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Questions Answered by Benjamin Z. Katz
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.

1 Answer | Asked in Animal / Dog Law for New York on
Q: my dog jumped in another stranger

I had left my dog for a few minutes in my backyard with the gate closed. When I came back my landlord informed me that my dog had gotten out somehow and jumped in a random man. He wants to press legal charges. What can happen

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

If he was injured, he may sue you for his medical expenses. He can also ask that your dog be declared “dangerous”, which may impose restrictions on it. In a severe case of injury your dog could be euthanized.

Q: My dad lived in P.Rico past away and and lift me his Property, but I'm in nyc what can I do
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Mar 1, 2020

If he was a resident of Puerto Rico and left a Will, it will need to be probated in Puerto Rico. If he left it to you some other way there may be other ways to deal with it.

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... 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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