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Petitioner Disputes Will Jurisdiction


The deceased was a French national who became a citizen of the United States. She stayed in New York for thirty years. Brooklyn Probate Lawyers said that during such time, she was employed as a secretary in a law firm. She returned to France as indicated in her residence card. The deceased left assets in New York which consisted of bank and brokerage accounts. She also had real properties in France consisted of an apartment and the personal properties therein. The estate administration was granted to the persons named in the will of the deceased.

The estate litigation in this case sprung from the provisions contained in the two wills, namely, the “French will” and the “New York will” recited that the deceased elected that her will be admitted to original probate in accordance with the laws of New York. Among the dispositions included, among others, the deceased’s life interest in her apartment in France, including the personal and household effects therein. The beneficiaries were her adopted son and friends, and a “mutual aid society.”

The adopted son had a will contest, disputing the jurisdiction of the New York court to allow the will, asserting the question concerning the conflicting laws as to which must govern in the disposition of the properties of the deceased.

A New York Probate Lawyers said that according to the court, the will of a non-resident may be allowed when it operates upon properties in New York. However, a will which has been admitted at the home of origin, will not thereafter be admitted in New York. The exception to such exception is where the deceased directed in the will that it shall be offered in New York. In the case at bar, the will of the deceased was admitted at her home of origin but it may also be in New York considering that she has directed such provision in her will. She left assets located in New York which constituted a substantial portion of her assets. This is an important factor bearing on the exercise of New York court’s discretion to entertain jurisdiction over a non-resident.

In the case at bar, the adopted son was from California and a citizen of the United States. The only interest attributable to France which concerned him would be an interest in his protection presumably stemming from his claimed French citizenship. Such interest is subordinate to the interest of New York in effectuating the intention of the deceased and in implementing the statutory provision which permits a testator to invoke New York law to govern the effect of his will.

The deceased had a substantial connection with New York where she lived for thirty years. She was employed in New York and when she moved back to France, she left her assets in New York, where they remained during the seven years before she died. Nassau County Probate Lawyers said that in eminent authority in the field of law suggested that in a situation where both jurisdiction, that is New York and France, have an interest in the application of their local law, the law of the place of the court where the case is being decided should prevail. Said authority made it at least possible that the decedent’s evident intent to bar her son and to have the courts of New York pass upon the efficacy of her attempt to do so must be served to the maximum degree possible. No inconvenience was occasioned to the parties since the son resided in California not in France. To decline jurisdiction and thus postpone to French law the administration of the assets which decedent deliberately left here in New York disserves her evident desire to have a New York lawyer and a New York corporate custodian administer her estate, since the person responsible for would presumably have no authority to act under French law. Thus, the motion filed by the son was denied.

Being confronted with issues as in the case at bar is indeed a challenging endeavor. Several cases decided upon by the court would reveal that cases involving the conflict of several laws entail complicated facts and issues, thus, it is indispensable to hire the expertise of a lawyer who has a wide experience on the field of lawsuit. Stephen Bilkis and Associates is always on the go to provide you with utmost assistance with all your litigation needs. It can offer you a seasoned New York probate lawyer or a New York will contest lawyer perhaps, to defend your case before the court. Rights must always be upheld against all costs and the rule of law must be complied with at all times. This is the mandate that Stephen Bilkis and Associates is always espousing of.

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