Irving Trust Co. v. Day
314 U.S. 556 (1942)

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U.S. Supreme Court

Irving Trust Co. v. Day, 314 U.S. 556 (1942)

Irving Trust Co. v. Day

No. 51

Argued December 11, 1941

Decided January 5, 1942

314 U.S. 556

Syllabus

1. Where a state statute is challenged as violative of the contract clause of the Federal Constitution, the existence of the contract and the nature and extent of its obligations are federal questions, and the rulings of the state court thereon are not conclusive here. P. 314 U. S. 561.

2. A State is not forbidden by the Federal Constitution to limit, condition, or even abolish the power of testamentary disposition over property within its jurisdiction. P. 314 U. S. 562.

3. Section 18 of the New York Decedent Estate Law, which, in the case of wills thereafter executed, gives to a surviving spouse a right of election to take as in intestacy, held not an unconstitutional impairment of the obligation of a previously executed waiver by the surviving spouse of any right in the estate of the decedent, and not inconsistent with due process of law where, subsequently to the enactment of the Section, the decedent executed a codicil to his will, and thereby made the Section operative. P. 314 U. S. 562.

284 N.Y. 527, 32 N.E.2d 539, affirmed.

Appeal from a decree, entered on remittitur, sustaining the right of appellee's decedent to elect under § 18 of the New York Decedent Estate Law to take against the provisions

Page 314 U. S. 557

of a will. See also 171 Misc. 612, 13 N.Y.S.2d 76; 258 App.Div. 596, 17 N.Y.S.2d 316.

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