Estate of Yagoda

Trusts and Estates

New York Law Journal


Surrogate Edward McCarty III

Decedent's nephew, Yagoda, moved to compel another nephew, Pines, to produce documents sought in Yagoda's demand for discovery in this probate proceeding. Pines resided in the same house as decedent his entire life, claiming that as decedent's condition deteriorated, he cared for him, including seeing to his affairs. Pines' attorney "took issue" to 38 of 43 demands regarding disclosure of documents commencing from 1997. The court noted while New York disclosure was guided by principles of "full disclosure of all matter material and necessary," the test was one of usefulness and reason. It stated given the 14-year breadth of the demand, the applicability of the three-year/two-year rule under 22 NYCRR 207.27 was important. The court noted except upon a showing of special circumstances, examination would be confined to three years before the will's date, and two years thereafter, or to the date of death. It rejected Yagoda's argument that 22 NYCRR 207.27 was inapplicable as objections have not yet been filed, noting the weight of authority was that the rule applied regardless of whether objections were or were not yet filed. Thus, while there were reasonable allegations of undue influence, there were no facts to warrant a departure from the rule, denying the motion.

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