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Defendant Seeks Order Quieting Title


In a pending action transferred from Supreme Court, Nassau County to Surrogate’s Court of Nassau County, defendant sought the order of quieting title in his favour and to direct the Clerk of Court of Nassau County to cancel a notice of its pendency and such other relief the court may deem just.

A New York Probate Lawyer said the defendant is the grandson of the decedent in a pending probate proceeding of Surrogate’s Court of Nassau County. Decedent’s daughter, as preliminary executor, is the legal representative of the estate in the lawsuit.

The decedent and her husband acquired title of a New York property by deed. They were identified as grantees in the deed, thus, presumptively creating a tenancy by the entirety. Upon death of decedent’s husband, the former became the sole owner of the premises under the assumed valid tenancy.

Afterwards, decedent executed a deed transferring title of property to herself and her grandson, herein defendant as joint tenants with right of survivorship. Suffolk County Probate Lawyers said when decedent executed another deed conveying her remaining interest in the property to her daughter with life estate reservation. Purportedly, another deed was made granting conveyance of decedent’s remaining interest to the same property in favour of the grandson. The Supreme Court of Nassau Count transferred the case to vacate the deeds executed in favour of the grandson and notice of pendency was also filed later on.

In addition to the grandson and executor, the decedent was also survived by another daughter and by four other grandchildren.

Aside from the case filed in Supreme Court of Nassau County, there are two other petitions for probate regarding the wills of the decedent. The two wills bequeath the entire estate of the decedent to only one heir; first in favour of the grandson and the other for the benefit of the preliminary executor-daughter, excluding all other distributees.

Additional complications are involved in the probate proceeding. First, the asset in question is with a mortgaged being paid by the grandson. Second, the executor’s sister claimed that the marriage between decedent and their father was invalid since the decedent was still married at the time their parents got married. Westchester County Probate Lawyers said if this was the case, upon purchase of the disputed property by the spouse would result only to tenancy in common without right of survivorship in such circumstance as the statute governing the same was enacted several years thereafter. Thus, executor’s claim of full ownership will be considered doubtful in this case.

It was noted also that failure to pay the mortgage over the property by any of the parties to the probate proceeding would jeopardize the entire case if the disputed asset would later on be foreclosed due to non-payment of its liabilities. In such a case the property must be conveyed in order to cover payment of liabilities.

As authorized by statute, the court has the discretion to cancel a notice of pendency upon terms they deem just and equitable.

In this probate proceeding, the court was satisfied by the undertaking presented by the grandson’s counsel that his firm shall deposit the net proceeds of the sale of the decedent’s asset in an interest-bearing escrow account until further order of the court. The court also ordered that sufficient security be given to the preliminary executor contingent to latter’s future success in the suit.

Hence, the court granted the motion of defendant directing Nassau County Clerk to cancel the notice of pendency and that defendant may convey title to the same. The net proceeds of the sale shall be placed in an interest-bearing escrow account until court’s further order.

If you are having problems with the settlement of the estate of your decedent, or have another probate litigation matter, you may drop by at our Stephen Bilkis and Associates office where legal services are readily provided by our Nassau County Estate Litigation Attorneys to discuss these matters with you.

Probate proceedings involve difficult issues in resolving interests of beneficiaries over all of the assets of the estate. Allow any of our Nassau County Estate Administration Attorneys to orient you on how to go about protecting your rights over these properties.

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