A Little Bit of This And a Little Bit of That

April 08, 2019

This month’s column brings the variety that has typified decisions over the past several months. From issues involving domicile, summary judgment, and claims against an estate, April’s article is a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Consider the following:

Validity of Claim and Apportionment of Taxes Examined

In In re Fisher, N.Y.L.J., Dec. 11, 2018, at 25 (Sur. Ct., Westchester County), the petitioners, two of the decedent’s five children, moved before the Surrogate’s Court, Westchester County, for partial summary judgment determining that they were entitled to 1/3 of the decedent’s net estate and his coin collection, and that they were not liable for their aliquot share of estate taxes. The motion was opposed by the executors of the estate, who cross-moved for partial summary judgment denying petitioners’ claim and finding that the petitioners were liable for the estate taxes attributable to their recovery, if any.

The petitioners’ claim was predicated on the terms of a Separation Agreement entered by the decedent and his first wife prior to their divorce. Specifically, the petitioners alleged that the terms of that Agreement required the decedent to bequeath them 1/3 of his net estate, as defined in the Agreement, as well as his coin collection. The Agreement further provided that in the event the decedent failed to comply with its terms, the obligations thereunder would be a first charge and lien against his estate and its assets.

Ilene Sherwyn Cooper is a partner with Farrell Fritz, P.C. in Uniondale, where she concentrates in the area of trusts and estates. 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, Monday, April 8, 2019, Vol 261 – No. 66

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  • Related Practice Areas: Estate Litigation, Trusts & Estates
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