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Questions Answered by Benjamin Z. Katz
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Can I sue my father's sister if she stole my father's belongings ? He has no will
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jun 2, 2020

You would have to begin an Administration proceeding to be named as Administrator for your father's estate and then you could sue her on behalf of the estate.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My friend gave me her cat and put past vet bills under my name. Do I have to pay them? Even though the cat wasn’t mine.
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jun 1, 2020

How did she “put” vet bills in your name? Unless the vet has an agreement with you directly, the vet has no legal right to go after you. However, I would recommend you avoid using that vet office if possible so you can avoid getting between it and your friend.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My ex agreed to watch my animals till I got my own place. He is now saying he can keep my dog Bc it’s been 60 days

Me and my ex split two months ago, he is now trying to keep my dog and my cat that he agreed we’re ok to stay there till I got my own place. I have bought collars and food and shots for them I also have prove of purchase for my dog. Can I get my animals back tho it’s been 60 days?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on May 26, 2020

There is no 60 day rule. But if he refuses to give them back you will have to go to court.

2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: How does an Anti-Lapse Statute in NY apply, if two named relatives listed passed away with no children or wife?

my great aunt left a will naming nieces and nephews.

only my mother's immediate family - two brothers and sisters were in close contact and took active care of her. i.e shopping. hospitalizations from repeated falls, helping her walk and treating her infections.

the other... Read more »

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

Anti-lapse statute in NY allows children of named beneficiaries to receive gifts. Since the deceased beneficiaries died without children it doesn’t apply. Most properly drafted Will address that contingency. An attorney would have to see the Will to properly advise in this case.

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: What is the law on walking a dog on someone else’s property?

I usually let my dog walk about a foot, not more than 2, on neighbors property. If he goes to the bathroom, I pick it up. But if the property owner says I can’t walk him on their lawn, do they have the legal right to do so?

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

Property owners have the legal right to refuse or restrict access to their property with few exceptions. Your situation wouldn’t qualify as an exception.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: If a pet rescue caused damage to a pet I adopted, can i sue for cost to fix the damage?

I adopted a cat but the rescue spayed too early and a hernia resulted I have to pay for a vet to fix the damage

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on May 6, 2020

If you signed adoption paperwork, it should contain a provision for damage, disease or illness. If it doesn’t you should be able to return the pet. Since you already paid for the care you can attempt to seek reimbursement. If the rescue refuses, you may be able to sue if they made false... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My town limits 2 dogs per household, but I have 3 if I register one as an ESA can I keep all 3?
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on May 4, 2020

Service animals and emotional support animals are generally not considered pets. However, it is important to analyze the laws of the municipality and any recent court actions decided there to properly advise on this. It may not be as simple as registering or getting a letter.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: For Westchester County, NY.. can a landlord evict due to a dog. Landlord knew about the dog. Dog is Pit Bull.

Had the dog for some time. The tenant downstairs is complaining about the dog.

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

If the dog is not a service dog or emotional support animal and your lease has a "no pets" provision then the landlord has the right to evict due to a violation of your lease. If there is no such provision or if the landlord knew that you were violating the lease and allowed it to... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: In intestate insolvency, can unpaid creditors “claw back” beneficiary inheritance from a sole heir-in-law?

When an intestate estate is closed insolvent after tens of thousands of dollars were left to a sole heir-in-law in long-standing beneficiary accounts (>5 years old), and debts of up to a few thousand dollars were left unpaid, is there any way such creditors (possibly including Medicaid) would be... Read more »

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

If proper debts were ignored by the individual administering the estate, creditors can seek to be paid even 5 years later. I am unsure what you mean by long-standing beneficiary accounts. If assets passed outside the estate then it belongs to the beneficiary and would not be used to pay debts of... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: If my parents were separated and living in different states for 25 years is my father still entitled to any estate in Fl
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Apr 27, 2020

If they were still legally married, he has all rights of a married spouse unless there is an agreement between them waiving those rights. That might include a prenuptial or separation agreement.

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2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: how do I prove ownership if I never re- registered my puppy?

I’ve had my dog two years. We recently moved to Niagara Falls and yesterday he jumped the fence. Our local spca office has him. How do I prove ownership if he’s still registered with his previous owner.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Apr 26, 2020

If you have not properly registered or license the dog evidence of ownership can include a bill of sale or certificate of adoption, vet bills and grooming bills. The SCPA office should advise you what else they will accept.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My boyfriend died and I have his dog. His parents are asking for her to be taken to them claiming it's what their son

Would have wanted. But actually, their son asked me to keep her if anything happened. Ive been taking care of her every day for months but since we arent married, no one cares about what he wanted, they are acting as if our everyday life together wasn't permanent and so I have no say in where... Read more »

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

Companion animals are generally considered property under the law. As the case would be with any type of property owned by an individual, once the owner passes away, it is transferred by Will or through the laws of intestacy. Assuming there was no Will and there is no spouse or children, the... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: will there be any problems with selling properties in a trust that was signed by PoA on the same day the grantor passed

We thought the trust was done weeks before but it wasn’t. The lawyer handling it or boggling it said no title company would insure the property thus creating a big problem

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Apr 10, 2020

There probably will be issues. More information is needed to properly assess.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Hello, What are the laws in NYS regarding finding a dog and potentially keeping?

A stray dog made its way onto my property. Very friendly, no collar or tags. I have posted publicly on Facebook and have walked around with the dog to see if anyone knows him.

How long is it before a dog is considered abandoned if im also making reasonable efforts to locate the owner?... Read more »

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

You should contact a local vet or the local humane society or animal shelter to scan for a microchip and to report that you found it. If there is no microchip there is a waiting period before you can legally adopt if you want to. Considering the current crisis the animal shelter would probably... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: i have a dog for over three years and someone reported me. can they evict me although workers in the building knew ?

This is a coop apt and i got the dog for my daughter who has OCD and mild depression. I removed the dog now her symptoms are worse especially the depression

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Mar 28, 2020

It sounds like you need to speak with a mental health professional about having the dog prescribed as an emotional support animal. They can be kept even if there is a no pets policy. As far as eviction, if you have openly had the dog for 3 years and the building staff knew there is a NYC law that... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My husband or I can not get in touch with the man who is selling is our puppy

My husband went to look at our dog at 4 days old . Decided what one and on a price . He freaked out two weeks ago saying we had to come get her bc of his living situation. Then he was getting help form the neighbors so all five puppies could now stay with the mother . I have reached out to him so... Read more »

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

From what you described, you have no legal rights to the dog. Under New York law puppies should not be sold or adopted out until they are at least 8 weeks old.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My ex wife is being difficult, wont let me see our dog...

Good evening,

My ex wife and I share custody of our two dogs, the dogs are a mother, daughter pair. The mother was mine before my ex and I started our relationship. Our 10 year relationship ended two years ago and due to my circumstances and schedule she has had the dogs for a majority of... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Mar 16, 2020

If there is a written agreement about the dog, you can seek enforcement in court. I suspect you will not get much help from the police.

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My father recently passed away in New York we believe without a will.

My father recently passed away in New York we believe without a will. At least we have not been able to locate one. He left a considerable estate to which myself and my sister are the only airs. We were wondering what we need to do next he had several CDs in three local banks to which total almost... Read more »

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

You must petition the Surrogates Court for Letters of Administration in order to be given the power to collect and distribute assets. If you are not going to be present in NY you should retain an attorney to assist you.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Each state needs to recoup $ for Medicaid payments. Can an LLC protect me as much as a trust in ny?
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Mar 14, 2020

If you put property in an LLC where you are the only member, Medicaid would consider it your property. LLCs are useful for business purposes and limit liability.

An irrevocable trust transfers property out of your control. A properly prepared irrevocable trust can provide income to you...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: a man passed on 2/26/20 he divorced my sister 20 years ago. he has no living relatives. his family line is extinct.

he has no will. can my sister make a claim to his estate

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Mar 10, 2020

No. Your sister has no legal claim under NY law.

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