Donative Intent Established Pursuant to Transfer Documents and Deed

Donative Intent Established Pursuant to Transfer Documents and DeedIn a case before Surrogate Peter Kelly, sitting in Queens County, a son named Charles was appointed a limited administrator. He was authorized to bring an inquiry regarding his brother John’s actions and the return to the estate of real estate titled in John’s name. The decedent died in 2018 leaving 5 children. John took action to have his brother Charles’ proceeding dismissed. This action was to set aside a 2010 deed under which the decedent transferred title to her home from herself to John, as joint tenants with right of survivorship. There was also a second deed in 2013 in which the decedent named John as a sole owner of the house.

Motion Practice In The Case

A motion was made for summary judgment claiming there were no issues of fact. Judge Peter Kelly rendered a decision that John established his prima facie burden of showing donative intent on the decedent’s part. He did this by submitting copies of the transfer documents related to the deeds and the testimony of the attorney who prepared the deeds, transfer documents and oversaw the execution of these documents.

The Courts Decision

The court held Charles’ submission of a handful of medical records showing the decedent struggled with agoraphobia and passing references to Alzheimer’s disease did not establish an issue of fact as to the decedent’s capability at the time of the questioned transactions to effectuate these transactions.

The Deeds Were Upheld

The deeds were upheld and the challenge related to this estate was dismissed.