Monday, November 11, 2013

Estate of Hillowitz case brief

Estate of Hillowitz case brief summary
238 N.E.2d 723 (1968)

Appellant widow sought review of an order of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Second Judicial Department (New York) that reversed a surrogate court decree dismissing a petition for an order directing appellant to deliver certain partnership property to appellees, executors of decedent's estate, and remitting the matter for further proceedings.


This appeal arose from a discovery proceeding brought in the surrogate court by the executors of decedent's estate against the widow. The husband had been a partner in an investment club, and after his death, the club, pursuant to a provision of the partnership agreement, paid the widow a certain sum representing his interest in the partnership. The agreement provided that in the event of the death of any partner, his share would be transferred to his wife with no termination of the partnership. The executors contended that the above provision was an invalid attempt to make a testamentary disposition of property. The widow maintained that it was a valid and enforceable contract. The surrogate court agreed with the widow, but the appellate court held that the agreement was invalid as an attempted testamentary disposition.


  • On appeal, the court reversed the judgment of the appellate court and reinstated the surrogate court decision. 
  • The court found that a partnership agreement that provided upon the death of one partner that his interest would pass to the surviving partner was unquestionably valid and could not be defeated by labeling it a testamentary disposition.

The court reversed a decision of the appellate court and reinstated a decree of the surrogate court dismissing the petition for an order directing the widow to deliver certain partnership property to the executors of decedent's estate.

Suggested Study Aids For Wills, Trusts & Estate Law

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