Judge who died in Hudson cut husband out of her estate

Judge who died in Hudson cut husband out of her estate
May 19 13:12 2017 Print This Article

Trailblazing judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam’s current husband is cut out of her estate because she had an outdated will when her body was found floating in the Harlem River last month.

The late judge, who was the first black woman to be appointed to New York’s highest court, signed the document on Dec. 8, 2004. It leaves her entire estate to her mother and siblings.

Abdus-Salaam, 65, wrote her last will during a contentious split from her third husband — to assure that he wouldn’t inherit her money if she suddenly died.

“I am presently married to, but in the midst of divorce proceedings with, Hector Nova,” the judge says in the 9-page will filed in Manhattan Surrogate’s Court Thursday.

Abdus-Salaam met Nova when she hired him to renovate her W. 131st Street townhouse. She filed for the split in 2003 then battled him in court for two years before finally obtaining a divorce judgment.

She married her fourth husband, Rev. Gregory Jacobs, in June 2016. They’d first met at Columbia University where the judge attended law school.

Under state law, spouses and children automatically inherit the deceased person’s estate if there is no will.The judge had no children.

Her last will gives 25 percent of her assets to her mother, who died in 2012. The rest she bequeaths equally to her five brothers and sisters, according to a copy of the will.

“I’m surprised she doesn’t have an updated will,” a close friend told The Post. “[But] I’m happy to know that they are the beneficiaries,” the person continued, adding that the judge was “very thoughtful and helpful” toward her family, “particularly where nieces and nephews were concerned for college and things like that.”

One of the judge’s siblings, Jerome Edwin Turner, succumbed to lung cancer in 2014, according to a family statement. If he had any heirs, they will inherit his share.

Police sources have said that Jerome Edwin Turner committed suicide, although the family denies the claim.

The judge was very close with her brother, whom she appointed as the backup executor of her estate if her niece Nina Chambers-Bates was unable to handle the job.

Police initially believed that she committed suicide, but then the NYPD opened an investigation after determining that her death was “suspicious.”

The probe was closed in early May. The Medical Examiner’s Office has yet to determine a cause of death.

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