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Questions Answered by Michael David Siegel
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Disappearance of lawyer. Can we close estate without her? Or can we access the bulk of the funds?

My father’s estate (death 2016) did not close yet because we had to sell his house, which we could not do until one month ago. But now, the estate lawyer is unresponsive to us. We want to know if I write a letter as the other heir denying need for accounting requests, can my brother, the... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 20, 2020

You can close the estate without a lawyer, but you should probably consult one to make sure everything was done legally, so there are no problems. If everyone is in agreement on everything, closing the estate is simple.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Ex girlfriend on the title house

Hello I bought a house 15 years ago for $350K. The down payment was $35K and he paid for it with my own money. I put my girlfriend on the house title.I paying the mortgage. We broke up 5 years ago.I take care of this house. I did remodeling.

We were together for almost 20 years but she... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 19, 2020

She has a right to half the house, but you are entitled to credits for what you paid. If you cannot get her to sign a deed to you for her half, you have to bring a partition case.

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Four years ago my aunt left my sister-in-law as power of attorney that the house gets spilt by the kids .

So now my aunt is 90 years old they shipped her to Italy and they sold her house and my kids never got their share that the Aunt promised them. I have it on video tape that the end gave a testimony to She said that she always had this paperwork in her safe at the bank but my sister-in-law ripped it... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 17, 2020

If she is in Italy, there is nothing you can do. You would need to be her guardian, and then sue your sister in law.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My brother passed away recently and I am not his executor.

My question is that recently I found out that he had a 401K and he did not have anyone listed as beneficiary since I am his only next of kin am I entitled to any of that 401K? I am sure that all his assets will go to probate and then a decision will be made. Thank you.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 15, 2020

You need to file an administration proceeding. The amount of the 401k governs the type.

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2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Can my sister get half of the money from a house that was sold by her separated husband behind her back in divorce?

My sister is currently going through a terrible divorce, the man cheated and disappeared for 4 years after a 20 year marriage leaving my sister to take care of their house for 4 years straight. She handled all the bills (with his money from their joint bank account) but told him before everything... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 15, 2020

Your post makes ownership of the house unclear. If the house was owned by the husband alone, and there was no pending divorce, he can sell it.

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My mom passed in the blizzard of 2010. No will. House was paid. Sister lives there still. I'm the oldest

After 5 years we would sell the house and split the monies. This sister is a lot shady. Can my brother and I force her to sell? I believe she has a felony

Conviction and we never appointed her executrix. If we did we never received papers for it what would be our recourse. She has... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 15, 2020

If the house remains titled in your mother's name, you can bring a partition case to have the property sold by the court and the proceeds divided. It is a Supreme Court matter.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: What rights do I have as a buyer? The seller has been dragging his feet on closing. It’s been 4 months since we signed.

We signed contracts for a home in the middle of September (tentative closing date was October 15th). Had our mortgage commitment by mid October. As we’re waiting on a closing date, seller notifies us that their underground tank has a leak, town is involved, and they’re correcting the issue. We... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 14, 2020

I disagree with your lawyer. Time of the essence letter is required as a predicate to anything else. Then, you can bring a specific performance action and charge them with the fees.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: A modification document was filed in county records on wrong property. How do I remove mod from the wrong property?
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 13, 2020

It may not be relevant if it was an obvious error. A corrected document has to be filed. It is done electronically. Who are you to the deal?

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: How do I get an “occupant” (per lease agreement) to move out of my apartment?

My ex-girlfriend is an “occupant” on my apartment lease (via a lease rider). She refuses to move out now that we have broken up. Can I give her a written notice period to get her to move out after a certain number of days? If not, is there another process to get her out of the apartment?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 11, 2020

You need to get a court order to evict her. Or, let your landlord do it.

1 Answer | Asked in Collections for New York on
Q: I'm being sued by a debt collector and have no assets no income in about to lose my apartment.

I'm looking for a way to respond to the summons as I cannot afford a lawyer and time is running out.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 10, 2020

Go to the court. The clerk will help you with the form.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: When does a testamentary trust terminate?

A friend passed away leaving his house to his son in a testamentary trust. The Will reads: “The trust shall terminate upon my son attaining the age of 40”. His son is 52 so the Executrix/Trustee is transferring the property over to him. She refuses however to transfer the life insurance... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 8, 2020

Based on your post, only the house is in trust. A designated beneficiary keeps the proceeds. If the designation is her alone and not her as trustee, she is doing the right thing.

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4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: What can I do (or my Mom) to regain control over family’s estate, after my brother used my mom’s power of attorney to

change all legal documentation, making himself a sole owner of all the houses, trusts, insurance policies, LLC’s, etc. He stole over $15 mil while my mom is still alive.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 6, 2020

Bring a guardianship, void the POA, and seek return of assets.

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1 Answer | Asked in Banking for New York on
Q: What is it called when someone deposits a fake check in to your debit checking account.

What can be don’t to solve this problem is any

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 5, 2020

It is a crime. Report to the bank and police immediately.

2 Answers | Asked in Bankruptcy and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: I’m on a deed to a house along with my ex boyfriend. The mortgage is in his name. He’s filing for bankruptcy.

What does it mean for me on the house? What will happen to the house? Will I lose the house?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 4, 2020

It depends what the house is worth and how it is scheduled. It might be sold, or nothing may happen.

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2 Answers | Asked in Foreclosure and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Hello i live in queens ny and house i live in is in foreclosure & is going to be auctioned jan 24 2020. Whats my rights

Already in foreclosure.

Being auctioned 1/24/20.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 31, 2019

Are you the owner or the tenant? If you are the tenant, you have the same rights you had before, including a lease.

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2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Can my mother write her own will and not use a lawyer? If so, it only needs to be notarized - Correct?

Does it have to be filed in NYC where she resides?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 28, 2019

It is legal to write your own will, just like it is legal for me to repair my own car transmission. But I go to a mechanic because I have no idea how a transmission works. Your question shows you have no idea how a will is done, and doing it wrong can cause problems. As the person is dead when... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: We own a small rental property that is currently leased to someone. They left for an extended holiday and left the heat

Off resulting in pipes breaking and flooding property for 1-5 days. They have agreed to pay repairs. It is uninhabitable. Are they still responsible for paying rent during repairs?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 27, 2019

It depends on the terms of the lease.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My Mother owns a house in New York City . Does my sister and I have to be on the deed to avoid probate when she passes?

She wants us to have the house when she passes but she believes by adding us to the deed she’ll lose some of her benefits. I’m unaware of what benefits she can lose. I need this referred to a New York City/State lawyer. I am her son and reside in Florida

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 27, 2019

When she passes, if she is unmarried, and you and your sister are the only kids, you would inherit the house. This would not require a Surrogate Court proceeding. A will could reinforce this plan. Adding to the deed does not negate any government benefits.

1 Answer | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: How long of a notice do I give the tenant for her to vacate the property i bought? Tenant has no lease and $0 rent

I just purchased a duplex (close in a few days) in upstate NY and the lady that lives there never signed a lease and has never paid the Seller (her brother) rent in the two years that she has lived there. She wants to stay, but I have another tenant lined up to move in once she vacates the... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 18, 2019

30 days is the safest. Why would you have closed on a property with an occupant. She is going to claim a lease and the seller is not going to come to court to help you.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Hi I rent a loft apartment in nyc I have a two year lease that is under rent stabilization law.

How could i find out if my apartment is protected under the nyc loft law? Where could i find out what the status of my apartment?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 18, 2019

Call the NYC Loft Board. You can dial 311.

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