YOU SNOOZE, YOU LOSE: POST-DEATH ESTATE PLANNING IS NOT A “USEFUL PURPOSE” TO DELAY OR AVOID PROBATE
Decedent executed a Last Will and Testament in 1976, which left his entire estate to his surviving spouse, and which also nominated her as Executrix. Decedent died in 1993. His wife never offered his Will for probate in 1993. Twelve years later, she sought issuance of letters of administration on waivers and consents from their two sons, who were the only other distributees of decedent’s estate. The wife argued that hundreds of thousand dollars would be saved in her estate at her death by permitting the administration proceeding to go forward, which would distribute the amounts between herself and her sons. Surrogate’s Court of Washington County (Berke, S.) denied her petition and this appeal ensued.