and 1998 where the assets of the decedent were to be divided equally among all three children.

Case Discussion and Decision

When reviewing the facts that have been provided in this case the court has determined that a full disclosure schedule must be made in regard to the matter. The court has made document and disclosure demands that must be submitted by all of the parties. Examinations will be held for the documents before the trial goes to court. Nassau County Probate Lawyers said this includes any non-party testimony as well as expert testimony in the case. Motions can be made after full disclosure of the case is over. When ready, the case will be remitted for trial. Before the trial an all purpose conference will be held in the case. All counsel shall appear before the court before the matter is called into court on the calendar for the day.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates offers a free consultation to anyone that comes into our office to discuss a legal matter for the first time. We have several offices in the New York City area for your convenience. You may call us at any time to set up an appointment to discuss your case with one of our expert New York probate lawyers.

Contact Information