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Questions Answered by Benjamin Z. Katz
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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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: my friend still haven’t pickup dog after two year and now she want her back and what I can do

My friend want me take care of her dog for couple week and she was supposed to pick up the dog but never did it been 2 year now and she want her back

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on May 23, 2021

A case may be made that your friend abandoned the dog. If you refuse to give the dog back, your friend will have to get a court order, proving the dog was not abandoned and that your friend can provide a better situation for the dog. New York has a “best for all concerned” standard.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for New York on
Q: I’m caregiver/longtime (40 years) companion for a man w/advanced cancer. He’s verbally abusing/lyin about me. What do I

He told palliative care nurse that I’m stealing from his bank account. I have Power of Attorney but haven’t touched his $. He fell out of bed & has bruises. I’m afraid I’ll be accused of elder abuse. What protections do I have. Can I refuse to let him come back to the home we live in... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on May 4, 2021

The question of what you can or should do is not something that can be answered that easily. You should consult with an attorney, who can get the information necessary to properly guide you. Questions you should be prepared to answer will include what your relationship is to the man and who is the... Read more »

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.

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