Master in Chancery Denies Executrix’s Motion for Summary Judgment in Action Contesting Will

Dewey v. Arce, C.A. No. 2019-0533-PWG (April 8, 2020)

       In this case, Master Griffin ruled on an executrix’s motion to dismiss an action filed by a decedent’s mother contesting the decedent’s will. The executrix claimed that the mother lacked standing to contest the decedent’s will because she allegedly had no pecuniary interest in the estate. Specifically, the executrix claimed that if the will were invalidated it would be the decedent’s son, not the decedent’s mother, who would be the sole intestate heir to decedent’s estate.

       In response, the decedent’s mother contended that she had standing as decedent’s intestate heir because decedent’s son was adopted by his stepfather terminating his rights to inherit from the decedent.

       Because the Master considered supplemental facts outside of the pleadings, she deemed the motion to be converted to one for summary judgment.  The Master recommended that the motion be denied because key material facts remained in dispute, particularly whether or not decedent’s son had in fact been adopted.


William M. Kelleher, Director
Gordon, Fournaris & Mammarella, P.A.