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New York Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Can you transfer a Deed to property of the deceased parent to her children prior to filing for Probate in New York.

There is no surviving spouse. Can the IRS or any creditor place a lien on the deceased property prior to filing for Probate? What responsibility does the executor have under those circumstances?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jul 6, 2021

You must do probate to transfer the property. Claims from the IRS and others will get adjudicated in the probate. If there are large tax debts, the property might need to be sold to pay them. The executor would have personal liability for transferring property in the face of unpaid debt.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: What is a letter of citation and renunciation and consent to appointment of administrator?
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jul 1, 2021

These are actually two forms. There is a waiver and consent, and a renunciation. A waiver and consent applies to the petition filed. If you sign, the petition will be granted. Renunciation is when a named fiduciary in a will does not want to act, and resigns.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Equal heir - before the house is sold, do I have rights of entry to review household items to be chosen from?

The house is left equally to all heirs, to be sold and cash distrusted.

The will notes all house hold items are to be equally divided. If we are in disagreement, the the executor can devises a system of distribution of the house hold items.. if there is still a disagreement, then the... Read more »

Bonnie Lawston
Bonnie Lawston answered on Jun 25, 2021

The executor is responsible for the administration of the estate. Thus, the executor can prohibit entry to the house if there are concerns that something will be taken without permission. If the item has a monetary value it should be paid for even if it’s an heir that wants the item so the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: If a will indicates two beneficiaries, who both predecease the testatrix, who is the lawful distributee?

B (NY, died in 2017) left her estate in a 1961 will to two sisters; A (NY) and M (FL). The two sisters predeceased B. Beneficiaries to A's estate are her two children (NY & MA). Living beneficiaries to M's estate are her & B's brother, P (CA), and a niece, M (FL).

Julie King
Julie King answered on Jun 21, 2021

The answer will depend on what the will says. If the will has no "back up" people to receive the inheritance if the people listed as first choice have passed away, the inheritance will likely go to B's heirs by law. You should make an appointment with a probate attorney and have the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My ex-husband died we bought the house together save money how can I get my money back

Used both money but everything is my husband's name he passed away my money paid down payment the house we bought deed in his name now our killer kid trying to sell it .I m 71yr panic attack fears sleep less

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 10, 2021

You can try to make a claim in his probate case but it is going to be an uphill battle because that claim should have already been resolved in the divorce. An attorney needs to review all of the facts plus your divorce decree to help you determine whether it would be worthwhile for you to pursue.... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Can I revoke a consent from a "waiver of process consent to probate" form I was coerced into signing?

In February 2021 my sibling asked me to sign a waiver of process consent to probate form. I didn't want to sign it. I asked for a copy of the will and was denied. She and her brother said if I don't sign it the court was going to take the house. She said my brother signed the same waiver... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jun 8, 2021

It is very hard to revoke a consent. From the post you were not coerced. You just did not seek good legal advice.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: beneficiary question

will reads I leave my estate to my children, if any, who survive me in equal shares, per stirpes - have received two different answers for what this means - the first lawyer I talked with stated that the estate would be divided between the three alive children and then the fourth share would be... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jun 7, 2021

Since it conditions it upon surviving the maker of the Will, it would be be divided among the living children with no share will be given to the children of any child not living at the time of the maker's death. Per stirpes is inconsistent with the "who survive me" wording. That... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: I was willed a parcel of property in NY. I have signed all paperwork, paid taxes & have not received a deed.

Lawyers will not talk to me or return my calls. It has been 3 years is there something legally I can do?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jun 2, 2021

If you know the will says you get it, bring a petition to compel distribution. While not a form, this is basic work.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Do I have rights to money my co-power of attorney sold before my mother died

My sister and I were both appointed cold power of attorney each being able to act independently two months before my mothers passing my sister sold her David Lerner stock and transfer the money into Her personal account we were both supposed to be 50-50 beneficiaries on this account do I have any... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on May 30, 2021

If your sister abused her power, whomever is appointed executor of the estate can go after her for the money taken. As for the probate of the Will, I’m not sure what you mean by probate date. COVID has slowed things down in some counties. But, not that significantly as long as you hire an... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Can my brother change the locks on me and keep me from being inside our home?

My beloved father passed away in May of 2020 due to COVID and the house he owned was passed down to my two siblings and I. We all have a room full of personal items. We have all signed a document last year making my sister in charge I believe. I can’t quite remember exactly what the document was... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on May 12, 2021

Although your question is limited to the items in your room, the real issue seems to be about control of the property your mother previously owned. If your mother died without a will, her New York real property passes to her heirs, which would be her children if she was not survived by her spouse.... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: Mother has passed. My sister wants to be co administrator. Mom lived with me, can my sister enter my home to take items?

My mom signed a paper saying that she wants me to have all items of hers left in the home. Because she gave the rest of her children what she wanted them to have when she was alive and knew that they would give me a hard time. How can I protect myself, I know they want to be spiteful because mom... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on May 10, 2021

No one can enter your home without consent. That being said, you may not be entitled ultimately to all items.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Does pretermitted children include unborn nieces and nephews at time of the will or just children of the testator?

The decedent did not have any children of his own. He created a will in 1971 (NY) and it included his nieces and nephews at the time but additional nieces and nephews of the same family units already included in the will were born after 1971 and his will was never updated to include them. Are... Read more »

Bonnie Lawston
Bonnie Lawston answered on Apr 30, 2021

It depends on the language and intent of the testator if the additional Nieces and nephews take.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Is the nominated executor allowed to retain a lawyer to 'Manage the Estate' without first being approved as executor?

The nominated executor retained a lawyer to manage the estate of the decedent 5 months prior to being approved as executor. What then is the duty of the executor if there is also a Probate Estate Manager?

Bonnie Lawston
Bonnie Lawston answered on Apr 30, 2021

A nominated executor (named in the Will) or executor (appointed when Will is admitted to probate) should retain an attorney to assist them with the administration of the estate and legal affairs. The executor should be managing the assets such as collection the mail, providing information to the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: My uncle failed to probate his mothers will for his personal gain of use of her property and passed away 7 years later.

My father just found out he was beneficiary to half of the home. My father will probate the will, Is my uncles estate due the half share? There are no clauses in will regarding either heirs death when will is probated. No mention of their in-laws or estates. This is in NY.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Apr 5, 2021

The will governs the disposition. The uncle's estate would be surcharged for rent for the seven years.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Do I have to pay my wife’s credit card balances?

When my wife passed away she had credit card debt on cards that were only in her name. She also had life insurance for which I am the named beneficiary.

Can the companies make me use the life insurance proceeds to pay the credit card debts?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Apr 2, 2021

The general answer is no. There is a legal theory called the doctrine of necessaries in which they could sue you for certain types of charges, but it never happens if the balances are regular. Take the insurance, report your wife's death, and only do something if they contact you.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: As trustee and executor and poa, Can I sell a piece of property in the family trust if it willed to a family member?

My mother who is sick and has Alzheimer’s has a condo in Florida that isn’t being used. We live in NY. It is in the family trust. It is willed to my estranged sister after mom passes. The maintenance fees are 400 a month plus taxes, and I would rather use that money towards her care or save... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Mar 5, 2021

As Trustee, you have the power to administer the trust and the assets contained in it. The Trust agreement will dictate what you can and cannot do. The Trust agreement would need to be reviewed before a proper opinion could be provided.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My fiance and my dtr bought a house and the title is only on her name, can his older kids claim this house in future?

Loan as well as the title. After closing the title will be ONLY ON MY DAUGHTERS NAME

Will my fiance kids (all married) claim the house when hes not around anymore?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Feb 20, 2021

You could repost and add Real Estate, Probate, and Estate Planning as categories - those areas of law are closer to the issues you raise than the Family Law category is. Not every question is picked up, but you could have better chances there. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My 91 yr old 1st cousin once removed passed on 1/31. No spouse. No children. My brother and are are the beneficiaries.

I’m the executor. My brother passed away on 2/5. Is he still entitled? This is in NY.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Feb 14, 2021

The Will should indicate whether his heirs will inherit his share, assuming he has heirs. Since they passed so close to each other, there is often a provision in the Will regarding if a beneficiary is considered to have predeceased or survived your cousin.

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: If I lived with mom, was her caregiver for 18 yrs, and paid for improvements in her house, can't I be paid for it now?

Mom needed 24/7 monitoring, and frequent trips to Drs and treatment. I worked from home to care for her. She died in 2015 and now I must sell the house and split the proceeds with my sister who never visited or cared for mom. I also paid for new appliances, a front porch, a whole house generator... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 16, 2021

You may be entitled to credits for the improvements. However, if you had no caregiver agreement while she was alive you would not be entitled to compensation.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: Does a will have power over asset distribution if beneficiary is not listed on broker's beneficiary list?

Family member A has Family member B as beneficiary in their will. Family member A's financial advisor has Family member C as beneficiary. What entity take precedence upon death of Family member A's death?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jan 13, 2021

Generally, a Will only has power to dispose of assets owned by the decedent after death. Therefore, an asset such as an investment account that has specific instructions designating disposition of the asset upon death controls.

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