A woman has come forward and filed a beneficiary claim against the estate of a holocaust survivor who died in 2012. The holocaust survivor died at the age of 97 and had an approximate wealth of $40 million. The man had immigrated to the United States and rose to prominence in the housing construction and real estate market in Staten Island, New York. Until recently, it was believed that he had died without a will.
Now, a woman has stepped forward with claims that the decedent had once sent a will conveying all of his estate to a close friend of hers who lived in Australia. The case will be heard in Staten Island Surrogate’s Court where the alleged will has been filed.
According to the woman who came forward, she was the caretaker of a woman that the decedent had met in Warsaw, Poland in 1938. The two became close, yet were separated by the events of World War II. According to a news report, the man spent five years in labor camps, and his love interest had a miscarriage. They eventually went separate ways; the man ended up in America while his love interest moved to Australia.
The woman stepping forward says that she is the long-time caretaker and friend of the man’s former love interest. She now says that her friend received a letter from the decedent, which contained the recently filed will back in 1987. The problem is that the woman to whom the will was sent died in 1999. The two persons who allegedly witnessed the will are also now deceased. It will be interesting to see how this case is resolved.
Relatives of people who died without filing a will need to know that there are legal ways to still make claims on the estate of their loved ones. A probate court will often look a variety of things when forming a decision regarding the distribution of property or assets. When a new claim is asserted against an estate, the court will certainly examine the duration and nature of the relationship between the decedent and the new claimant.
Source: The Real Deal, “Late real estate mogul’s $40M estate may have found heir” Mark Maurer, Jun. 02, 2014