As our everyday life continues to be impacted by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed various executive orders to address the issues faced by the State and its residents during these unprecedented times. In light of the executive orders that have been issued, the resulting closure of non-essential businesses, the quarantine orders
Testator Intent and In Terrorem Clauses
My colleagues have written on the enforceability of in terrorem clauses, and the courts continue to confront challenges in reconciling the testator’s intent to impose an in terrorem condition with the rights of beneficiaries to challenge the conduct of their fiduciary. The New York County Surrogate’s Court’s recent decision in Matter of Merenstein provides further…
To be Family or Not to be Family? That is the Question
Two recent decisions from the New York County Surrogate’s Court attempt to answer this question. In Estate of Weisberg, decided on April 8, 2014, the court addressed the issue of marriage. Faced with competing petitions for letters of administration, the court was asked to find as a matter of law, that the cross-petitioner was the decedent’s wife and sole distributee of the decedent’s estate. In Levien v Johnson, decided on April 14, 2014, the court considered whether two adults adopted by the decedent’s grandchildren constituted “great-grandchildren” under the decedent’s will. In both cases, the court was asked to find that these familial relationships existed as a matter of law. Hillary Frommer discusses the decisions in our latest entry.
Continue Reading To be Family or Not to be Family? That is the Question