Settlement of a wrongful death action can pose a challenge
for the decedent's attorney. Wrongful death actions are usually a two-step
process. First, the trial court handles the wrongful death action itself, and then
the Surrogate's Court, which...
It is well-understood by estate
practitioners that a beneficiary of an estate should not serve as an attesting witness
to a will. If he does, he or she is a
competent witness for purposes of probating the will, however, under EPTL
3-3.2 , the bequest...
In terrorem clauses are a valuable drafting tool for a testator to prevent unwarranted will contests, however a recent case, Matter of Singer , 2009 N.Y. LEXIS 4475, 2009 NY Slip Op 9265 (Ct. App. Dec. 15, 2009) , has broadened the latitude of a beneficiary’s...
Due to an inconsistency between the Domestic Relations Law and the Estate Powers and Trusts Law, a voidable marriage (due to fraud, duress or incompetence) may be annulled post-death, however a former spouse will still be able to take their elected share...
The heirs of Melvin Simon, the
billionaire shopping mall magnate, are embroiled in a bitter estate struggle
contesting a will signed by Mr. Simon seven months before his death. Simon's eldest daughter claims there was
undue influence because Simon's...
In a recent post, I discussed the
inconsistency between the New York Domestic Relations Law ("DRL") and the New
York Estate Powers and Trusts Law ("EPTL"), whereby a voidable marriage (due to
fraud, duress or incompetence) may be...
One of the first lessons learned as a law
student is to read the fine print. As a
general rule of law, an individual who has failed to read a document before
signing it cannot later complain that the terms were misrepresented to