Surrogate Robert J. Gigante


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Estate co-executor Biscotti sought an order directing co-executor Costa to execute a listing agreement for the estate’s property in Pennsylvania (PA), among other things. Costa cross-moved for Biscotti to account for the use of the PA vacation home in this contested proceeding. Since letters were issued to both co-executors they have failed to move forward in administering the estate. Despite court intervention, the parties could not agree and settlement attempts have all failed. Biscotti’s counsel believed the only significant asset of the estate was the PA property, that was in danger of being foreclosed, and thus, needed to be sold to protect and preserve it. Counsel contended the house was vacant and ready to be listed, but Costa would not cooperate and execute a listing agreement. A further issue among the parties was the use and occupancy of the PA property, Costa’s counsel asserting that Biscotti and her brothers used the PA property as a vacation home. The court advised co-executors to work together in the interest if preserving the estate’s assets, finding that the longer the matters continued, the more the assets diminished and legal fees accrued. It determined that all necessary steps for the sale of both properties must be taken and proceeds held in escrow.