Matter of Val

Trusts and Estates

New York Law Journal

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Surrogate Nora Anderson

Petitioner, decedent Val's Article 81 guardian, filed this final accounting action. Respondent is Val's daughter, the administrator of her mother's estate. Both parties sought summary judgment regarding prior objections raised by respondent to petitioner's account, including that petitioner failed to investigate and recover Val's property misappropriated by her son. The court found that nothing supported the daughter's claims that the funds previously withdrawn by the son were wrongfully taken or were not valid gifts. Also, it stated there was no support for the claim petitioner failed to undertake an investigation or take appropriate steps to recover such funds. Respondent's motion for summary judgment was denied. Yet the court found petitioner failed to submit affidavits from anyone with direct knowledge of Val's physical or emotional health and ability to comprehend the financial activity in her account. It ruled petitioner's failure to provide support for the implicit claim Val understood the discussions regarding the alleged gifts to her son constituted a material issue of fact, precluding summary judgment on this objection by respondent. Petitioner's motion for legal fees and commissions must await the conclusion of a hearing.

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