Surrogate Edward W. McCarty, III

Read Full-Text Decision

In companion suits before the court by decedent’s daughters, Pearlman and Silbertang, Pearlman sought to remove her sister as co-executor, while Silbertang sought to compel her sister to consent to the continued prosecution of an action commenced in Supreme Court. Decedent had seven identical letter agreements signed by her grand- and great grandchildren agreeing to terms under which she revocably transferred shares of IBM stock to them. She demanded return of the stock, but only one grandchild complied, and she sued to enforce her rights against the others. The motion was denied pending discovery, but decedent died. The court noted the administration of this estate was “frozen” by the sisters complete disagreement regarding pursuing the supreme court action, in which the stock appeared to be the only significant probate asset. The court authorized Silbertang to proceed with the action on the estate’s behalf. It noted, the removal petition appeared a preemptive counterstrike by Pearlman, who alleged misdeeds by her sibling. The court stated while the complained of conduct was insufficient to justify revoking Silbertang’s letters, no discovery was conducted, thus summary dismissal was premature.