Master Recommends that Decedent’s Mother be Dismissed as a Petitioner as She Was Only a Contingent Beneficiary in the Case of Intestacy

Delaware Fiduciary Litigation Blog

Posted May 21, 2014

Beverly McCarty and Ragen McCarty v. John M. McCarty, Jr. as an Executor of the Estate of Michael L. McCarty CA #8705-MA (May 15, 2014)

In this case, Master in Chancery Ayvazian recommended that one petitioner be dismissed from a case filed  to contest a will. The petitioner at issue (the decedent’s mother) did not deny that her status was only that of a contingent beneficiary in the event of intestacy should anything happen to the decedent’s daughter (“Ragen”). But, the petitioner at issue maintained that she nonetheless had standing to be one of the petitioners. The Master concluded otherwise and, in so doing, cited Conner v. Brown, 3 A.2d 64 (Del. Super. 1938) which found that “no person may contest a will who has no interest in the estate which may be affected by the probate of the proposed will; and the interest must be pecuniary and one detrimentally affected by the will, and not a mere sentimental interest.” The Master further noted that should anything happen to Ragen during the course of litigation, Ragen’s estate would be substituted as the real party in interest.


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