Articles & Advisories Publication: New York Law Journal

Spring Kick Off: Important Opinions Impacting the Trusts and Estates Field

As the interminable winter has finally come to a close, and spring has thankfully began to emerge, Surrogate and Appellate Courts have been immersed in significant issues affecting trusts and estates practice. The following decisions are a representative sampling of the many important opinions impacting the field. 

Defective Acknowledgment May be Cured by Extrinsic Proof

In Matter of Koegel, 2018 NY Slip Op 00833 (2d Dep’t 2018), the Appellate Division, Second Department, affirmed an order of the Surrogate’s Court, Westchester County (Walsh, Acting Surrogate), which denied the motion by the decedent’s surviving spouse to dismiss the executor’s petition to invalidate her notice of election and for a declaration that she was not entitled to an elective share. In reaching this result, the court addressed the question left unanswered by the Court of Appeals in Galetta v. Galetta, 21 NY2d 186, and held that a defective acknowledgement of a prenuptial agreement could be remedied by extrinsic proof by the notary public who took a party’s signature.

Ilene Sherwyn Cooper is a partner with Farrell Fritz, located in Uniondale, New York, where she concentrates in the area of trusts and estates. In addition, she is the past-chair of the New York State Bar Association’s Trusts and Estates Law Section.

Reprinted with permission from New York Law Journal | Vol 259 | No. 111

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