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All questions of title to land are decided in accordance with the law of the state where the land is, including the Conflict of Laws rules of that state. All questions concerning the validity of a decree of divorce are decided in accordance with the law of the domicile of the parties, including the Conflict of Laws rules of that state. In all other cases the renvoi principle is rejected and where a reference is made to foreign law that law should be held to mean only the internal law of the foreign country.
The deceased, a dual citizen of America and Switzerland, died domiciled in New York, leaving as an asset of his estate certain realty located in Switzerland. In his will, the deceased attempted to dispose of this realty contrary to the provisions of Swiss internal law. The administratrix liquidated the Swiss property. The heirs filed for judicial settlement of the account.
Did the deceased have the power to dispose of the realty in the manner here attempted?
The court held that the internal laws of Switzerland gave the deceased the power to dispose of the Swiss realty without regard to Swiss restrictions because such law recognized the fiction that the situs of Swiss realty owned by a dual citizen who was domiciled outside of Switzerland was deemed to be located in the country of domicile. The court also disposed of miscellaneous issues relating to the administratrix's handling of the estate.