Wills - NJ - 1901 - George H. Sickles

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Wills - NJ - 1901 - George H. Sickles

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The Sickles Will Case

All the Testimony In-The Case to be Fought to the Bitter End.

The evidence in the contest over the will of the late George H. Sickles of Navesink was concluded last Thursday. Mr. Sickles left nearly all his property to Mrs. Fred Sickles, wife of his youngest son, who had cared for him for a long time. The other children of Mr. Sickles, who were practically disinherited, are trying to break the will on the ground that undue influence was exerted to induce their father to make the will, and also that he was mentally unsound when he made it.

There was a good deal of evidence introduced to show that Fred Sickles had never treated his father right. Some of this evidence was to the effect that Fred had declared that his father had outlived his usefulness and ought to die. Other testimony was to the effect that Fred had terrorized over his father and had practically bulldozed him into making the will. This was disputed by other witnesses, who stated that Fred and his wife had always treated Mr. Sickles with the greatest kindness and tenderness.

Dr. R. G. Andrew testified that Mr. Sickles was not competent to make a will at any time after he was stricken with paralysis, but a number of other witnesses who had been with Mr. Sickles after he was stricken declared that Mr. Sickles' mind was not at all affected and that he was mentally as sound as ever. Joseph Lufburrow, who was appointed treasurer of All Saints' church in place of Mr. Sickles after the latter was taken sick, related a long conversation he had had with Mr. Sickles, in which Mr. Sickles was shown to be as bright mentally as he ever was. A great many other witnesses testified that they had transacted business with Mr. Sickles during his sickness and that they considered him of strong and sound mind.

John R. Sickles of Shrewsbury, a brother of Mr. Sickles, was of these. He had visited his brother every week, and his brother told him he had made his will in favor of Fred's wife and that he wanted it to stand.

The lawyers did not argue the case before the chancellor but they will submit briefs to him and he will then decide the case. No matter who wins, the case will be carried to the higher courts. Both sides say they will fight the case to the bitter end and each side says it would prefer to have the lawyers get everything there was in the estate, rather than have the other side get it.

Mr. Sickles' estate is estimated at from $6,000 to $8,000.

Source: Red Bank Register, Wednesday, June 12, 1901

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