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Multiple Parties Seek to be Executor of Estate


This is a matter of probate concerning the will of Evelyn May Hoelzer. The case is being heard in the Surrogate Court of the City of New York in Nassau County. The judge overseeing the hearing is John B. Riordan.

Probate Applications

This is a pending probate proceeding involving the will of Evelyn Hoelzer. There are currently two applications set before the court for preliminary letters testamentary. A New York Probate Lawyer said tne application is from Jeanne Schieck and the other is Richard Hoelzer. Jeanne is the decedent’s niece and Richard is the decedent’s brother.

Jeanne has been nominated as the contingent executor of the estate under the will and testament of the decedent that is dated the fifth of September, 1986. In this will, Richard is named as the executor and the nephew of the decedent, Arthur C. Schilling, Jr. is the first contingent executor unless they fail to qualify, predecease the decedent, or of the office of the executor is left vacant. Arthur passed away before the decedent.

Case Background

Evelyn May Hoelzer passed away on the 13th of October, 2006. She did not have a spouse or any children at the time of her passing. Richard and Jeanne have filed separate petitions for admitting the will for probate. A New York City Probate Lawyer said each is seeking to be named as the executor of the estate.

Jeanne’s Case

In support executor application, Jeanne makes the allegation that Richard is dishonest, lax, and duplicitous. Manhattan Probate Lawyers said she also states that when the decedent was debilitated with dementia, Richard and his brother John conspired to isolate the decedent from her family and friends. She also alleges that the brothers exerted influence over the decedent as well as robbed her of property and had the intention of depriving the decedent’s family and friends of their rightful share of the estate.

Jeanne states that the preliminary letters testamentary should be immediately provided to her so she can protect the assets that belong to the estate before John and Richard can destroy them. As part of Jeanne’s exhibit for her application she provides an affidavit from Marjorie Hoelzer Schilling, the decedent’s sister, that supports her application. Marjorie makes the same accusations against Richard as made by Jeanne.

Richard’s Case

Richard opposes the application made by Jeanne. He denies all of the allegations made against him by both Jeanne and Marjorie. He states that he has every intention of discovering all of the assets of the estate, even if the assets were moved from the decedent’s name before she passed away.

Case Discussion and Decision

Both Richard and Jeanne both have created petitions to be appointed as the preliminary executor of the estate. In this case, the preliminary letters must be issued to Richard as he was named as the executor of the estate in the will, unless good cause to show a serious misconduct has occurred to render him unqualified.

In this case, Jeanne has not submitted enough evidence to demonstrate good cause of a serious wrongdoing committed by Richard. This is the reason that the preliminary letters are issued to Richard and the application submitted by Jeanne is denied.

If the allegations made by Jeanne are true, they are quite serious. It is recommended that an appropriate remedy in this case is for Jeanne to commence a discovery proceeding to claim assets she believes to be a part of the estate of the deceased.

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