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Matter of Estate of Morris Alper

New Jersey Supreme Court


Decided: April 25, 1949.

IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF MORRIS ALPER, DECEASED

On appeal from a decree of the former Prerogative Court advised by Vice-Ordinary Stein, whose opinion is reported in 142 N.J. Eq. 529.

For affirmance -- Chief Justice Vanderbilt, and Justices Case, Heher, Wachenfeld, Burling and Ackerson. For reversal -- None.

Per Curiam

[2 NJ Page 104] The decree of the former Prerogative Court is affirmed, and generally for the reasons stated in the opinion

[2 NJ Page 105]

of the learned Vice-Ordinary. The proofs do not establish the charge that the paper writing purporting to be the decedent's last will and testament was the product of undue influence.

We express no opinion as to the admissibility of declarations allegedly made by one of the subscribing witnesses since deceased which, in the view of appellant, "indicated that pressure was brought to bear on the decedent when the will was executed." See Whitemack v. Stryker, 2 N.J. Eq. 8 (Prerog. Ct. 1838); Turner v. Cheesman, 15 N.J. Eq. 243 (Prerog. Ct. 1857); Reformed Dutch Church v. Ten Eyck, 25 N.J.L. 40 (Sup. Ct. 1855); Meeker v. Boylan, 28 N.J.L. 274 (Sup. Ct. 1860); Otterson v. Hofford, 36 N.J.L. 129 (Sup. Ct. 1873); In re Lee's Case, 46 N.J. Eq. 193 (Prerog. Ct. 1889); In re Rein, 139 N.J. Eq. 122 (Prerog. Ct. 1946). We concur in the finding that this evidence is utterly without countervailing weight. The proofs overwhelmingly negative the existence of undue influence.

19490425


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