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Petitioner Seeks to Remove Fiduciary


This is a probate case regarding the last will and testament of Edith A. Johansen. The case is being held in the Surrogate’s Court of the State of New York in the county of Nassau.


This case is a request for application for preliminary letters testamentary. A New York Probate Lawyer said the decedent, Edith A. Johansen passed away on the 14th of December in 2005. She left behind a will that was dated the 13th of September, 2005. There was a will made prior to this time that is dated the 24th of January, 2003. The will from 2003 names the daughter Karen Colossale of the decedent as the executor of the estate and the decedent’s other daughter Maureen Erickson as the successor executor. The will from 2005 names Karen as the executor as well. Additionally, Linda Johansen the decedent’s other daughter survives as well.

The will from 2003 gives all of the shares owned in any corporation or company to her grandchildren, Christina Colossale and Daniel Erickson. The shares are to be divided equally. The decedent leaves all of her bank accounts to Linda and Karen to be split equally. The will also provides bequests of tangible personal property. The decedent leaves her apartment in equal shares to Daniel and Christina. Long Island Probate Lawyers said the remainder of the estate is to be divided in equal parts among the three daughters.

The will from 2005 leaves all of the jewelry from the decedent to her daughter Christina and the remainder of her personal property to Karen and her husband Theodore. In addition, the 2005 will leaves a joint bank account from Washing Savings Bank to Karen and if Karen does not survive the account is left to Christina.

The request for preliminary letters of testamentary would allow the executor to immediately distribute the estate when there may be some type of delay in probate. Manhttan Probate Lawyers said this allows the process to be expedited and helps reduce the risk of any type of frivolous arguments in the matter of probate.

In this case, Maureen is asking for the preliminary letters to be given to her as the substitute executor named in the will from 2003. Karen who is named as the executor in the will of 2005 has the prior right to these letters. The law requires the letters be issued to Karen unless good cause is shown of serious misconduct that would render her to be unqualified to be executor of the estate.

Maureen’s Argument

Maureen states that she should be given the letters because she is beginning a discover proceeding against Karen, Christina, Theodore, and the other people who have knowledge of the will left by the decedent and about charges that were made to the decedent’s credit card in the amount of $36,000.

Court Decision

After reviewing the argument made by Maureen, the court finds that her allegations have not demonstrated good cause of any serious wrongdoing that would allow the court to nullify the appointment of fiduciary as made by the decedent. The letters will be issued to Karen as dictated in the will that was created by the decedent in the year 2005. The court finds that Karen is qualified to handle the matters of the estate as it has not been proven otherwise.

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