Cassidy Family - Cassidy Trust Fund Quarrel

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Justice Schenck Asked to Decide in $100,000 Estate

Whether the will of an incompetent person shall be declared valid… is a problem facing Superior Court Justice Schenck

The estate in question is a $100,000 Trust fund bequeathed of John Clinton Cassidy upon his death last year to his mother, Juliette B. Bevington of Ste. Agathe, Quebec.

The attack on the validity of the will was launched in Special Term yesterday by an uncle of the testator, Edward R. Cassidy, living in France. He seeks an injunction that will restrain B. Jermain Savage, Albany lawyer and trustee of the fund, from disbursing it to anyone except a representative of the Cassidy family.

He seeks also to have the will of his nephew declared null and void on the grounds of insanity and to have himself named heir to one half of the trust fund. The mother of John Clinton Cassidy and his heir under his will is shown to have been author of the petition declaring her son incompetent. She also took similar steps in the case of her husband in ????.

The trust was created from part of the half-million dollar estate of Col. William Rochefort Cassidy, son of William Cassidy, editor and owner of the Albany Argus for many years. The latter's editorial on the death of Lincoln still is considered one of the most masterly pieces of journalistic writing of its time. Colonel Cassidy died in Brighton, England, Feb. 5, 1916.

Left Large Bequests

He left numerous bequests to Albany organizations and charitable institutions and created three trust funds, one of $70,000 for the benefit of a brother, who brings the present suit. Upon the latter's death the fund is to go to St. Peter's Hospital, Albany, to be a perpetual trust in memory of his mother and father.

The hospital had been founded some years before by an aunt, Elizabeth Cassidy Cagger, in memory of her husband, Peter.

Two trust funds were created from the residuary estate, one for the benefit of a niece, Frances Eliot Heiner, and the other for a nephew, John Clinton Cassidy, who died last year. They were children of a brother, John P. Cassidy.

The niece and nephew also were bequeathed powers of appointment by the will as to the principal of the trust, with the privilege of leaving it to whomever they wished on their death.

Nephew Declared Incompetent

Some years before his death the nephew was declared incompetent by a Supreme Court order and his uncle, Edward, the present plaintiff, and his sister were appointed a committee of his person and property.

The uncle now contends John was incompetent and insane at the time the will was drawn, that he was deprived of his free will by undue influence from his mother and that the lacked the testamentary capacity to make a will.

Motions for dismissal of the complaint were made by William Van Rensselaer Erving, appearing for Mr. Savage, and George J. Hatt 3nd counsel for Mrs. Heiner. Decision was reserved.

Albany Evening News November 25, 1933