A recent decision of the Kings County Surrogate’s Court demonstrates the importance of thoroughly analyzing all aspects of a statute of limitations defense prior to making a dismissal motion. In Matter of Coiro, the court denied such a motion, determining that a turnover proceeding was timely. Notably, the parties disputed both the applicable limitations period and the date of the claim’s accrual. Side-stepping both those issues, the court determined that a statutory toll rendered the claim timely . Eric Penzer discusses the decision in our latest entry.
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In a decision that could well cause even the most casual trusts and estates practitioners to scratch their proverbial heads in wonder, the Appellate Division, Third Department, in Matter of Buchting, 111 AD3d 1114, 975 NYS2d 794 (3d Dept 2013), recently affirmed the determination of the Surrogate’s Court, Greene County, dismissing a “due execution” objection to probate, notwithstanding that both attesting witnesses invoked their Fifth Amendment rights against self-incrimination and refused to testify at their SCPA 1404 examination concerning the execution of the will. Eric Penzer discusses the decision in our latest entry.
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If the intended recipient of a charitable bequest can no longer be identified, an executor or trustee will often commence a cy pres proceeding in the Surrogate’s Court to determine the appropriate recipient of the funds. In our latest entry, Eric Penzer discusses a decision in the context of a cy pres application, focusing on the standing of a possible alternative recipient of the subject bequest to participate in the proceeding.
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Readers may recall Eric Penzer’s previous entries regarding Leona Helmsley’s charitable trust in which she expressed a desire that its millions of dollars be used for the care and welfare of dogs. This week he addresses the New York County Surrogate’s Court’s latest decision on the issue, after animal welfare charities sought to intervene in the proceeding and vacate a prior determination that the trust assets could be distributed to any charities as the executors saw fit.
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