Will of Yoran

Trusts and Estates

New York Law Journal


Surrogate Anthony Scarpino

In a contested probate proceeding of decedent Yoran's will, the court required an in camera review of a document that was withheld from production by petitioner Elad. Elad sent an email to attorney Bashian, with a copy to Amit and Dov. Bashian sent a retainer letter requesting all three confirm their retention of his firm regarding issues and potential litigation regarding decedent. The court noted the applicability of the attorney-client privilege was determined by facts and circumstances of each case, noting for privilege to apply to a communication between an attorney and client, it must be made in the course of professional employment for the purpose of the client obtaining the legal services of the attorney. Yet, privilege was not absolute. The court noted the statute carved an exception to the rule regarding proceedings, including the instant one, which involved the probate or validity of a will. It stated an attorney or his employee was required to disclose information as to the preparation or execution of any will under CPLR 4503(b). The court concluded the communication between Elad and Bashian concerned the preparation and execution of the propounded instrument, thus was discoverable.

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