In re the Application of Richard M. Copland, as an Executor of the Estate of Lenore Lewis Abels, Deceased

No. 2007-515/A (2014)

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In re the Application of Richard M. Copland, as an Executor of the Estate of Lenore Lewis Abels, Deceased

New York Surrogate Court
No. 2007-515/A (2014)

Facts

Lenore Lewis Abels left a will appointing Richard M. Copland (plaintiff) and Michael Maino as co-executors of her estate. The terms of the will provided for $115,000 in specific bequests to various animal charities and the residual to a trust for the benefit of her husband, Joel. Joel predeceased Abels. Thus, the will stated that all of Abels’s property, with the exception of her home, were to be sold and distributed to her housekeeper, Eugenia Chodnicka, in exchange for her maintaining the home and caring for Abels’s cats. Upon the death of Abels’s cats, the home was to be sold and the proceeds distributed to various animal charities. Copland, in his capacity as co-executor, petitioned the court for a decree reducing the amount of money to be transferred from the estate to Chodnicka as trustee of the testamentary pet trust established for the cats. Copland later amended his petition and requested that the court reduce the amount to Chodnicka to a lesser amount and permit the sale of the home so that the funds may be distributed to the various animal charities. Chodnicka (defendant) filed an answer requesting the court deny the petition.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning ()

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