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Questions Answered by Benjamin Z. Katz
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.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: How can I compel an estate to reimburse me for final expenses that I paid?

My mother's will states that the estate will cover final expenses. I laid out the funds and my siblings reimbursed me their share of the cost. The estate has not reimbursed me for my share. (I have no idea if the estate paid them back). The attorney for the estate is trying to get me to... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 27, 2020

If he is putting in writing that the estate is reimbursing you in exchange for a release, I don’t understand your hesitation. Do you believe you are owed anything more?

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: In New York , under a trust HEMS standards, can the surviving spouse have house utilities paid ? Gas/Electric.

The widow does NOT pay for property taxes, property upkeep, home insurance etc. Nor will her estate benefit from a sale. The 2 step children are remainderman beneficiaries and the late husband always paid those bills, in the lifestyle she had been accustomed to for 30 years.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 20, 2020

Utilities are normally included as part of maintenance.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: I gave someone my dog I have kids and my dad has dementia what I am going through with my dad I was not thinking straigh

She agree to give me back the dog now and days went by and now she doesn't and say it was mistreated it wasn't he had lots of hair he is healthy I have papers for the dog I need help

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 20, 2020

You may need to litigate. It is an action for replevin. I do not recommend doing this yourself.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: I have had my dog for 5 years n I broke up with my ex after 1 year of being together.

I have owned my dog for years way before we ever dated do I hhave to go to court for her

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 15, 2020

If you ex is keeping your dog from you, you will have to bring an action to recover the dog.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: What are liability benefits of holding real estate in an LLC? Could a tenant still go after my assets or other LLC?

I have an LLC that holds a Brooklyn residential property. I have an LLC that holds a South Carolina property. Let's say that a resident of the Brooklyn property sues me, receives a money judgment and exceeds the insurance payout. Would they be able to go after the equity in my LLC (that holds... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 14, 2020

As long as you are operating the LLC as a distinct and separate entity, liability is limited to the assets of that LLC. To go after you personally or your assets, someone would have to show that you are not operating the LLC as a separate entity, that you are commingling funds and ignoring the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Is there a look back period on a revocable or a irrevocable trust.
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 14, 2020

Medicaid can look back 5 years when someone applies for institutional nursing care. That applies to transfers to individuals or trusts. Non-institutional care has no look back period right now but will have a 30 month look back starting next year.

2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law and Health Care Law for New York on
Q: How can I get help to obtain Power of Attorney for my Mom that is currently in and out of a nursing home and hospital?

My Mom went to the emergency room in the beginning of October, her blood pressure was high,,the next thing I know, she has been intubated, and from then on, she has not been able to return home.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 4, 2020

To sign a Power of Attorney, your Mom must be able to understand what she is signing and its impact. If she suffers from dementia, Alzheimer's or a mental infirmity and is unable to understand, you would have to bring a Guardianship proceeding to assume control of her property and/or personal... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: My friend died and left me the house we lived in. I have the will and the death certificate. What do i do next?

Is there a time period in which this must be done?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 1, 2020

You must file a petition in Surrogates Court to be given power to probate the Will and administer the estate, which would include transferring the house.

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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

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Nov 24, 2020

If a person died without a Will or a Trust and had property, assets or claims in their name that need to be distributed or pursued, an Administration proceeding must be initiated in Surrogates Court. It must be brought in the County where they resided prior to death. At the present time, there... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: Title company found my moms maiden name on the title and she has since passed but I’m trying to sell it, what can I do?

My mom passed over a year ago and we had the deed set up as joint tenants with right of survivorship. The title company just notified me there is no evidence of her passing since she was married and her death certificate states my step dads last name. Is there any way to avoid probate and prove to... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Nov 19, 2020

A copy of the marriage certificate should be sufficient proof of the name change. This would require communication with the title company to determine what else is concerning it.

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?
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Nov 13, 2020

When a life tenant dies, the owner of the property has full rights. In other words if a property is deeded to A, reserving a life estate for B, when B dies, A has full rights to transfer or sell.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My dog bit a human while he was trying to get at another dog at a dog park. Next course of action?

I am in NY. I was at a dog park alone with my medium mixed rescue dog and he was triggered by a puppy coming in. While we (the puppy’s owner and I) tried to break up the two, my dog bit the lady’s leg. We separated the dogs and an ambulance came while I waited. A Police report was filed. I... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Oct 21, 2020

I suggest you have her sign a General Release and agree to pay any medical bills not covered by her insurance.

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.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Oct 17, 2020

No. The landlord can only recover lost rent. If he rents it out it is not lost.

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts and Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: What constitutes legal cat ownership?

We are fostering a special needs cat from a veterinary clinic which was also my fiancé’s employer. The Foster agreement was meant to lead into an adoption. However due to circumstances that were unavoidable she resigned her position. Now there is conflict with clinic which might lead to them... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Oct 15, 2020

Most fostering agreements do not contain provisions for ownership. Any legal rights that you may potentially have will be contained in the fostering agreement or through written or oral statements made by the employer.

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: how long can a attorney, hold a probate/ will without notifying any of the benificeraries or any amounts or findings?

its been 6 years already and he obviously had no intention of notifying the beneficiarys that everything was completed nor did the executor, something is very fishy, I contacted the attorney and asked for all papers he said I will try to get things together, Said its been 6 years he said I really... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Oct 7, 2020

That seems like a very long time for you to not be informed of the delay.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: TOD stock account. Who has the authority to liquidate the stocks in the account once the owner is deceased?

No estate account and no executor has been appointed

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Sep 29, 2020

The account must have a named beneficiary. Upon death of the owner, it is supposed to be transferred to the beneficiary.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: What do I do to see that I or my daughter get the beneficiary rights my husband was due?

I’m in desperate need of help. Some key facts are as follows:

• Husband’s Brother Dies in Hospital in December 2015

• Husband becomes Executor of his Estate

• All Siblings and Parents are Named Beneficiary of Estate

• Wrongful Death Suit is Filed (in CT)... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Sep 29, 2020

If you husband is a beneficiary of his brother’s estate, his wife (you if you were married at time of death) and children are entitled to his share since he survived his brother.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Do I have to pay 65% of the will's expenses because I am the beneficiary of 65% of the residuary estate? New York law.

The executor of my mother's estate says that estate expenses come out of the residuary estate, and since I'm the beneficiary of 65% of the residuary estate (and my brother is beneficiary of 35% of the residuary estate) that the estate expenses will have to be paid 65% by me and only 35%... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Sep 25, 2020

Any estate expenses are paid before distributions. I’m not sure what you mean by will’s expenses.

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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

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Sep 21, 2020

For tax purposes, a revocable trust is considered property of the grantor. Grantor’s ssn is normally used.

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