October 10, 2014
Court Ruling Resulted in Wife Inheriting $3 Million Estate
JAMAICA ESTATES, NY – Attorney Tanya Hobson-Williams of Hobson-Williams, P.C. recently won an appeal in favor of a woman whose marriage to an older gentleman was annulled in the course of a Guardianship proceeding. The court found that Ms. Hobson-Williams’ client was not informed that the court was going to consider annulment, thereby depriving the wife of the opportunity to object before the annulment was ordered. Additionally, the Guardianship petition was never amended requesting dissolution of the marriage. Pending any new hearing on the husband’s capacity at the time of the marriage, the woman, represented by Ms. Hobson-Williams, is now the heir of her husband’s $3 million dollar estate.
The guardian’s charge entered into a marriage with the younger woman. When the guardian learned of the marriage, the guardian petitioned the Court to order a psychiatric examination for the gentleman to see if he had the capacity (the ability to make a rational decision based upon all relevant facts and considerations) to enter into the marriage. Although the Court granted the request, no psychiatric examination was ever conducted. After testimony from the gentleman’s relatives, who resided in Europe, the Court determined that the elderly gentleman lacked the capacity to enter into the marriage and, as a result, annulled the marriage.
On September 24, 2014, the New York State Appellate Court, Second Department, found that the elderly gentleman’s wife was never given an opportunity to testify against annulling the marriage before the Supreme Court ordered dissolution of her marriage. Further, the Appellate Court determined that neither the guardian nor anyone else ever formally moved to amend the petition to include the annulment as a form of relief and reversed the Supreme Court’s decision to annul the marriage and remanded the case back to the Guardianship Court for a new hearing.
“We are pleased with the Appellate Court’s decision,” Ms. Hobson-Williams said. “The lower court did not give my client any notice that it was going to annul her marriage and she had no opportunity to object. My client was rendered homeless after the lower court decision and we are glad that we will receive the opportunity for another hearing and a chance for my client to be recognized as the wife.”
For more information, call 1 (866) 825-1529 or visit www.thobsonwilliamslaw.com.