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Questions Answered by Benjamin Z. Katz
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Woman won't return puppy

A woman bought a puppy from me and a week later decided she didn't want her. I offered to buy her back and we met and she took off with the puppy. She now has me blocked and has listed puppy for sale. What can I do?

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

It appears that she changed her mind. If you still have her money then there is nothing left to do. If you refunded her money, call the police and report it as a theft.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: What is a decree appointing administrator form used for?
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Feb 19, 2020

Official appointment of Administrator by the Surrogate’s Court

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My father has an out of state will

My father has a will he created by Legal Zoom, when living in NY. He passed away while residing in NC. As I was named the executor, I met with the county clerks office to begin handling his affairs. I was told that NC requires the last 2 pages of the will (notary & witness pages) to be notarized.... Read more »

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

The is no requirement for a notary to be involved in a Will at all in New York. Estate Powers and Trusts Law (EPTL) 3-2.1 requires the signature of the person signing the Will and two witnesses. None of those signatures need to be notarized.

Many times witnesses are asked to sign a...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: ¿Can I take the dog I’ve been taking care of the last three months and it’s under my name, from my sister’s house?

Here’s the thing, my sister has several problems with alcohol abuse, I care from other country and been here the last 3 months, the thing is that I’ve been taking care of the dog, feeding her, taking her for walks, etc, I’ve paid for everything this last 3 months, but according to my... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Feb 12, 2020

It appears that the dog legally belongs to your sister. But it depends upon how she got the dog and how long she has had it. If you feel it is being mistreated or neglected there are steps that you can take but there is no guarantee that you will be able to get ownership and it would take some time.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Hi, my nephew recently passed away. Is it true that his estate will have to be shared with the deadbeat father

The man never gave a nickel to help raise him. He didn't even bother coming to the funeral. He was 29 what can we do?

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

If you nephew didn’t leave a Will, the law of intestacy sets out the order of distribution. If he had no wife or children, parents would be next, even deadbeat ones. This is why it is important to have a plan. Of course, the father can waive his rights.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My sister and I are co-executors in NY. I have the Letters of Testamentary. How do we handle the deed of Mom's house?

She plans to buy out my share and live in Mom's house. There are debts we need to settle yet. Do we wait until we pay off the debts and she pays me. Do we need to file an Executor's deed first?

We also just sent in forms ET-30 and ET-117 with the original letters.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Feb 9, 2020

Transfer the property by Executor’s Deed to your sister after you pay all debts.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: As executor of my brother's estate...

As I am executor of my brother's estate, my mother asked to have the estate's only property partitioned. My mother and sister-in-law are both beneficiaries and they aren't getting along. The property is pre-marital property that was in my brother's name only and he willed the house to both his... Read more »

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

In this situation, as you describe it, your responsibility as an Executor is to transfer the property to your mother and sister-in-law and that is it. Let either one of them sue the other for partition since they are having the dispute.

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for New York on
Q: My adult son is intellectually disabled.Can I continue to get him medical treatment in NY without becoming his guardian?

From my understanding he is presumed to be capable of providing informed consent. It also looks like if it was ever determined that he can't provide informed consent, I would still be able to take him to doctor visits as per FHCDA or OPWDD law. Also, he lives with me and is 29.

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

It will depend upon the type and extent of his disability. If he is capable, he should sign a health care proxy. If he is incapable of making decisions for himself you should apply for Guardianship.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Can someone claim rights to a pet registered to me?

My daughter lied to me and handed my baby to a stranger, this man refuse to return my boy

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

You can sue him to recover your dog.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: In NY intestacy, who is included in "issue of grandparents"? Are aunts and uncles by marriage included?

In case where someone died intestate with no spouse, no descendants at all, and no surviving siblings, parents, or grandparents, my understanding is that the next distributees to be considered are "issue of grandparents".

If one child of the grandparents is still living, and another child... Read more »

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

Estates, Powers &Trusts Law Section 4-1.1 states:

“6) One or more grandparents or the issue of grandparents (as hereinafter defined), and no spouse, issue, parent or issue of parents, one-half to the surviving grandparent or grandparents of one parental side, or if neither of them...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My parents are getting a divorce. How can I legally take the dog with me without trouble?

My parents are going through a nasty divorce and I want to move out of the house. I currently live with my mom. How can I take the dog with me, legally so she cannot say no? I believe that he is registered to me but what if he's not? My parents got him for me as a gift.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 23, 2020

It sounds like you are the owner. See if you have records showing you as the registered owner. Vet bills, NYC license papers, bill of Sale etc. However, even without those documents, if it was a gift to you, it is yours. If you can get your parents to acknowledge it in writing you can avoid trouble... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Someone gave their dog away do I have to give back if they want it?

I drove to pick a dog being given away due to not be able to take care of it anymore. Now being threathen wanting her back. Then calling me late night then writing apologies they were stress because of the family issues which has nothing to do with the dog or me and said can we be family. Now... Read more »

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

If someone voluntarily gave their dog to you, they are not legally entitled to the dog back. That may not stop them from trying.

1 Answer | Asked in Consumer Law and Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: Adopted a dog out to an out of state customer. Wrong dog was sent, now they won't exchange. Dog was already adopted.

They received the wrong dog, now they won't exchange for the correct dog. Other customer had already adopted that dog and would like the one they adopted.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 19, 2020

A properly drafted purchase agreement should deal with this possibility. If not, it is up to you to provide a reasonable replacement or refund their money.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Will the court allow me to use money from my daughter’s inheritance money to purchase a house?

I’m the guardian for her account until she’s 18

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

You may need to explain how this is a benefit for her and why it is necessary. Courts will generally deny large withdrawals from accounts for minors unless it makes sense.

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My mom passed in the blizzard of 2010. No will. House was paid. Sister lives there still. I'm the oldest

After 5 years we would sell the house and split the monies. This sister is a lot shady. Can my brother and I force her to sell? I believe she has a felony

Conviction and we never appointed her executrix. If we did we never received papers for it what would be our recourse. She has... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 14, 2020

From what you describe it does not appear that an estate proceeding was started or you would have been given notice. You can go to the Surrogates Court in the county where she lived to check. You may be able to force the house to be sold as a beneficiary. Let me know if you need further help.

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Health Care Law for New York on
Q: CDPAP, if PA's are independent contractors, why do FI's withhold taxes? CDPAPvs. Zucker,10/11/19, what was decided?

In the matter of CDPAPvs. Zucker,10/11/19

in layman's terms, what was decided?

Does this decision affect the status of the PA as an independent contractor vs. an employee?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 14, 2020

The court found that the Department of Health did not follow proper procedure in changing the way FIs are paid for services provided under CDPAP. Because they didn’t, the change was voided and they had to go back to the reimbursement method prior to 7/1/19.

This had nothing to do with...
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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: what happens if u leave Vet without paying the bills? They do not have my pet.

Hello

I went to Vet and they quoted me 150 dollar but the bill ended up being 425 dollars with food and medicines, so i did not take food and medicines and i left vet without paying bills.

What is the law against this?

They have my name and address.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 14, 2020

I am sure they will send you a bill in the mail. If you don't pay it they will most likely take further collection efforts. Further efforts after that may include hiring a collection agency, reporting it to the credit bureaus and possibly suing you to get a money judgment.

4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: What can I do (or my Mom) to regain control over family’s estate, after my brother used my mom’s power of attorney to

change all legal documentation, making himself a sole owner of all the houses, trusts, insurance policies, LLC’s, etc. He stole over $15 mil while my mom is still alive.

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

Your mom can sue him for breach of fiduciary duty, self dealing and fraud and void the transactions. However, I would need to know more to properly advise you. In any case, you and your mom should speak with an attorney.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: My mother gave a Power of Attorney, effective immediately, to my only brother. My brother is a sole owner of my family’s

Multimillion estate. My mother and I are left with nothing. Please advise.

Thank you!

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 5, 2020

It is not clear what you are asking.

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1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: how long before i can legally claim a dog as mine if i was just suppose to be taking care of it for someone else

someone put a ad on craigslist due to losing her job she cant take care of the dog so i offered to care for it but now its been 2 months and she wont respond to anything when i ask her when is she coming to get the dog am i able to just keep the dog as my own now

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 27, 2019

Unfortunately, it is not simply a question of how long before you can claim ownership.

Since you agreed to care for her dog, you are considered a bailee under New York law similar to how an attended parking garage takes responsibility for a car. If you have a written agreement with a...
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