Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
Questions Answered by Elaine Shay
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.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: I live in NY and want to pay off private mortgage early.

Mortgage has 8 years left and the mortgage holder says, I have to pay all the interest on it, as if, I were to take the 8 years left to pay? I believe this is wrong and possibly illegal? Please advise.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jan 8, 2021

Some mortgages, especially private loans, do have prepayment penalties that require payment of anticipated interest charges. In order to obtain an accurate evaluation of your particular situation, your note and mortage would need to be reviewed.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Property in NYC, there are 3 beneficiaries in the family, equal parts-myself, mother and brother. I am the executor of

The estate, citizen in the US, my brother and mother have no permanent residency. My brother signed a contract with a real estate behind my back. Does that contract is even valid provided I’m the one with Letters of Administration issued by the Queens Court. Also, when completing possible sale,... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Dec 29, 2020

You mention being the Executor but then say you have Letters of Administration. Executors are named in probate proceeding where Letters Testamentary are issue pursuant to a will and not in an administration where there is no will. Best to consult with a local attorney in person to assure the... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: can you ask for 2 months rent and 1 months security when renting a apartment in a private house in Nassau County, LI
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Dec 8, 2020

No. Pursuant to the Tenant Protection Act of 2019, landlord's are only entitled to hold one month rent as a security deposit. The prepayment of rent is considered a disallowed additional security deposit.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Landlord is extending next door store. I spent $$ to purchase my store. What terms to negotiate when ending lease early

Landlord is extending the store next to mine in the building she owns. I spent a huge amount of money when I bought the store. What terms should I negotiate as the landlord is pushing me to end the lease early? Thank you.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 30, 2020

To be assured that the landlord will actually fulfill its obligations under any agreement you reach, a surrender agreement should be drafted and signed. This type of agreement can be drafted to require the landlord put any payment to be made to you into escrow with a third party (usually your... Read more »

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: call time is of the essence.

I am selling a property and the buyer was supposed to close 2 months ago. i want to call time is of the essence. What is the minimum time i have to give them legally. can it be a week or 2 or it has to be a full month?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 30, 2020

It is customary to give 30 days but your contract must be carefully analyzed to assure that a time is of the essence demand is property made and delivered to the purchaser. In addition, arrangements should be made to schedule the closing and have a court reporter present to document that the... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Is it possible to back out of a lease for an apartment before you move in?

I have recently signed a lease but have not moved in yet and I’ve been moved to part time at my job and will now not be able to afford it.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 30, 2020

Based upon your changed circumstances, the landlord may be willing to release you from your lease but is not obligated to. It is likely that the landlord will try to retain any money you have already paid. It may be to your advantage to retain an attorney to negotiation a surrender on your behalf.

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Real Estate Law, Arbitration / Mediation Law and Land Use & Zoning for New York on
Q: I bought a house with a "friend", realizing too late I've been manipulated. Can I "break" our agreement?

I should have gotten a lawyer to represent my interests at the time, but our co-homeowner agreement seems very lopsided now. I don't want to sell or take on another mortgage, but I need some kind of relief from the onerous conditions she keeps imposing. These include limiting my privacy,... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 30, 2020

If you are both named on the deed, you would be able to commence a partition action to force a sale of the property to free yourself from the situation.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My father has land in Puerto Rico. I am going to purchase his part of the land. My dad has the deeds of the property.

The property has not been divided as of yet. My dad gave me his portion of his land. I want to purchase it . How do I do this. He lives in Florida, I live in NY.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 21, 2020

Since the laws differ by State or Territory and the land in in Puerto Rico, you're question would be better directed to a legal practioner in Puerto Rico.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: What can I do if my Mother, the landlord of a residence, used self help eviction tactics against me ? In NYS.

My Mother abandoned the house and relocated. Stopped paying the mortgage as well. Bought herself a new condo. My family and I are living in the home currently. There's a forebearance on the house, which I haven't found out since October 2020. There's utilities that aren't... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 21, 2020

The landlord's failure to pay the mortgage or taxes on a property, does not automatically constitute an eviction and tenants are generally required to continue to pay the rent to the owner/landlord during a foreclosure case unless a receiver is appointed.

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: landlord is selling the house I live in she is trying to let people come in our house to look around we are in Buffalo

New York and are in closing for COVID-19

We have told her no but now her realtor is saying he’s coming in anyway what can I do

And my landlord lives in Germany

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 20, 2020

It is not uncommon for a landlord to seek to have real estate brokers show property that is already occupied. Most written leases have provisions that deal with the landlord's rights to show an apartment or house; therefore, you should review yours. New York has guidelines for showing... Read more »

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I have a tenant in Niagara Falls, NY with no loss of income who has only paid rent once since March 2020.

Do I have any recourse? Its November, 2020. I have not received rent since March. The tenant has no loss of income.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 18, 2020

You may commence a nonpayment proceeding. However, due to moratoriums on evictions, should you receive a judgment of possession you will not be able to evict your tenant for nonpayment until after the new year begins.

View More Answers

2 Answers | Asked in Business Formation, Business Law, Civil Litigation and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: How can I buy a land For my kids..kids will be shareholder of the new company..

Hi everyone..I am planning to buy a land (its in the commercial zone) for my 2 kids..I want them to be owner of the property..The problem is they are just kids, 5 and 7 years old..and I divorced long time ago.. I have joint custody with my ex..my kids are not living with me..My ex has the physical... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 17, 2020

I second forming a trust

View More Answers

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: If the owner of life estate deed dies. Does the beneficiary need to go thru probate to sell the property?
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 13, 2020

The short answer is no. The interest in the property held by the life estate holder terminates by operation of law at death.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Landlord agreed I could sublet without restrictions, but now is trying to reject a sublet (with no explanation).

The original lease said no subletting without prior landlord approval, but it's a 2 bedroom apartment and I was signing the lease alone (with the intention of subletting the second room) so we agreed via email to amend that term to "There will be no restriction or extra fees on... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 9, 2020

If you intend to have a roommate occupy part of the apartment while you still live there, that is not a sublet.

The sole tenant on a written lease in NYC has the right to have a roommate witout any prior approval from the landlord. Only if you vacate the apartment while you have someone...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Criminal Law for New York on
Q: landlord applied for my unemployment benefits,

he took 6,400 for rent that I owed thru the pandemic + 3,200 to cover 3mon, he did this without consent but i agreed to the 4k remaining because it seemed fair at the time and he handed me my card, im going through hardships and could've used that money especially being that ny state laws... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Nov 9, 2020

If anyone applied for your unemployment benefits without your consent, you have the right to report this conduct as fraud.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can a landlord or property management group start reporting rent payments to a credit bureau, in the middle of a lease?

For renters paying on time, and missed/late payments, can the landlord or property management group start reporting in the middle of the lease? If so, what kind of notice has to be given? Do renters need to sign something, or did the application when they ran the applicants credit suffice?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 28, 2020

Generally, as long as the information reported is accurate, landlords are permitted to report such information without providing additional notice to tenants.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can a landlord or owner ask pre-screening questions before scheduling a tour of a unit? If so, what can they ask?

When I call to set up a tour of an apartment, some people ask about my income, credit, number of people living with me etc. Seems unnecessary to have to answer these when I don't even know if I like the unit yet. What is the legality to them pre-screening on the phone?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 27, 2020

Similar to how you don't want to waste time answerin unnecessary questions, many landlords don't want to waste time showing apartments to prospective tenants who might not meet the criteria need to rent an apartment. As long as the questions don't run afoul of any existing laws or... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My grandfather left land to my dad in PR and my dad never. My father has since passed. Will that land come to us?

The land has to be divided amongst my dad and his siblings but we have no paperwork from the land and is located in Yabucoa PR

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 26, 2020

Although your post doesn't provide enough information to give a definitive answer, it is possible that you and your father's siblings have a claim to the property. Since the property is in Puerto Rico, you should check with a lawyer there.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Landlord told me to vacate the property due to "roommate conflict". How do I ensure receiving my security back?

My landlord communicated thru a 3rd party (my mother) 10.13/14 to vacate my current rental due to roommate conflict 2 months into a 12 month rental. There is no current conflict, but I have found alternative housing. Everything thus far has been verbal and thru my mother. How do I ensure my... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 26, 2020

It isn't a good idea to move forward based on a handshake. If you have a written lease, you may be deemed to remain liable under its terms unless the landlord provides you with a signed, written agreement releasing you and agreeing to refund your security deposit. In addition, you should... Read more »

View More Answers

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.