Although void in some states, it is well settled that in terrorem or no contest clauses are enforceable under New York law. In a recent case, Surrogate Glen addressed the question of whether an in terrorem clause had been triggered by the petitioner contesting a New York instrument before a Florida court. This week’s entry, written by Robert Harper, discusses the decision.
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This week’s entry discusses a recent decision from the Southern District of New York in which the plaintiff asserted he was the son of John F. Kennedy and Marilyn Monroe, and sought to compel distributions from the late president’s testamentary trust. Especially relevant to the trusts and estates litigator is the discussion of the probate exception to federal diversity jurisdiction.
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A recent decision from the Westchester County Surrogate’s Court, Edelman v Hatami is an entertaining read. The decision addresses the Statute of Frauds, and provides a good example of how litigants will attempt to employ the equitable doctrines of promissory estoppel and constructive trust in estate litigation. 

In Edelman the defendant sought recovery against a decedent’s