New Jersey Wills - 1899 - John Cullington

A Suit Over An Estate

Heirs Of The Late John Cullington Go To Law

Some of His Grandchildren Attack the Account of the Executors-The Chief Dispute is Over a Board Bill of $1,555

The heirs of the late John Cullington of Red Bank had a hearing in court last Thursday over the accounts of the executors of his will. The hearing was before Judge J. Clarence Conover, who reserved his decision in the case.

John Cullington, father of William and Samuel Cullington of Red Bank, died in November, 1896. The father and the two sons had been in the cigar and tobacco business on Front street, and the firm owned the brick building they occupied. Some dissatisfaction arose in the firm, and Samuel Cullington withdrew from the firm six or eight years ago.

John Cullington made his will December 24th, 1891. The will, after providing for the payment of his debts and funeral expenses, gave the sum of $1,000 to his son, William Cullington; $500 to Mary H. Cullington, wife of William Cullington; $500 to his son, Samuel Cullington; $100 to each of his grandchildren-John H. Cullington, Frederick J. Cullington, Ella L. Cullington, Hattie M. Cullington, Deborah Cullington, John Cullington, Helen Cullington, William Taylor Corlies Cullington, and Herbert Spencer Cullington. John Cullington, one of the sons of William Cullington, died several years ago. Of the eight living children, four are children of Samuel and four are William’s children.

John Cullington bequeathed to his son William all of his interest in the brick building on Front street in which their business was carried on, and also all his interest in the business, including the accounts of the firm and the money in the bank in the firm’s name. All the rest of the estate, after paying these bequests, was to be divided equally among the grandchildren. In case there should not be enough money to pay all the bequests, then the bequest of the building and business to William should stand, but the money legacies were to be abated in proportion. William Cullington and Wm. H. Wood were made executors of the will, and by the terms of a codicil John H. Whitmore was also made an executor. The codicil was executed June 16, 1894.

The personal estate of John Cullington amounted to $4,715.18. The special bequests made by Mr. Cullington amounted to $2,800, and these were paid. The charges against the estate, in addition to the special bequests, amounted to $2,808.80. In these charges against the estate was a charge of $1,555 for 311 weeks’ board at $5 per week. John Cullington made his home with his son William, and this claim for board was put in against the estate by William Cullington.

It was this item in the accounts of the executors which was the principal point of attack. When the testimony in the case was taken at Freehold it was shown that John Cullington, who had made his home with William, had instructed him to charge him $7 per week for board, but William had thought this price too high and had charged but $5 per week. In the account of the executors it was set forth that William Cullington had agreed to rebate his bill by deducting the sum of $393.62, and this would permit the payment in full of all legacies and claims against the estate.

If this charge is held by Judge Conover not to be a valid one, and is set aside, it would leave the sum of $1,161.38 to be divided among the eight grandchildren. This would give each of Samuel’s children about $120 more than they would otherwise receive. It is in the interest of Samuel’s children that the case was taken to court.

Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, March 29, 1899