An advertising executive, Suzanne Hart, who was 41 years old, was killed when she stepped into an elevator at work that proceeded to rise and crush her. The building, which has 25 stories, was built in the 1920s. Office workers in the building reported that the scene was gruesome, and two of the witnesses who saw the woman die were sent to a trauma center to deal with the psychological effects of what had happened. Read more: http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2011/12/14/9442855-report-1-killed-2-hurt-in-nyc-elevator-accident
In a tragic event such as this, it is important to have estate planning measures in place upon your death. Under New York Estate Powers and Trust Law, a valid will can help to dictate a Testator’s intent as to who should get what property he own as of his death. A valid will must be signed by two disinterested witnesses. The concept of “interested” witnesses then should be considered. Under New York law, if a beneficiary named in the will is also a necessary will witness, then the will is valid, but the witness forfeit’s the legacy (bequest) unless at the time of the execution of the will, there were at least 2 other witnesses to the will who received nothing under the will. If 3 witnesses sign the will, then the (extra) supernumerary does not lose her bequest. If the necessary interested witness was also an intestate distributee who would benefit if there was no will, then that witness is permitted to take either her intestate share or her bequest under the will, whichever amount is less. A necessary witness is not disqualified from:
1. Taking under a subsequent codicil that names her as a beneficiary provided she was not a necessary W to that codicil, or
2. Acting as the named trustee or executor under T’s will.
The attorneys at Leeds, Morelli & Brown, P.C. formulate estate planning and protective estate measures in Nassau and Suffolk counties, Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, and Staten Island, as well as nationally. Please contact an attorney at the Leeds Brown Law, P.C. law firm for a free consultation at 1-888-556-2529 or visit the firm’s website at www.lbestatelaw.com.