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Summary Judgment in Will Contests: An Epilogue

By: John G. Farinacci Last month, I wrote on this blog about the changing tides in probate litigation over the last 15 years concerning how the courts view summary judgment in will contests. See Summary Judgment in Will Contests: Matter of Lubin, posted 2/13/12 . As discussed therein at length...

Life Imitating Art on the Stage of the Surrogate’s Court

Surrogate's Court litigation can be fascinating at times-as fascinating as the lives of the decedents whose affairs are brought to light during any given estate proceeding. 1 Sometimes history is relived and sometimes the life exposed seems to imitate a Hollywood screenplay. In a case in...

Spouse vs. Charity: Estate Tax Apportionment

By John G. Farinacci, Esq. Ruskin Moscou Faltischek, P.C. We know that estate taxes are to be paid in the manner of a testator's choosing, but if the testator fails to make that choice, then estate taxes are "equitably apportioned among the persons interested in the gross tax estate."...

Estate Failed to Prove Museum’s Laches on Claim to a 3,000 Year Old Archeological Artifact Missing Since WWII

By John G. Farinacci, Esq. In a rather unique ceremony at the Nassau County Surrogate’s Court on December 4, 2013, Surrogate Edward W. McCarty, III ordered and presided over the physical return of an ancient Assyrian artifact from the possession of an executor of a decedent’s estate to...

John G. Farinacci: Abandonment Cases in Surrogate’s Court Present Difficult Factual Issues

By John G. Farinacci Naturally, abandonment and failure to meet support obligations are two grounds upon which an otherwise lawful heir can be disqualified from inheriting in New York as in most other jurisdictions. EPTL 5-1.2. Failure to support is generally easier to determine. However, with the...

A Matter of Convenience: From Bank Accounts to Real Property

By John G. Farinacci Estate litigators see a wide variety of disputed issues since the affairs of decedents are as diverse as the types of people they were during their lives. However, we also see many of the same or similar fact patterns. One of these involves disputes over whether the addition of...