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Questions Answered by Benjamin Z. Katz
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: A colleague verbally asked I take care of her final affairs. I have Power-of-attorney (signed, witnessed, and notarized)

No health care proxy. She told me her wishes, and a Will was written for her to sign, get witnessed, and notarized, but her health turned (she's unconscious) so it's invalid. But I know her wishes. She has an estranged sister who is not the beneficiary (a non-relative third-party) of her... Read more »

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

The Power of Attorney is valid during her lifetime. If it gives you power to make financial decisions and transactions, you can pre-pay for burial and funeral arrangements now, including the headstone.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: my aunt was watching my 2 dogs and i was away when i returned she had givimg them away to a

or without out my permision inever wanted her to do that thry are my babies so i contacted the place and they have refused to return them i have called emailed won in small claims court then rhey turn around with out me knowing vacted the claim and they still refues to return them i dont have any... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
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Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on Jun 1, 2022

To recover your dogs, you would need to commence and action for replevin.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: MY FATHER RECENTLY DECEASED. HOW DO THE REMANING SIBLINGS HAVE THE RIGHT OF THE HOUSE.

THE DEED IS IN BOTH MY MOMS AND DADS. THE KIDS ARE NOT ON THE DEED. HOW DO WE PROCEED WITH THE CHANGE OF DEED WITH THE CHILDREN NAME ON IT IN CASE OF MOTHER PASSES AWAY. HOW DO WE INSURED THAT THE PROPERTY IS RIGHTFULLY OURS

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

If the property was acquired by your parents during their marriage, it was probably owned as a “tenancy by the entirety”. That means when your father died, your mother was automatically 100% owner. There are several options to make sure it goes to the kids upon her death. She can sign a new... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My mother has a will filed in Erie county ny She has passed away in a nursing home . She has no outstanding debt of any

Kind .all she has is a small joint checking account of 13,000 dollars. It is in her name and my name her daughter and I am executor of her will . Do I need to file probate or can I just close the joint account with proof of her death . There is no home or property or assets of any other kind . Ty... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
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Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on May 4, 2022

If you are a joint owner it is your account as much as it was hers. No need to probate her will.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: What if a living will was signed and witnessed and notorized but not completely filled out, mussing some important info.

Two people are named, 1 to recieve 50%, the 2nd 30%, but the other 20 is not mentioned in the will. The 1st 2 people however are fully aware of what the wishes were for the remaining amount, due to many verbal conversations prior to death,and in agreement of it. It just is not there. The 1st person... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
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Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on Mar 13, 2022

Your question appears to be about a Will. A living will something different. However, usually if percentages fall short of the full amount, any mention of the residuary means whatever is left. See if the Will mentions “residuary” or “residual”.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for New York on
Q: My grandmother is in a nursing home and has a house she is the owner & her other granddaughter decided to rent her house

My grandmothers social security and the department of family pays for her nursing home. The granddaughter decided to rent out my grandmothers house without her consent. The people that are staying in the house said they have a contract with my grandmother through the granddaughter. However, my... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
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Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on Mar 12, 2022

If there is a Power of Attorney, the agent named may be granted power to rent and collect rents. If your grandmother is having her nursing home stay paid for by Medicaid, income generated from rents from her home may be due to Medicaid. UsIng it as a rental property could be a major problem. Do... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: When a man passes away and doesn't have a will, who is the person responsible for making decisions on property left?

the relatives left behind are a 23 year old daughter, 16 year old son, and 13 year old girl. No spouse exists.

Benjamin Z. Katz
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Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on Mar 7, 2022

From the individuals mentioned, only the 23 year old daughter would qualify as an Administrator for the estate. Someone will need to apply to the Court to serve. Once they are granted Letters of Administration by the Court, they may collect all property, make transfers, sell, and manage assets.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and International Law for New York on
Q: What are the Legal Disadvantages of a CareTaker in a Will

If some one from my Friends or Extended Family is asking me, that they would like to write my name in there will as a Care Taker. If I say OK. What will be legal disadvantages in worst conditions for a Care Taker. If They are in Debts or can't pay the Hospital Bills in Future. Do I have to pay... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
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Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on Mar 1, 2022

I am not sure what you have been asked to do. A Will is a document that states a person's wishes following their death. You would not be a caretaker of someone who has passed away. It is possible that you are being asked to be an agent under a Health Care Proxy, which is sometimes combined... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My mother's veterinarian dropped the ball on her dog's diagnosis and now he is going to succumb to this disease

My mother brought her dog to the vet with lumps on his side, they told her he needed surgery and sent her home with antibiotics and Chinese herbs! it shrunk and she was told he did not need surgery. 2 months later he is diagnosed with mast cell cancer! When I consulted with his former veterinarian... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
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Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on Feb 28, 2022

If the vet is a member of the New York State Veterinary Medical Society, you should file a complaint with them. They will investigate faster than the appropriate state agency. Their complaint can be found at:

https://nysvms.knack.com/complaints

If the vet is not a member, you will...
Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Civil Litigation for New York on
Q: We have a neighbor who is constantly sending us letters complaining about our barking dogs.

We have proof of her standing in front of our house deliberately taunting our dogs. Along with every letter she sent threatening us with the police and animal control. Do we have a harassment claim against her?

Benjamin Z. Katz
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Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on Feb 28, 2022

Whether this rises to the level of harassment will be a judgment call by the police or a local prosecutor. However, it may be a good idea to get her actions on record as a preemptive measure before she makes a complaint to the police. If your dogs are barking a lot and disturbing the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Can a landlord force you to put up a beware of dog sign for dogs that aren't even aggressive?

My property manager told me that I needed to get a beware of dog sign just for insurance purposes, because he knows they're not mean I went with it but I didn't think it was urgent then 2 days later he started harassing me saying I had 24 hours to get the sign or he'd contact a... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
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Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on Feb 28, 2022

If his insurance company is requesting it and it is placing his coverage in jeopardy, it is reasonable. Your lease will set forth what the landlord may or may not request of you. However, unless you have some reason to refuse, it is not worth the trouble.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Based on that definition and the expectations of a fiduciary, does the client have a conflict of interest?

The client in your office is 1 of the 3 children whose mother just passed away intestate, owning only 1 piece of real estate and a bank account. The client has been living with his mother in the property and claims that he should be allowed to purchase the property from the estate, but at a lesser... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
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Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on Jan 25, 2022

I'm not sure if you are asking about New York. However, in New York, if the decent left no Will, the client can certainly petition to be appointed as Administrator. Personal representatives commonly have an interest in the estate assets that may conflict with other potential heirs. Those... Read more »

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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
PREMIUM
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
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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
PREMIUM
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.

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