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The Law of Gifts Revisited

The law of gifts was set forth in the classic case of Gruen v. Gruen, 68 N.Y.2d 48, 505 N.Y.S.2d 849, 496 N.E.2d 869 (1986) , a case concerning the gifting of a painting by Gustav Klimt, the Austrian modernist. The Court reiterated in Gruen that the elements of a valid inter vivos gift are intent...

New York Court of Appeals Revisits the Law of Gifting of Art or Other Objects

How does one gift an 1,100 pound sculpture? The New York Court of Appeals recently revisited the law of gifts in the context of determining the validity of such a gift by the deceased sculptor's widow. Mirvish v. Mott , 18 N.Y.3d 510, 2012 N.Y. LEXIS 266 (2012) [ enhanced version available to lexis...

Holocaust Survivor's Estate Ordered To Return Ancient Gold Artifact To Berlin Museum

Today's [5/31] New York Law Journal has reported that the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has overturned a ruling by former Nassau County Surrogate John Riordan and has directed that the estate of a Holocaust survivor return an ancient gold tablet to the Berlin Museum. The court's unsigned...

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...