Most estate litigators in New York are well aware of the proceeding to compel production of a will pursuant to Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (“SCPA”) § 1401. However, there are other remedies available against a person withholding a last will and testament from a petitioner without good cause.
New York’s Penal Law § 190.30 makes unlawfully concealing a will a class E felony, which can land the concealer in prison for up to four years. Per Penal Law § 190.30: “A person is guilty of unlawfully concealing a will when, with intent to defraud, he conceals, secretes, suppresses, mutilates or destroys a will, codicil or other testamentary instrument.”
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