With a specific statute mandating that pre-nuptial agreements must be acknowledged, and with a specific statutory form of acknowledgment, it is surprising that there has been so much litigation over missing or defective acknowledgements and whether they can be cured after the fact. The Second Department recently addressed this issue in Matter of Koegel. Jack Barnosky discusses the case in our latest entry.
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While the Court of Appeals last year upheld the validity of contingency fee agreements in estate matters, particularly in litigation, where it approved contingency fees of over forty million dollars when the actual time spent was a fraction of that value, a recent New York County Surrogate’s Court case, Estate of Fanny Goldfarb, confirms that the size of an estate can still be a major factor in determining the reasonableness of a contingent fee, even though the services rendered and the result achieved were exemplary. Jack Barnosky discusses the decision in our latest post.
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In Matter of Brigati, Surrogate Czygier of Suffolk County addressed an application to reform the decedent’s life insurance trust, which contained a significant amount of insurance. The instrument contained a number of terms which could cause inclusion in the decedent’s gross estate. Among other things, it provided that upon the death of the Grantor, the life insurance