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Matter of Estate of Beales

Decided: April 24, 1951.

IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF ISAAC B. BEALES, DECEASED


McGeehan, Jayne and Wm. J. Brennan, Jr. The opinion of the court was delivered by Jayne, J.A.D.

Jayne

[13 NJSuper Page 223] Mr. Isaac B. Beales died testate on October 14, 1944, leaving him surviving two daughters, Ruth M.

Brower and Margaret A. Beales. The will was admitted to probate and pursuant to the nomination expressed in the will, letters testamentary were issued to the respondent, Bertrond A. Weber, who thereupon qualified as executor and assumed the administration of the decedent's estate.

The executor submitted his final account to the Probate Division of the County Court of Bergen County for allowance and settlement. Margaret Beales interposed an exception to its approval. On September 22, 1950, a judgment was entered in the County Court dismissing the exception and adjudicating that "the said account be in all things allowed as reported." The present appeal implicates the propriety of that judgment.

One cannot attain a comprehensive understanding of the basic controversy without some familiarity with the antecedent chapters of its history.

The decedent was the owner of a residential property designated as No. 356 Harrison Avenue, Hasbrouck Heights, New Jersey, in which he resided with Mr. and Mrs. Frank Parker during a period of six years before his death. Their associations may be characterized as constituting a family circle.

In June 1944, the testator suggested to the Parkers that they purchase the property for the sum of $5,000. On July 22, 1944, less than three months before his death, the testator accepted a check from Mr. Parker for $100 and subscribed to the following memorandum:

"July 22nd 1944

Received of Frank Parker

One Hundred Dollars a Down Payment on purchase of House & Land at 356 Harrison Avenue Hasbrouck Heights New Jersey

Total Cost $5000.00

$100.00

I. B. BEALES"

The excerpt from a contemporaneous communication of the testator to his daughter Ruth, here reproduced, reflects some illumination upon the considerations which obviously motivated the testator.

"Dear Ruth

Last Saturday when you came over to 356 I had verbally sold the house to Frank Parker for $5,000.00 and after you left we drew up an agreement to that effect. You may think that is cheap but remember the long time (over six years) that I have lived there ...


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