47 N.Y. 360, Austin v. Munro

Citation:47 N.Y. 360
Party Name:BENJAMIN H. AUSTIN et al., Appellants, v. JOHN MUNRO et al., as Executors, etc., Respondents.
Case Date:January 30, 1872
Court:New York Court of Appeals

Page 360

47 N.Y. 360

BENJAMIN H. AUSTIN et al., Appellants,

v.

JOHN MUNRO et al., as Executors, etc., Respondents.

New York Court of Appeal

January 30, 1872

Argued Jan. 22, 1872.

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COUNSEL

B. H. Austin, Jr., for appellants. The contract set up was a promise to settle the debt of the deceased, upon which the estate is liable. (Chouteau v. Suydam, 21 N.Y. 179; Carter v. Phelps, Adm., 8 Johns., 343.) The executor may, in any case involving any of the funds of the estate, agree to pay, out of assets, reasonable compensation, and the assets will be liable. (McGloin's Executors v. Vanderlip, 27 Texas, 366; Noyes v. Blakeman, 6 N.Y. , 567, 579, 580, 584; Frey v. Evans, 8 Wend., 530, 532.) The services are an entirety, and should be sued for as such. (Nichols v. Wilson, 11 M. & W., 106; Langdon v. Castleton, 30 Vt., 285, 289; Gleason v. Clark, 9 Cow., 57; Merritt v. Thompson, 27 N.Y. 225, 234; Smith v. Proctor's Adm'rs, 1 Sandf. S. C., 72; Cowles v. Thompson, 1 Redf., 490; S. C., 41 Barb., 237, 242, 246, 247, 249, 250, 254; Flowers' Ex'rs v. Garr, 20 Wend., 668; Ferrin v. Merrick, 53 Barb., 76, 89, 90-97; Coopwood v. Wallace, 12 Ala., 790-796; Pugsley v. Aikin, 1 Kern., 494-497; see, also, Armstrong's Executrix v. Hall, 17 How., 76-79; Lord v. Vreeland's Ex'r, 24 How. Pr., 316, 318.) The complaint alleges deceased held the property in trust, to which defendants succeeded. The services should, therefore, be paid out of the trust property. (Noyes v. Blakeman, 6 N.Y. , 567-584; Downing v. Marshall, 37 N.Y. 380-389; Wilcox v. Smith, 26 Barb., 316.) Defendants may be held personally liable under the complaint. (Chouteau v. Suydam, 21 N.Y. 179, 183; Reynolds v. Reynolds' Adm., 3 Wend., 244, 246, Griffin v. Marquardt, 17 N.Y. 28, 33; Edmonston v. McLoud, 16 Id., 543.)

George Wadsworth for respondents. Executors are not liable, as such, for contracts made by them concerning estate. They cannot bind estate. (Ferrin v. Myrick, 41 N.Y. 315; Bucklin v. Chapin, 1 Lansing, 443; Myer v. Cole, 12 Johns., 349; Demott v. Field, 7 Cow., 58.) The language of complaint

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is conclusive as to its character. Defendants are sued as executors only. (Henshall v. Roberts, 5 East, 154; Coldwell v. Bowers, 6 Id., 405; Worden v. Worthington, 2 Barb., 368; Scranton v. F. & M. Bank, 33 Id., 527; Ogdensburgh Bank v. Van Rensselaer, Pres't, etc., 6 Hill, 240; Merritt v. Seaman, 6 N.Y. , 168; Voorhies' Code, 10th ed., p. 150, notes a, b; 151, b.) Plaintiffs cannot recover on the original retainer. The death of the party...

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