APPEAL FROM THE TWENTY-FOURTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH
OF JEFFERSON, STATE OF LOUISIANA NO. 745-007, DIVISION
"G" HONORABLE E. ADRIAN ADAMS, JUDGE PRESIDING
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE, DEBORAH B. DAHAN Jack A.
Ricci Michael S. Ricci Jonathan L. Schultis
COUNSEL FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLANT, CO-EXECUTOR, ROTEM DAHAN
Scott M. Galante Salvador I. Bivalacqua
composed of Judges Jude G. Gravois, Robert A. Chaisson, and
Stephen J. Windhorst
A. CHAISSON JUDGE.
succession proceeding, appellant, Rotem Dahan, seeks review
of the trial court's April 26, 2017 judgment that granted
the petition for possession filed by Deborah Bennett Dahan,
the surviving spouse of the decedent. For the reasons set
forth herein, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
OF THE CASE
decedent, Haim Dahan, died on September 22, 2014, while
domiciled in Jefferson Parish. Prior to his death, the
decedent had executed two wills. In the first will that was
executed in Israel on October 18, 2013, the decedent left his
estate to Rotem Dahan and Pazit Dahan (Kleinplatz), his two
children from his first marriage to Claudine Elbaz, from whom
he was judicially divorced. Thereafter, the decedent executed
a second will in Jefferson Parish on August 29, 2014, and
left his entire estate to his surviving spouse, Deborah
Dahan, and appointed her as testamentary independent
executrix of his estate.
December 10, 2014, Deborah Dahan, Rotem Dahan, and Pazit
Kleinplatz (represented by Rotem Dahan) jointly filed a
"Petition to File and Execute Notarial Will and to
Confirm Independent Co-Executors." In the petition, the
parties acknowledged the existence of the two wills and
submitted both of them to the trial court. With regard to the
Louisiana will, the petitioners affirmed that it was executed
in notarial form in accordance with the provisions of La.
C.C. art. 1579, and they requested that the 2014 Louisiana
will be filed and executed in accordance with law. With
regard to the 2013 Israeli will, the petitioners stated that
they "may produce evidence at a later time that proves
the validity of the Israeli Will in accordance with Louisiana
Civil Code Article 2888."
light of the verified petition to file and execute the
notarial will, the trial court signed an order directing that
the August 29, 2014 Louisiana will be filed and executed
according to law, thereby having the effect of probate. The
trial court further authorized an independent administration
of the estate and confirmed the appointment of Deborah Dahan
and Rotem Dahan as the independent co-executors of the
the course of the proceedings, certain creditors of the
decedent filed claims into the record to protect their
interests in the estate's assets. On March 14, 2016,
Whitney Bank, one of the creditors of the succession, filed a
"Motion to Require Independent Administrator to Provide
Annual Account and to Provide Bond." On May 3, 2016,
pursuant to an agreement between the parties, the trial court
ordered that the "co-independent administrators"
provide an accounting showing a list of all assets owned and
liabilities owed by the succession.
January 10, 2017, Deborah Dahan filed a "Petition for
Possession with Request for Motion for Hearing." Along
with the petition for possession, Deborah Dahan filed a
"Sworn Descriptive List of Assets and Liabilities"
of the estate of Haim Dahan. On April 17, 2017, Rotem Dahan
filed an "Opposition to Petition/Motion for Possession,
" noting several unresolved matters that precluded the
granting of Deborah Dahan's petition for possession.
April 25, 2017, the trial court conducted a hearing on
Deborah Dahan's petition for possession. No witnesses
were called, nor were any exhibits introduced; rather, the
attorneys presented their arguments to the court. The
attorney for Deborah Dahan maintained that the Louisiana will
had already been probated and that Rotem Dahan had ample time
to challenge the validity of the will but had failed to do
so; therefore, Deborah Dahan, the sole legatee, should be
placed into possession in accordance with the probated will.
opposition to the petition, the attorney for Rotem Dahan
asserted that there were numerous unresolved matters, some of
which still required discovery, and thus, a judgment of
possession was not appropriate at that time. Rotem Dahan
particularly noted that there had been no factual
determination as to which of the two conflicting wills was
valid, that the assets and liabilities of the succession had
not been sufficiently identified by Deborah Dahan as ordered
by the trial court, that the status of the creditors of the
succession was unknown ...