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Questions Answered by Benjamin Z. Katz
1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: I openly owned a dog for 13 years and he passed. I want a new dog but the landlord doesn't. Can he prevent a new dog?

I owned a 25-pound poodle so there was no shed, no damage to the building, only slight barking from people passing in the building. There was never a problem with the dog before but now that he's passed and I took the time to grieve about it for a few weeks. I'd like a new poodle no... Read more »

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

Does the building have a no pets policy? Is it in your lease agreement? If it is not contained in written form they can’t just say no.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: GM. My daughter asked a woman to babysit her dogs. Now the woman is trying to keep them. Wont answer door.

The dogs were there since this Feb. Daughter in a family shelter. My grnd-dautr was taking 1 dog to start college Mon.

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

If your daughter is the legal owner, she can call the police to make a report. The police may or may not be helpful. If they are not, she may have to bring an action in court to recover them.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: So does my dog belong to her?

I recently purchased a dog with my money and my name on the microchip but my friend fill out the paperwork while I stepped away for a moment, without realizing that she put her name on the paperwork.

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

I’m not sure what paperwork you referring to. If she is listed as the purchaser on the bill of sale then she will be able to claim ownership. If you’re concerned, you can sign an agreement with her establishing you as the owner.

2 Answers | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: We have the same dog for the past 5 years where we live. Now the insurance comp. says the breed we have is a problem.

Is that legal? It’s like they’re harassing us. The dog is very mellow and wouldn’t hurt a fly.

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

Is the company refusing to renew your homeowners policy? If so, you may have recourse.

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3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Probate and Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Im being sued for my house that my parents gave to me in 2009 they had me take over the bills and signed a promissory

note stating they can't take care of the home expenses and was giving the house to me fast forward to 2018 my mom passed away in January and in February a deed transfer was made taking my mom off the deed and adding myself along with my dad to the deed in April another deed transfer was made... Read more »

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

It sound like everything was done properly by you and your parents. I’m curious what they are arguing. If it is the capacity of your father to execute a deed, they will need to prove that. If you haven’t retained an attorney, you should.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Trust was not properly notarized, is it valid?

We have an irrevocable trust in New York state from 2012. This was created as part of a larger estate planning that included wills, health care proxies and two trusts. Everything else was properly notarized except this one trust. It is signed by the grantors, however where the grantors signed is... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Aug 8, 2020

If the signature was not notarized or properly witnessed, the trust may be invalid. However, there are provisions in the law that may be used to correct deficiencies or allow for decanting into a new trust. You should have the trust agreement reviewed by an Estate Planning Attorney.

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for New York on
Q: My father is in a long term rehabilitation center and we have applied for medicaid for only him and not my mom.

How do we protect their house? Do we put the house under my moms name only? Thank you.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Aug 8, 2020

Now that you have applied for Medicaid your options are limited. You should speak with a Medicaid Planning attorney as soon as possible.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Elder Law for New York on
Q: Need assistance on Filing A Nullity of Marriage. How do I start?

I was Married 05/20/2000

My Husband didn't divorce

His first wife until 2008. This was 8 years after we are together. He left me in February 2007. My Marriage is not valid, and I need it nullified.

He had a stroke last year, and I went back to assist him, because no... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Aug 7, 2020

As long as you have all the documentation to support that he was still married when you entered into the marriage contract, you will be able to get it annulled. You must start an action in court and should have an attorney assist you. Matrimonial/Divorce attorneys and Estate Planning attorneys,... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Can an executor coerce beneficiary’s into signing a will?

The two beneficiaries were coerced into signing their wills by the executor. If they did not sign the wills, the executor threatened to not allow a locksmith into the testator’s home to open their father’s safe.

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

Your question is a little off. The Will is signed only by the person making the Will (Testator).

When the Testator dies the named Executor petitions the Court for the power to carry out the provisions of the Will. If the spouse and heirs don’t agree that the Will is valid and don’t...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Can a Probate Attorney pass on a verbal message from the judge to a beneficiary of a will? Should it not be in writing?

Should the beneficiary follow the instruction of this probate attorney if what he says is not in writing?

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

Your question is not clear. If you are a beneficiary and you don’t trust the attorney handling the probate you can retain an attorney to advise you. I’m not sure what you are asking about the judge.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My sister bullied my mom who had Dementia to change her will 3 weeks after the final one was made.

Can I contest that will as I have several other wills spanning 27 years that do not have my sister or her children in it.

Can I ask the court to appoint an Independent Executor as my sister abused her POA role before my mother died?

The Substitute Executors are not interested in the... Read more »

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

You can object to your sister’s appointment and to the validity of the Will. However, I would encourage you to retain an attorney to advise and assist you.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for New York on
Q: How does NY State intestate laws if only asset is a home and spouse and children are living?

Dad has been dead many years. 3 kids, mom still living. Only asset is one house in NYC. How much does mom get if we sell home after intestate is completed by the court?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Aug 2, 2020

The laws of the state where Dad was last a resident will apply. If he was a resident of New York and died without a Will, assets are split 50% to surviving spouse and the other 50% to surviving children.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: My roommates ex moved out 12/2019 and left her dog. Yesterday she came and took her while I was preoccupied with my kids

She didn't ask if the dog could stay nothing. Just came home to her dog and everything else she owned gone. She's been over since and never says a word about the dog. I pay for food medicine everything for 9 months. She came over and while I was busy with the kids she took the dog. Now I... Read more »

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

You would have to sue her for ownership rights to be recognized. You can claim she abandoned the dog. However, unless she said or did anything that clearly expressed her wish to abandon, it will be an uphill battle. If you want to recover what you spent, you can sue her to be reimbursed for the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Health Care Law for New York on
Q: Can a couple put a house in a irrevocable trust and then, within months, collect Medicaid in New York State?

The husband had a stroke and is on disability. He wants to put his house, co-owned with wife , in an irrevocable trust for his children. He is then going to receive Medicaid to pay for his maintenance in an assisted living institution. Is the house protected from the liens or other governmental... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jul 25, 2020

Yes. However, the law is scheduled to change shortly. Right now there is no look back period for Medicaid involving assisted living. After October 1, 2020 there will be a look back period. The transfer needs to be done quickly and properly.

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1 Answer | Asked in Agricultural Law, Contracts, Animal / Dog Law and Lemon Law for New York on
Q: Are “Hobby Breeders” held to the same standards under NYS Pet Lemon Law? Or only Pet dealers?
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jul 21, 2020

If the hobby breeder sells 10 or more dogs or cats a year they are subject to the pet lemon law.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: I'm inquiring about estates. My commonlaw husband passed away recently and we have a daughter. He left no will.

We were asked to prove paternity. Our daughter is 27 yrs old we lived together 29 yrs hes on certificate.

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

If he is listed as her father on the birth certificate there should be no need for a paternity test. Who is asking?

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: How do I get items in safe deposit box appraised after my father's death?

I am trying to find out how I get items in a safe deposit box appraised if I cannot remove the items?

Facts:

1) The owners of the box are me and my father, my father is deceased. The bank knows this.

2) The bank is in NY.

3) The items within the box are likely small... Read more »

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

If you are listed as a joint owner I don't understand why you are not being given access. However, I suggest that you file for a small estate for voluntary administration based upon the assets you are aware of. Once you are empowered by the Court, you can certainly get access to the safe... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: A man who is a resident of Alabama died . He wrote over his will and crossed out paragraphs manually.

would the will be still valid? he was single he has one half sister a nephew and a niece. who gets what of his estate?

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

You should ask an Alabama attorney. However, i suspect any changes made by hand will not be considered valid and may invalidate the whole document.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: My deceased aunt left a Will. If I submit a Petition to Surrogate Court will I be able to access her banking info?

I live in Georgia and she lived in New York. I am the Executor of the will if appointed voluntary administrator is that all I need to carry out duties as Executor and will I be able to access banking info and have access to her apartment.

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

If your the Executor named in the Will, you must petition the Surrogates Court for Letters Testamentary. Once the court issues you Letters Testamentary you can access bank accounts and her apartment. Be aware that if she owns a co-op, your ability to sell or transfer her interest in it may be... Read more »

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4 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My Mom recently passed and she owns a co-op in brooklyn that she is leaving to her 4 children.She has a will.

The co-op board says we have to purchase her co-op then be approved first before we can sell it. and there are fees involved of course and we need to hire a lawyer. Is this legal?

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

There may be a way to avoid having to transfer the co-op into all four names before selling it. Assuming none of you wish to keep the co-op it would be necessary to review the Will and the co-op Offering Plan.

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