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Questions Answered by Benjamin Z. Katz
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: If I put all of our assets into a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, do I still have any control over those assets?

If our assets are in a Medical Asset Protection Trust, can I continue to pay bills, cash checks, control my personal corporation through which I work as a freelancer?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Apr 2, 2021

Bottom line ...no. Once an asset is in an irrevocable trust, which is what a MAPT is, you give up control of those assets. You may still be able to receive income from the trust, but you may not transfer, sell or use assets. You would appoint a trustee to control the assets. As for the corporation,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: A friend of mine bought me a new car before they passed away and the title is in my name only can it be taken by family
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Mar 28, 2021

If it was a gift, it’s yours. However, if the friend loaned you the money to buy the car and retained a lien or you signed a promissory note, the estate owns that debt.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for New York on
Q: I live in NY State. I want to create a Durable POA. I read the law in NY is changing and the new law will be in

effect only after 6/21/2021. Should I wait until then to create the POA?

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

It depends what you want the POA for. If you sign it now it remains effective after the new law takes effect. You can always sign a new one later.

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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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Does my landlord have the right to give me 60 day notice due to esa dog visiting me with the owner?
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Feb 18, 2021

I’m not sure what type of notice you received. If you are doing something in violation of your lease, the normal process is to serve you with a Notice to Cure. That gives you a short time to correct the offending condition. A Notice to Terminate your lease would be inappropriate if this is the... Read more »

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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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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My aunt passed away yesterday and she owns a house. She never married nor had children. The only living sibling is her

Brother (my dad). What is the process in regards to inheriting the house? I have her deed and she was the only person on there. This is in Puerto Rico

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Feb 13, 2021

Normally, if she left a Will it would need to be probated. If no Will, an Administation proceeding would need to be brought in the county where she resided before death. The person petitioning may then need to make a second petition in Puerto Rico in order to have power there. It can be a complex... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Civil Litigation and Lemon Law for New York on
Q: What can we do about a baby hedgehog purchased from a dealer in CT, which died five days later? Necropsy showed abnormal

Necropsy done by the veterinarian showed abnormal kidneys. Breeder refused to refund $$ and to provide a replacement hedgehog. Implied Duty of Warrantability?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Feb 1, 2021

You would need to check on the existence of any Pet Lemon Law in CT. I would recommend checking with the CT Attorney General's Office. NY Lemon Law does not apply to out of state sales.

3 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law, Personal Injury and Employment Law for New York on
Q: Do I have a right to defend myself, against a dog; If it attacks me in NY state?

I AM NOT, a violent person, and I DID NOT, hurt this dog! I was at work, and a customers dog was off the leash. A Big mastiff, type of dog! Im trying to work, and this dog is circling the shop, growling, and barking at me. I value my own life, and safety over this dogs! The day before, I asked this... Read more »

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

You should avoid hurting an animal if possible. If you are attacked you can use force to stop the attack and to avoid further injury.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: I’m buying a dog from somewhere and it says it’s pure bred AKC registered but I don’t fully trust that they are telling

The truth to me. If it happens not to be registered is there any actions I could take against the breeders? I was looking to breed this dog and it has to be registered and pure bred.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 25, 2021

1. Ask for the credentials in advance and check with AKC

2. Make sure the Bill of Sale indicates it is pure bred.

3. If you don’t trust this breeder, find another one.

You can bring action for breach of contract and fraud if it turns out to be a lie.

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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