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Questions Answered by Gary Lane
1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Contracts for New York on
Q: Is small claims court worth it and can i press charges for fraud?

I have a hand written contract signed by myself and the other party. The contract states I made a down payment of $2300 for concrete work on my property. The check was cashed and in the memo it states it's for a concrete patio. That was in may and no work has been done. I just keep getting... Read more »

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Jul 13, 2022

How much cash are you out? If it is within the limits of small claims court, it would make sense to sue that way, YES.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Landlord says I'm not allowed on roof of apartment advertised as having "private roof deck"

I recently signed a lease for an apartment that was advertised as having "private roof deck". The posting went as far as including staged photos of said roof-deck furnished with patio furniture.

The roof has only one entrance through a door inside the apartment.

The... Read more »

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on May 23, 2022

Landlord is breaching the contract. You have right to roof deck, even if it means taking him to court!

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: When a man passes away and doesn't have a will, who is the person responsible for making decisions on property left?

the relatives left behind are a 23 year old daughter, 16 year old son, and 13 year old girl. No spouse exists.

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Mar 7, 2022

It will definitely go to Probate Court. There a judge will make the final decision. With only one adult child, the judge will rely heavily on that child and any wishes expressed by the deceased.

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1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Contracts for New York on
Q: Buying a new car at MSRP, - the dealer tells me there is also a mandatory non-negotiable $2000 extended warranty.

I have noted in writing and in person that I will not and cannot use this warranty, I dont keep my car for longer than 2-3 years and will never use it. The extended warranty would extend the basic warranty from 3 to 5 years. I never have a car that long and have asked for it to be removed. Is this... Read more »

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Jan 18, 2022

I would absolutely refuse the demand and contact the Attorney General's Consumer Fraud division for immediate assistance!

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: If three out of four heirs agree to a cash offer for apprised value of house does the fourth have to as well?

The fourth heir wants to put house on market to see if a bidding war would happen to maybe get a few thousand more as where the other three are willing to take the garunteed cash offer at apprised value. Can the executor accept the cash offer or do all have to be in agreement

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Sep 1, 2021

What does the will say? Does it require unanimity? If not, then Executor may decide to proceed.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: If I have the deed to my grandmothers house in Puerto Rico is it mine?

I’m being told that my cousins have rights to this house. My mother was the youngest of seven children and has died but now I’m being told that the house has to be divided among my cousins.

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Aug 28, 2021

What exactly do you mean by "I have the deed"? Is the deed in your name? Did a transfer deed into your name ever get recorded or even written? Merely having possession of the piece of paper (the deed) does not give you possession of the property, even if it was given to you with that... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for New York on
Q: How does 'Inherited IRA' work if IRA beneficiary is a rev trust? And rev trust doc lists 2 children as beneficiaries?

IRA value $700K. Can Inherited IRA live in trust with distributions to children's accounts? What/who is taxed?

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Aug 25, 2021

Yes, definitely the Revocable Trust can be the beneficiary of the IRA. And the Trust can then distribute proceeds, per the terms of the Trust, to the children. Taxes on the IRA would normally be paid by the IRA at the time of distribution to the Trust.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for New York on
Q: How much can I expect to pay a lawyer to be my agent under a durable power of attorney for finances?

What is a typical payment arrangement? I assume no payment is necessary until the agent actually begins carrying out his duties. Is the payment arrangement something that should be spelled out in the power of attorney document?

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Jul 27, 2021

Do not use an attorney. No reason to spend that money. Anyone you trust who has reasonable acumen, can perform the task. If you wish to pay anyone, yes, be sue to spell it out.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: If I did a revocable trust through legal zoom, where do I file it.
Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Jun 15, 2021

Living Trusts are not filed. You may do so if you choose, but most folks do not file (record) them but instead keep them private. Should you choose to record it, it is done as your local County Recorder's Office, where deeds are recorded.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My mother has Alzheimers. She has a POA document naming me as POA. Can I, as her POA, set up a revocable trust?
Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Jun 11, 2021

Assuming all the boxes on the standard form POA are checked, then YES. In fact, I am doing just that this very week for another family. Love to help with yours if you wish. Thank you. garyleelane1@gmail.com.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: I'd like to speak with a lawyer about planning for retirement, and estate planning. In NYC Upper West Side.
Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on May 5, 2021

I am available via zoom when you wish. I have been exclusively doing Living Trusts for 21 years. Thousands of client. Love to help you. garyleelane1@gmail.com

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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?

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Jan 13, 2021

Which disposition is the most recent? The will can supersede the prior order, but it can also be superseded by a subsequent change.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Executor of an estate question

The person left no will

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Nov 24, 2020

If no Living Trust either, then you must go to probate court.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Executor refusing to reimburse beneficiary the property taxes he paid on behalf of the Estate

Under what NYS SCPA provision, can a beneficiary petition the Court to commence a proceeding against a fiduciary if the Executor refuses to refund property taxes that the beneficiary paid on behalf of the Estate? The testator directed that all his debts and administrative expenses be paid out of... Read more »

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Nov 24, 2020

Yes, it definitely is self dealing. You should petition the probate court to order the executor to reimburse the payments made on behalf of the estate.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Can the executor an the estate remove ALL items from the decedent's home without permission of the other beneficiaries?

The executor of the estate, who is also a beneficiary has removed "all" personal items of the decedent from the home. The executor was given the home in the will. The other two beneficiaries were not given an opportunity to go through any of their father's personal items, furniture,... Read more »

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Nov 23, 2020

Yes, they should sue. The Executor is not authorized on their own to do this. They should be communicating with the other beneficiaries. Yes, this certainly could be grounds to have them removed and replaced.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: My mother just died and has 6 months left on her lease. Are we liable for the rent if the landlord rents to someone else

We just wanted to know if it's in our best interests to vacate as soon as possible. I assume the landlord will get a much higher rent since it's rent stabilized. Can the landlord charge double rent, i.e., to my mom's estate and to the new tenant? I don't think so, but just thought i'd confirm.

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Oct 17, 2020

No. Landlord cannot charge double rent. Were you on the lease? If not, they you cannot be charged a dime either. But it is even questionable about charging the estate while you are there. But you should immediately vacate to avoid the issue.

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Do you use an EIN number or grantor’s SS# for a trust brokerage acct?

It’s a grantors trust established in NYS

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Sep 21, 2020

Use the Grantor's EIN.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: I want my son to inherit my second home. If I put property in living trust will that protect it from his wife. thanks
Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Sep 8, 2020

Yes, but only if you have your living trust well crafted. It needs to make it clear and specific that the ownership will be only in your son and not as community property or marital property with his wife. I do this frequently.

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Consumer Law and Contracts for New York on
Q: Is there a law that protects the consumer from being forced into buying a warranty on a used car?

I did not want to purchase the warranty but without it I was not going to be allowed to purchase the vehicle. I requested written information regarding the warranty but nobody at the dealership was able to provide me with that, all they could do was tell me that it was mandatory and would be valid... Read more »

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Sep 2, 2020

That is very clearly fraudly and extortion. You should immediately report it to the Attorney General's Consumer Fraud and/or Extortion Units! Criminal.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Hi! I am writing this email to request your advice on terminating an off-campus housing lease in Ithaca. NY.

Hi! I'm an international student at Cornell University. My roommate and I currently live in an off-campus apartment in Ithaca. Due to the virus situation, we decided to move to Long Island and study online next semester. However, before the pandemic, we renewed and extended our lease to next... Read more »

Gary Lane
Gary Lane
answered on Aug 10, 2020

Afraid all you are likely to be able to do is try to negotiate with your landlord for a reduced amount as payment in full. Unless NY passes an emergency exception for student leases, and they have not I understand, you are stuck. Common problem.

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