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  • Yivo Institute for Jewish Research v. ZaleskiYivo Institute for Jewish Research v. Zaleski
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Yivo Institute for Jewish Research v. Zaleski

Maryland Court of Appeals
874 A.2d 411 (2005)


Dr. Jan Karski wrote a letter to the YIVO Institute for Jewish Research (YIVO) (plaintiff), agreeing to create an endowment of $100,000 for an annual $5,000 award for Polish Jewish authors. The letter stated that the endowment would consist of a gift in Karski’s will, or in cash or securities during his lifetime. In Karski’s will, executed the following year, Karski left to YIVO his shares in the Northern States Power Company (Northern Power), which were worth approximately $100,000. In the years before he died, Karski made a series of gifts of stocks in other companies to YIVO. The total value of the stocks was $99,997.69. Soon after the final stock gift, Karski gifted YIVO $2.31 to bring the total value of gifts to $100,000. Karski did not amend his will. At Karski’s death, the Northern Power shares remained in the estate and were worth over $100,000. Paul Zaleski (defendant), Karski’s personal representative, denied YIVO’s request for the Northern Power stock, stating that the bequest had been adeemed by Karski’s inter vivos gifts to YIVO. YIVO filed a petition in court seeking the stock. The Montgomery County Orphans’ Court denied YIVO’s petition. The Maryland Court of Appeals granted YIVO’s petition for certiorari.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Greene, J.)

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