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Validity of a Will Questioned


A woman died in a nursing home and her will was validated in the court. The legal representative, whom she appointed, filed a petition containing an accusation of the jurisdictional fact that the woman died in her residency. It named, among others, the hospital as a beneficiary in the sum of $1,000. Waivers and consents on probate were filed, which included the waiver of a person who was designated in the petition as the sole heir of the woman.

Application has been made to the court to vacate the validation, on the ground that the woman was returned to her permanent residency at the time of her death and that the surrogate’s court did not have jurisdiction over the estate of the woman. Objections had been filed, after validation of the will, which were submitted, signed and verified by the attorney of the hospital.

A New York Probate Lawyer a formal order to defend was obtained and served to the legal representative and, to defend to the court why the decree of validation, should not be vacated. A cross-application was served by the legal representative to the hospital and its attorneys as counsel to dismiss the objections and the motion to vacate validation.

The motions were argued. It shows that the legacy of $1,000 had been paid to the hospital at the time of the argument. Different arguments have been presented by both parties. The hospital’s attorney submits to the court that the surrogate’s court did not have jurisdiction in the residency of the woman at the time of her death, and that the long lifetime history of the woman, as a resident and highly respected citizen and teacher in the county, required validation of her will in her county. According to New York City Probate Lawyers, the legal appointee and his attorneys have questioned the authority of the hospital’s attorney to bring the proceeding in behalf of the hospital, claiming that there has been no official action of the hospital which authorized the application to vacate the validation of the will of the deceased.

The court did not deem it necessary to consider the question of authority of the hospital’s attorney to bring the proceeding in behalf of the hospital for the reason that the hospital is a successor only and has no standing to attack the validation of the will. As a beneficiary, the hospital was not a necessary or proper party to the proceeding, and the fact, alone, would seem to be the simple answer to the question of standing to raise any issue relating, directly or indirectly, to validate. If the hospital had no standing in the proceeding, it is difficult to see how it can have any standing after the validation, and there is authority to that effect.

The commentary under apparently takes the view, and attorneys for the hospital also argued, that has upset the conclusiveness of the decree of validation. Westchester County Probate Lawyers said that the court does not agree with the position for in fact, did not overrule of the former surrogate’s court act, from which it was derived.

Status or standing is a preliminary issue to be resolved as a condition precedent to the issues presented by objections. As the hospital has no standing to attack the validation of the will of the woman, and under such circumstances its attack is collateral, its motion to vacate the decree of validation in her county is hereby denied and the application is dismissed.

The court finds no objection to the legal appointee in the administration of the estate of the woman in her county. It does not constitute the practice of law within the prohibition of the courts law.

Stephen Bilkis and Associates can help ease out the burden of estate administration disputes. With the team’s expertise in dealing with these kinds of situation, you can be sure of worry free days. Feel free to call or consult any member of the team.

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