Surrogate Court Case

Upon the death of an individual, the County Surrogates Court must validate ones Will and/or trust in order to satisfy all legal matters. A will is a written document, which takes effect upon death. Currently, all courts require a will to be typed in proper legal language. It is very rare for a court to accept a hand written will into probate. A will that is entirely handwritten and signed by the testator is referred to as a “holographic will”. It generally states ones last wishes and it is the job of the courts to make sure that those wishes are carried out accordingly. Prior to any action being taken on interpreting the will, the will must be proposed to the Surrogates Court for validation. The process of validating the will of a decedent …show more content…
Any material added/removed after the signatures is invalid. If the testator cannot sign his own will due to a physical incapability, he may either sign with an “X” or even have somebody else sign the name for him. The signing of a will must consist of at-least 2 attesting witnesses, the testator not being one of them. The testator must have asked the witnesses to sign at his own discretion and they must agree with no coercion. The witnesses must be aware that what they are signing is in-fact the testators will, however they do not need to know what the will consists of. The witnesses must sign within a 30-day period of each other otherwise their signatures will be invalid.
Undue influence and coercion are very common grounds for the denial of probate. Influence is considered “undue” if it results in coercion that affects the testator’s ability to act independently. Undue influence results in a will that ultimately is the product of another person’s desires. Undue influence comes in wide variety of forms, from bribery, to threats. Often, the case of undue influence arises from one family member influencing
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Real property is usually transferred through “operation of law”. When a couple is married and they purchase a house together, that house is now known as a “joint tenant”. Both the husband and the wife each have equal ownership rights to that property. The husband can not state in his will that when he dies, he wants his half of the house sold and given to a friend. If there is no valid will, real property vests in the distributees of the estate at the time of the death. A spouse cannot give a house/part of a house away if it is held by tenants in the entirety. Tenants in the entirety” can only be held between a husband and a wife, and ach party has the right to survivorship over the property. Tenants in the entirety cannot be legally terminated unless both parties consent to do

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