Question about a will

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Latest post Fri, Mar 17 2017 6:09 PM by Drew. 4 replies.
  • Fri, Mar 17 2017 10:31 AM

    • MelodyLub
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Sun, Sep 27 2015
    • NY
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    Question about a will

    A woman age 86 dies. In New York State

    There is question of an Executrix (who is entitled to a percentage of the estate) but not mentioned in the will as a beneficiary. The will was made out 9 months before death and the decedent was aware of her upcoming demise.

     The suspicion is in the fact that the decedent shortly before death opened a bank account ITF for said Executrix - not leaving enough money in the estate for the bequests listed in the will? Does this look at all suspicious?.

     In addition, a charitable organization is suing this Executrix because they are residual legatee and don't think she is entitled to this money.

    And there are no living blood relatives. 

    What can the people (not blood relatives) who were named in the will but were then told by the lawyer handling the estate: "there might not be enough money left over after fees, etc. for the people named in the will."  

    Anything they can do? 

  • Fri, Mar 17 2017 11:17 AM In reply to

    Re: Question about a will

    MelodyLub:
    There is question of an Executrix (who is entitled to a percentage of the estate) but not mentioned in the will as a beneficiary.

    What does this mean?  What is the question?  Who has the question?  Is this woman actually the executrix (i.e., has she been appointed by the Surrogate's Court to serve in that capacity)?  Or is she merely nominated in the will to do so?  When you say that she "is entitled to a percentage of the estate" even though she is "not mentioned in the will as a beneficiary," are you simply referring to her entitlement to an executor's fee (i.e., the sliding fee scale mentioned in this article)?

     

    MelodyLub:
    Does this look at all suspicious?

    Well...you seem to think it's suspicious, but you don't say why, and no one who isn't acquainted with the person's involved can intelligently opine about this.

     

    MelodyLub:
    a charitable organization is suing this Executrix because they are residual legatee and don't think she is entitled to this money.

    A legatee would not have standing to do this.  Only the executor, on behalf of the estate, would have standing to do this.

     

    MelodyLub:

    What can the people (not blood relatives) who were named in the will but were then told by the lawyer handling the estate: "there might not be enough money left over after fees, etc. for the people named in the will."  

    Anything they can do?

    Sure.  They can retain their own counsel to review the situation and advise them (by the way, are you one of these legatees?).  At the end of the day, if the cost of administering the estate and estate debt leaves the estate without funds to make distributions to legatees, then that's too bad.

  • Fri, Mar 17 2017 2:34 PM In reply to

    • MelodyLub
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Sun, Sep 27 2015
    • NY
    • Posts 6

    Re: Question about a will

    The Executrix is legal and we're not questioning her fee. We're suspicious that she swindled or coerced the decedent into putting $150,000 into a bank account ITF the name of the Executrix

    .
    It appears the residual legatee is suspicious because they are suing the Executrix. On what grounds - we don't know - but the charitable organization that is suing is claiming that she was not entitled to that money especially since there isn't enough money to pay the several beneficiaries in the will.


    Oh, one more thing. We found out the name of the law firm that is representing the Charitable Institution (otherwise known as the Church, to be honest)

    .
    Would it be a good idea to  send an email to the attorney that handled the old lady's will and ask "what are the grounds for which THE CHURCH is suing?" and mention that we know the name of the law firm that represents the church?.  
    And yes, I was named in the will. So were my relatives.  We were all promised a certain amount of money. Obviously things changed

  • Fri, Mar 17 2017 4:49 PM In reply to

    Re: Question about a will

    You didn't answer some of the questions I asked, so that doesn't help.

     

    MelodyLub:

    We're suspicious that she swindled or coerced the decedent into putting $150,000 into a bank account ITF the name of the Executrix

    .
    It appears the residual legatee is suspicious because they are suing the Executrix.

    As I wrote previously, the only person with standing to recover assets transferred by the deceased prior to death is the estate itself, which must act through the executor.  If the pre-death transfer was to the person who is now the executor, that creates an obvious conflict of interest, so the preliminary step is to seek to have the executor removed so that a new executor can be appointed who will pursue the claim.

     

    MelodyLub:
    Would it be a good idea to  send an email to the attorney that handled the old lady's will and ask "what are the grounds for which THE CHURCH is suing?" and mention that we know the name of the law firm that represents the church?

    If there's a lawsuit, it's a matter of public record, so I don't really understand why you seem to think knowing the name of the law firm is important.  And, of course, if you want to know about the details of the lawsuit, you can go to the court clerk's office and request to view the file.

    As far as the question, would it be a good idea for WHO to "send an email to the attorney that handled the old lady's will"?  Are you asking if YOU should send such an e-mail?  Why would you think this attorney would have the slightest idea why the church is suing?  Just because the attorney "handled the . . . will" doesn't mean he is involved in the proceedings to administer the estate or knows anything about the lawsuit.  Is he in fact involved with the estate?  If so, in what capacity is he involved?  Does he represent the executor?

     

    MelodyLub:
    We were all promised a certain amount of money.

    Are you referring to a promise that the deceased made while she was alive?  If so, such promises are legally meaningless.  Or are you talking about what the will says?  I can make a will that purports to leave a million dollars each to my 4 siblings and the balance of my estate to a charity.  However, if don't have more than $4M when I die, it is meaningless that my will purports to leave my siblings $1M each or that I designated a charity to receive the residue.

  • Fri, Mar 17 2017 6:09 PM In reply to

    • Drew
      Consumer
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    • Joined on Thu, Mar 30 2000
    • PA
    • Posts 51,404

    Re: Question about a will

    IN general , but we don't  know your specifics,  specific bequests get filled before a residual one , so if the pot is small, the residual entity may well get zero...and those with specific $ amounts get paid ahead of church. 

     IN short, pray church wins because you likely get paid first .

    As as aside if woman of 86 had most of her wits and her arm was not being twisted , she is rather  likely entitled to give away her money ahead of her will and cut everybody out by leaving an empty pot..it's hers to use as she see fit..and yes, make poor choices as you see it . 

     

     

     

     

     

     



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