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Questions Answered by Benjamin Z. Katz
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: What possessions in a life estate belong to the homeowner?

We received our house through a life estate in 2020 from my mother in law's death. The deed is now in my wife's and my name. In her Will, which was not probated, she left the house furnishings to my daughters. Not very bright, but typical of her. One of my daughters lives with us and... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 19, 2022

If you are the owners of the house, all fixtures are part of the house. Furnishings are items such as tables, sofas, beds, chairs, etc. If your daughter wishes to enforce that provision, the Will would first need to go through the probate process.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My Dad passed away 30+ years ago, my brother is the executor of the estate and never fullfilled his obligation

Of dispensing the funds. The funds are in unclaimed funds and the monies are dwindling away. After numerous conversations and promises, he refuses to disperse the funds. I have filed a claim myself and provided them with the necessary proof, but they have advised me that as long as the executor is... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 17, 2022

In NY, If all you need is a death certificate, you should be able to get one from the Dept of Health. If you wish to be appointed as the new Administrator of the estate, you will have to petition the court, describing the situation.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My brother passed away in Puerto Rico. He left no will. He's not married and no children. Our father is still alive.

I have power of attorney of my dad's real estate and financial situation. My mom is still married with my dad. Can we transfer deed to my dad? Can I do this with power of attorney. Who would have rights to my brothers house after his passing?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 5, 2022

If your brother died a resident of Puerto Rico, you will first need to set up his estate there. Since the procedures may be different in Puerto Rico, you should speak with an estate attorney who has an office there. Once you set up the estate, ownership of his property, including his house, will... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My boy dog got my ex’s girl dog pregnant and now my ex won’t give me any money he sold them for can I sue him?
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Nov 30, 2021

I assume you mean that he sold the puppies. If that is the case, you would need to demonstrate that you had an agreement to sell the puppies and split the profits.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My ex purchased a dog while we were together. We broke up and he moved out and left the dog behind for a month now. He

Sent me a text that said the dog would be staying with me. Since then I microchipped and licensed the dog and took him to the vet for his rabies vaccine and for a check up. He has now told me that he has a notarized letter saying the dog belongs to him because he paid for him and he wants him back... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Oct 24, 2021

In New York, if you go to Court, the judge will decide what is best for all concerned. This is very fact sensitive. The process can take some time and the dog will generally stay where it is until the case is resolved.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for New York on
Q: Is my sister committing elder abuse?

She has POA. She has sold some of our 91 yr old mom's property & given the $ to her daughter. She's giving Mom's house to her son & spending Mom's money to renovate it first. She leaves Mom alone for days with the same guy (42 yrs old & unmedicated bipolar) who... Read more »

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

It sounds like financial abuse at the very least. If Adult Protective Services are not responding, you can try your county’s District Attorney’s offices. Depending upon where you live, they may have a unit dedicated to elder abuse.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Human society refuses to operate on my dog if I don't spay her as well. is this legal after a visit and bloodwork done?

She has a mammary growth she was seen for and needs it test and removed. Is a clinic allowed to refuse to help you after working w them if I don't do as they say especially one that is supposed to help lower income individual and their pet in need of medical attention?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Sep 20, 2021

Yes. They can refuse.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for New York on
Q: meaning? “I nominate and appoint my children, John A, Jay A, and Cee A, alternate Co- Executor’s of my Will

so all 3 are equal Executor’s since my dad who was appointed Executor has passed?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Sep 8, 2021

It means that if the primary Executor is unable or unwilling to serve, the children named will serve together in that capacity.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: My dad passed on August 20 2021 and my mom passed on June 27 2021, i live in my dads house and have since 1995 this has

been my permanent residence and i have two children who reside here and are registered to school here and have been since birth. the house was bought between my mom and dad, i have step siblings who have a diff mom, is there anyway they can take over this house through probate? my dad didn’t have... Read more »

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

When there is no Will, it is called Administration. But it works similarly to Probate. If an estate has not been established yet, one will probably be needed. If the house was in both their names and was bought when they were married, the survivor of the two would be 100% owner; your dad it... Read more »

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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?

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

Yes. A trust can be a beneficiary of an IRA. It is most common for the trust to pay the tax before distributing to the beneficiaries. The trust document should guide the trustee. Depending on whether or not the trust is a see-through trust inherited IRAs must be used up within either 5 or 10 years.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: If your dog bit another dog in nys first incident ever and we agreed to initial vet bills are we liable to pay if the

Dog ripped his own stitches open causing more vet bills?… 4 days after initial vet visit the owner showed up stating the wound was superficial no damage everyone was fine then called an hour after leaving my house stating he was taking the dog back to the vet. Now second vet bill was near 1000$.... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Aug 6, 2021

You did the right thing offering to pay for the damages caused by your dog. As for the new charge, that is a judgment call. An argument can be made that this is related to the injuries caused by your dog. However, if the owner did not take proper precautions to prevent reinjury, you should not... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: I have some estate matters that my siblings and I have to address as it pertains to our father. The situation is comple.

In short, our father passed away in 2012 and 2-3 years after his death step mother created an estate to collect a settlement from a lawsuit. She fraudulently claimed in this estate filing that my father had no children. She is currently being prosecuted by the Brooklyn DA's office. We are... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Aug 3, 2021

If the Will has already been probated, one of you can apply to be substituted as the Executor.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Real estate was recently sold (NY) and the beneficiaries were advised that the administrator / executor never obtained

an EIN/TAX ID and claimed estate under their own social security number for 26 years. What are the ramifications? Penalties? Do the beneficiaries have any recourse?

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

There is a lot more information needed to answer your questions. There may be tax issues, fraud issues, breaches of fiduciary duty and several other legal issues. If the property was sold, was the title company able to clear title or are they unable to do so? You will need to speak, in detail,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: I sold a puppy that cought parvo. New owner dewormed at the same time and he died. Am I responsible

New owner was treating the puppy for Parvo via a vet, next day she dewormed him and 5 hours later he died. Now she wants to sew me for a refund and vet bills. She claims we sold her a sick puppy when parvo didn't show any signs until 12 days after she picked him up and and he died on day 14 in... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jul 18, 2021

It sounds like you have defenses to her claims.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My attorney is telling me that we are responsible for the expenses before the will goes to probate, not the estate
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jun 23, 2021

Expenses that must be paid to maintain the assets prior to probate may be reimbursed by the estate. For example, if there is a car loan and you wish to avoid the car being repossessed. However, if you are ultimately getting the car yourself, you probably should not be reimbursed.

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1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Elder Law and Health Care Law for New York on
Q: I dont know anyone who can sign a durable power of attorney form. We dont have living friend that could do it. What now
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jun 17, 2021

If you don’t have a family member or friend, you can appoint a lawyer, financial advisor or institution as your agent. If you wish them to exercise power only in the case of your disability, you should discuss a springing POA. If you have no POA and become disabled, a court will appoint a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Adoption and Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: I have my puppy for 7 months & I sell him for $100 now regret it & want him back but the owner won’t give him back.
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jun 14, 2021

When you legally sell something, you give up your rights to it in exchange for some form of consideration. In this case, money. Regret is not a valid reason to void the transaction.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Can I revoke a consent from a "waiver of process consent to probate" form I was coerced into signing?

In February 2021 my sibling asked me to sign a waiver of process consent to probate form. I didn't want to sign it. I asked for a copy of the will and was denied. She and her brother said if I don't sign it the court was going to take the house. She said my brother signed the same waiver... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jun 8, 2021

If you wish to contest the appointment of the petitioner, you should consult with an attorney to explore challenging the appointment as Executor.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: beneficiary question

will reads I leave my estate to my children, if any, who survive me in equal shares, per stirpes - have received two different answers for what this means - the first lawyer I talked with stated that the estate would be divided between the three alive children and then the fourth share would be... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jun 7, 2021

Since it conditions it upon surviving the maker of the Will, it would be be divided among the living children with no share will be given to the children of any child not living at the time of the maker's death. Per stirpes is inconsistent with the "who survive me" wording. That... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Do I have rights to money my co-power of attorney sold before my mother died

My sister and I were both appointed cold power of attorney each being able to act independently two months before my mothers passing my sister sold her David Lerner stock and transfer the money into Her personal account we were both supposed to be 50-50 beneficiaries on this account do I have any... Read more »

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

If your sister abused her power, whomever is appointed executor of the estate can go after her for the money taken. As for the probate of the Will, I’m not sure what you mean by probate date. COVID has slowed things down in some counties. But, not that significantly as long as you hire an... Read more »

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