Estate of Sylvia P. Goldman, Deceased, Marsha Goldberg and Linda Tanenbaum, Co-executrices - Page 13

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            the power of attorney does not explicitly so state.  Where the                            
            highest court in the State has not ruled on a particular point,                           
            our task is to give "proper regard" to the relevant rulings of                            
            the State's lower courts in determining the law.  Commissioner v.                         
            Estate of Bosch, 387 U.S. 456, 465 (1967).                                                
                  In recent cases involving gifts by attorneys-in-fact to                             
            themselves and third parties, lower New York courts have                                  
            consistently invalidated the transfers absent a showing that the                          
            power of attorney explicitly authorized them.  See Semmler v.                             
            Naples, 563 N.Y.S. 2d 116 (A.D. 3 Dept. 1990); Moglia v. Moglia,                          
            533 N.Y.S. 2d 959 (A.D. 2 Dept. 1988); Matter of Griffin, 611                             
            N.Y.S. 2d 743 (Surr. Ct. 1994); Estate of Iannone, 431 N.Y.S. 2d                          
            904 (Surr. Ct. 1980); Estate of DeBelardino, 352 N.Y.S. 2d 858                            
            (Surr. Ct. 1974), affd. 363 N.Y.S.2d 974 (A.D. 4 Dept. 1975);                             
            Gaughan v. Nickoloff, 214 N.Y.S.2d 487 (Sup. Ct. 1961); In re                             
            Robertson's Estate, 81 N.Y.S.2d 286 (Surr. Ct. 1948).                                     
                  In Semmler, the decedent's son, acting pursuant to a power                          
            of attorney, closed all of the decedent's bank accounts prior to                          
            her death and deposited the funds in an account held jointly by                           
            himself and his sister.  The decedent's grandchildren, who were                           
            also beneficiaries under the will, brought suit to have the                               
            diverted funds declared an asset of the estate.  The Appellate                            
            Division affirmed the Supreme Court's judgment that the funds                             
            were an asset of the estate.  The Appellate Division noted that                           
            the power of attorney did not explicitly authorize gifts and held                         

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