NYLJ: Panel Finds Canadian Gay Marriage Valid in Probate Case

Surrogate’s Court, New York County

Criminal Practice
Same-Sex Spouse May Inherit Deceased Partner’s Estate
H. Kenneth Ranftle v. Craig Leiby, Respondent, 4214

The Appellate Division, First Department, held yesterday in Matter of the Estate of H. Kenneth Ranftle, 4214, that recognizing the marriage in Canada of H. Kenneth Ranftle and J. Craig Leiby, who was designated as Mr. Ranftle’s “surviving spouse and sole distributee,” did not violate public policy. “[T]he Legislature’s failure to authorize same-sex couples to enter into marriage in New York or require recognition of validly performed out-of-state same-sex marriages, cannot serve as an expression of public policy for the State,” the unanimous panel wrote in an unsigned ruling.

 

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