Estate of Putterman

Trusts and Estates

New York Law Journal


Surrogate Edward McCarty III

Petitioner Putterman sought a declaration under Estates Powers and Trust Law §2-1.7 that his brother, Alan, was deceased based on his absence for a continuous period of three years in this action incident to a proceeding for issuance of letters of administration. Putterman argued Alan was last seen in August 2004 while traveling alone to Honduras, and was alerted that Alan never returned his rental car or returned to his hotel. Putterman's prior petition was denied. He and his attorney now submitted additional documentation, including information from the Vice Consul of the US Embassy in Honduras, and the State Department, detailing their unsuccessful efforts, with local Honduran authorities, to ascertain Alan's whereabouts. The court found Putterman established that Alan was absent and there was no communication with him since August 2004, stating there was also no satisfactory explanation for his disappearance. It also noted the lack of activity in Alan's accounts, concluding Putterman submitted documentation providing "overwhelming support" for the subject petition. Thus, the court determined that Alan was presumed to have died August 2007 as he was not seen or heard from since August 2004.

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