Walk Through of Decedent’s Home To Discover Assets Denied

estate planning lawyerA petition was brought to Gutierrez before Surrogate Rita Mella in the Surrogate’s Court of New York County. Gutierrez claimed he had personal possessions which were in the home of the decedent at the time of decedent’s death. The executor, Berlin, a sister of decedent asked the court to dismiss this discovery petition. The decedent had left a will. It made certain specific bequests to Gutierrez.

Gutierrez wanted a “walk-through” through decedent’s apartment to identify various items which belonged to him. The executor took the position there was no statutory right or authority for Gutierrez to have a walk-through. In addition, the executor claims all property maintained at decedent’s residence had been previously abandoned by Gutierrez.

Walk Through Petition Dismissed

Judge Rita Mella granted the application by the executrix to dismiss the petition brought by Gutierrez for a walk through. She ruled that it did not state a cause of action under the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act. She took the position that Gutierrez was not entitled to a walk through pursuant to statutes or caselaw. She dismissed Gutierrez’s petition which stated he had personal effects which were not specifically delineated in his petition to the court. His request to identify these items during a walk through of decedent’s apartment was denied.

estate plannersElliot S. Schlissel and his attorneys litigate all types of estate issues throughout the Metropolitan New York area. The law firm also has an excellent reputation in representing clients regarding elder law issues.