10 Dec Failure to Plead Elements of Fraud, Duress or Undue Influence Dismisses Objections
It is easy to object to a will based on claims of fraud, undue influence and duress, but not necessarily so easy to prove such a claim. In this case Decedent’s four nieces filed objections grounded in fraud, duress and undue influence in this contested probate proceeding to probate a 1993 instrument, while proponent moved to dismiss the objections. Surrogate Anderson in New York County found objectant’s pleading was devoid of allegations giving rise to a fraud claim when decedent executed the instrument. Also, objectants’ pleading failed to identify the person who unduly influenced or coerced decedent or the circumstances under which same was exercised. Further, objectants failed to set forth a basis to disqualify the nominated fiduciary before issuance of permanent letters, granting dismissal of the petition.
Surrogate Nora Anderson, Surrogate’s Court
Matter of Estate of Stylianou, 2017-598 (December 10)