Brooklyn News Review

Sheldon Silver’s Widow Seeks Court Designation to Sell Off Late Husband’s Estate

Sheldon Silver’s Widow Seeks Court Designation to Sell Off Late Husband’s Estate  

By: Ellen Cans  

The widow of late state Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is petitioning the Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan in hopes that she can start selling off her late husband’s asset, before they are devalued amid the imminent economic crisis.

As reported by the NY Post, Rosa Silver, 76,  requested that the court name her “temporary administrator” of her late husband’s estate, estimated to be worth about $2.675 million.  Her husband had died in January 2022, at the age 77, without a will, while in federal custody.   She is now concerned that a lengthy legal proceeding will cause delays, during which the value of her late husband’s estate will plummet, due to the predicted impending financial decline.  She would like to start selling off his multi-million-dollar estate as soon as possible, as per the court filing.

“Due to market volatility at this time, the petitioner would like to sell the assets of the estate as soon as possible,” wrote her lawyer Elizabeth Forspan in the legal papers, filed in May. “The petitioner is concerned that the value of the assets may be significantly reduced during the lengthy administration proceedings.”

Rosa Silver has requested the temporary designation so she can ask the Internal Revenue Service for a “private letter ruling regarding the taxation” of her late husband’s retirement assets, her lawyer wrote. The Silvers’ four children filed sworn statements expressing their support for their mother being named “temporary administrator” of the estate. Recent legal filings show that Mr. Silver’s funeral arrangements totaled $9,136 and were paid.  Forspan declined further comment.

Mr. Silver, a Democrat with a law degree from Brooklyn Law School, had served in the New York State Assembly from 1977 to 2015, representing district 65, which includes Chinatown, the Lower East Side, the Financial District, Tribeca, East Village and SoHo.  He had served for over 25 years , from 1994 to 2015, as the speaker of the Assembly, being one of the top politicians in NYS, known as one of the “three men in a room,” including the governor and Senate leader, who essentially controlled state government and made the state’s essential decisions.

He resigned in 2015, being accused of federal corruption and extortion. In 2018, he had been convicted at his second trial and been ordered to pay $1 million to the feds in restitution.  In July 2020, he was sentenced to 6.5 years of prison time.  Despite lengthy appeals, the pandemic and cited health problems, he was incarcerated at the federal prison in Otisville, NY.  He died on Jan. 24th, while serving out his sentence at the medical-care center for federal prisoners in Devens, Massachusetts.

One NYC Democratic operative told the Post that Rosa Silver is a “widow who needs the dough.” The source added, “The feds have taken their share, and she wants to take care of her family.” Rosa Silver was formerly a special-needs school teacher.


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