Surrogate Edward McCarty III

In a suit for the issuance of limited letters of administration, Allen, the decedent’s surviving spouse and executor of his estate, moved to dismiss the petition brought by Davis, the managing member/sole owner of Excelsior Capital, the holder of a $26 million judgment against the estate, which was obtained after decedent’s death. The court noted that JP Morgan Chase is a secured creditor for a debt of approximately $820,000, and that there is a claim against the estate by his sons, beneficiaries of a lifetime trust identified as the “1965 trust.” The sons alleged that as trustee of the 1965 trust, the decedent wrongfully diverted $7 million of trust funds, which they claim should be returned. The petition sought limited letters for the purpose of representing the estate to defend the sons’ claim against the estate and to pursue a contribution claim against Allen for her conduct as a co-trustee of the 1965 trust. Allen executed a document allowing the claim of her sons against the estate, but petitioner contended she will not vigorously defend the estate against the claim made by her own sons. The court agreed and added that a proper adjudication of the validity of the sons’ claim requires that it be defended by a party with an interest in disproving it.