In re Scott, 2022-30730

CourtNew York Surrogate Court
Writing for the CourtNelida Malave-Gonzalez Judge
PartiesESTATE OF ROBERT SCOTT, Deceased
Decision Date24 March 2022
Docket NumberFile 2020-506/B,2022-30730

ESTATE OF ROBERT SCOTT, Deceased

No. 2022-30730

File No. 2020-506/B

Surrogate's Court, Bronx County

March 24, 2022


Unpublished Opinion

Nelida Malave-Gonzalez Judge

This is a contested probate estate where jurisdiction is not yet complete. Kim Wade (the "petitioner"), the decedent's step-daughter, is the nominated executor in the written instrument dated December 21, 2019 (the "will") being offered for probate. Before the court is the petitioner's application to extend her expired preliminary letters testamentary, which is opposed by Lorrie Scott (the "objectant"), one of the decedent's daughters.

The decedent died at the age of 85 on January 30, 2020. His distributees are the objectant, two other daughters and two granddaughters. On June 23, 2020, the petitioner filed her petition to probate the will, along with an application for preliminary letters testamentary. On January 5, 2021, Robin Scott, one of the decedent's other daughters, filed objections to probate alleging, inter alia, lack of testamentary capacity, undue influence and fraud.

The will, which leaves the decedent's entire estate in equal shares to the petitioner and his step-son, Errol Holloway, has an attestation clause and appears to have been drafted by an attorney who supervised its execution. Affidavits pursuant to SCPA 1406 have been filed for the two attesting witnesses.

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The estate's primary asset is real property located at 942 East 220th Street, Bronx, New York (the realty) with an appraised value of $550, 000. According to the petitioner, the realty's most recent deed, dated September 18, 1997, shows it being acquired by the decedent and his spouse, Rosavelt Scott, as tenants by the entirety. Mrs. Scott, who is the petitioner's mother, predeceased the decedent on August 14, 2016.

On July 31, 2020, the court issued an order granting preliminary letters testamentary to the petitioner. Those letters, which impose SCPA 805(3) restrictions on the realty, expired on January 31, 2021. On July 15, 2021, the objectant filed a cross petition seeking letters of temporary administration. Thereafter, on October 27, 2021 the petitioner filed her "Report of the Preliminary Executrix" with an application to extend her preliminary letters. The objectant filed opposition to this application on November 12, 2021. In response, the petitioner submitted a verified reply, dated March 14, 2022, denying the objections to her appointment as a fiduciary.

In opposition to the extension request, the objectant alleges misstatements and omissions in the preliminary executor's report that understate the estate's debts and fail to account for certain estate assets, including the proceeds of a life insurance policy, an alleged annuity payment, rental income received from a tenant at the realty and real property located in another state. The objectant also raises an issue with the petitioner failing to report that a "fraud action" was brought by the objectant and her sisters

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against the petitioner in the Supreme Court

Additionally, the objectant alleges that the petitioner: (i) forged the decedent's signature on a check for $1, 638; (ii) disposed of the...

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