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Samiro V. JGAB — Supreme Court Appellate Term Decision

Court: New York Supreme Court, Nassau County (2007)

Citation: 14 Misc.3d 1226(A), 836 N.Y.S.2d 493, 2007 WL 315348 (N.Y.Sup.), 2007 N.Y. Slip Op. 50182(U)

Background: Martin J. Margolin was a founding partner of an accounting firm, Margolin Lowenstein & Company. During his career, several changes had been made to the partnership agreement, which reduced his interest in the partnership.

After Margolin’s death, a dispute arose as to the percentage interest Mr. Margolin owned in the partnership and the calculation of the amount due, if any, to his estate.

Details of the case: A number of calculations were made using the same base numbers but yielding a different valuation regarding the distribution owed to Mr. Margolin’s estate. On behalf of the estate, the plaintiff sought a distribution to the estate that was greater than the amount agreed to by the surviving partners.

Our client, the partnership, denied any further distribution should be granted. It also sought credit for the payment of the proceeds of a life insurance policy paid for by the partnership that had been distributed to Mr. Margolin’s estate.

Decision: The Supreme Court considered the history of the partnership and the agreements that had been executed and found that the 1989 agreement was in full force and effect upon Mr. Margolin’s death. It then needed to interpret the contract and take into consideration certain evidentiary rules, the plaintiff’s rights under the partnership agreement, and whether an accrual or cash-basis analysis should be applied to the calculation of the payment.

The court ruled that the evidence submitted by the partnership was admitted properly and concluded that the business operated on a cash basis. It then ruled that life insurance paid to the estate was from a policy maintained by the partnership.

Applying these findings, the Supreme Court held that Mr. Margolin’s estate was not entitled to recover any further monies from the partnership, and that the partnership was entitled to a credit for the life insurance under the valuation formula in the partnership agreement.

At Weinstein, Kaplan & Cohen, P.C., our attorneys’ extensive experience in both business law and probate allows us to be powerful advocates in estate litigation. If you have a probate dispute that needs experienced representation and well crafted legal advocacy, contact us today. Our lawyers can be reached by phone at 800-491-9306 or by e-mail using our intake form.

Please click here to see the complete text of the court’s decision.

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