Gavel & Books

In a case before Surrogate Robert Gigante, Pending in Richmond County (Staten Island) Judge Gigante dealt with challenges to the probate of a will based on undue influence and failure of the will to be properly executed. The will was submitted for probate by the decedent’s brother. The decedent’s children objected to the probate of the will. The will was dated the day before the decedent died.


Surrogate Robert Gigante found there was no proof there were any efforts maintained to unduly influence the decedent with regard to this will. Justice Gigante stated the objections by the children did not produce a scintilla of evidence of undue influence. His decision stated their objections were mere conclusions and these conclusions were not substantiated by the presentation of evidence to the Court.


The children had also alleged that the will was not properly executed and that the signature of the decedent did not appear on the will. Justice Gigante however, found the children did not produce evidence or documentation or an analysis as to how the signature at the end of the will differed from other examples of their father’s signature. Justice Gigante stated in his decision dismissing the children’s objections there was no basis for the court to give any weight to the children’s unsupported opinions. In addition, he found they failed to demonstrate any material issues of fact concerning the will’s execution. Justice Gigante granted a summary judgment motion on behalf of the decedent’s brother dismissing the objections filed by the children and he allowed the will to be admitted to probate.

Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq., represents clients throughout the metropolitan New York area with regard to issues concerning wills, trusts and estate-related matters.

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