Surrogate Nora Anderson

The court admitted to probate a March 21, 1978, will of decedent in 1979. Nearly 34 years later, decedent’s great-granddaughter sought to probate a March 28, 1978, instrument. The latter instrument differed significantly from the probated one. Proponent alleged the instrument became known to her in 2010 when her sister discovered it among her aunt’s effects. The court noted that despite the aunt’s sworn affidavit, she later disclaimed authorship at a later deposition, and refused to confirm the truth of its content. Respondents objected to the March 28 writing on grounds including forgery. Proponent argued respondents failed to fulfill their duties in providing limited and late information regarding anticipated expert testimony, and it should be precluded. The court noted as unforeseen circumstances caused the trial to be delayed, proponent had more than ample opportunity to examine respondent’s proposed experts, and it would not deny respondents an opportunity to lay a foundation for qualification of the expert. It found it was “patently obvious that triable, material issues of fact arise from the diametrically opposed statements” and the proceeding could not be resolved on the current record, nothing there was no basis for summary judgment.