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Questions Answered by Sharon M. Siegel
1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: Can you use your security deposit to cover rent in NYS (due to COVID) if you are at the end of your lease?

My partner and I suffered substantial income loss due to COVID and we advised our landlord that we would like to use our security deposit for our June rent. Our lease is up on 7/31 and we will likely move out as we can no longer afford our rent because of income reductions. We have an excellent... Read more »

Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Jun 23, 2020

You can use your security to pay the rent. Technically, you are supposed to replenish it, but it is not necessary.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: A lawyer representing the estate of my Fathers first wife is asking me for a death cert.-am I due any compensation?

The lawyer said the court is requiring my Dads death certificate in order to settle the first wife's estate...they were divorced in 1965 and she died in 2010

Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Jun 19, 2020

If they were legally divorced, the lawyer should have no need for a death certificate unless the lawyer is trying to claim an asset. I would not give it to the lawyer and get an explanation of why it is needed.

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for Missouri on
Q: My 90 yr old mother wants to sell her home and give the money to her 3 children.

She lives with me and I was wondering if we would have to pay the money back if I have to place her in a nursing home?

Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Jun 9, 2020

It depends on several factors. For example, did the children contribute to the upkeep of the house, other gifts she has made and is she competent, just to name a few. There are more beneficial ways of doing this transaction which will satisfy her goals. You should consult an attorney.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for New York on
Q: Can a nursing home in NYS take a medicaid patient's stimulus check?

The check is made out to the nursing home, for the patient's care. The check came to us (power of attorney). Can we insist it be applied to her personal account, or can the nursing home take it just as they take most of her Social Security to pay for her care?

Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Jun 5, 2020

If you want to apply it to the patient's care, this is allowed. However, a facility cannot just take the check without your permission.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Should I sign the waiver of statutory requirements and beneficiary receipt/release?
Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Jun 5, 2020

I agree that you should consult a lawyer before signing any document (not limited to the one mentioned) which can affect your rights as a beneficiary. Also, I would mention that if you don't sign, you will have a lot of time before any next step due to covid. The Surrogate's Court is... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New Jersey on
Q: My grandmother passed away in 2008 she left a testament with property to her children they since passed what can be done

I have the testament with me I would like to keep the property the property is in Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico

Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on May 21, 2020

There are a few factors that determine the best course of action. First, where was your grandmother's estate/will probated? Second, did they predecease or post decease? Third, has the executor applied for ancillary letters? Fourth, have the hiers informed anyone in PR of the death? I... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Grandpa recently passed away, in his will i receive all of his guns which are rifles and shotguns. Do i need a permit?

I am located in new york.

Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Jun 9, 2020

I agree with my partner that you need to register a registered gun that is bequeathed to you. However, there are situations where your bequest is unregistered and this requires knowing what types of guns they are and whether you need to involve the police/ law enforcement. You must discuss this... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law, Contracts and Consumer Law for New York on
Q: I want to sue a company called a Fiverr for stealing $320 from me? How much can I charge for damages?

If I lost the lawsuit would I have to pay them money?

Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Apr 4, 2020

When the courts reopen, it is a small claims matter. You do it yourself. You do not have to pay them costs if you lose.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Divorce, Real Estate Law and Arbitration / Mediation Law for Utah on
Q: How to protect home in the event of future disputes. As always, things are well between us. But thinking forward.

I am purchasing a home and have the mortgage, and purchase contract under only my name. I have been in a relationship for 11 years with the same women - she is contributing 5% towards our 15% down-payment.10% coming from me. All mortgage payments made will come from a bank account solely under my... Read more »

Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Apr 2, 2020

As her name is not on the title of the deed, she will not be a record owner. There a few ways of handling this, but I suggest a gifting or loan agreement since she is really not getting anything for her 5% of the deposit that is recorded.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for Georgia on
Q: Can you use small estate affidavit after filing for letters of administration of estate in GA
Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Apr 2, 2020

If your primary letters of Administration were in GA, I presume that was where the Decedent was domiciled. New York will allow you to use a small affidavit for a non-domiciliary as an ancillary proceeding to the one you have in GA. You cannot have two main administration proceedings. The... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Could a lawyer that practices in probate look over a final probate paper that im an heir in? I think I got robbed...

New York Delaware County

Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on May 11, 2017

Absolutely. If you hire a lawyer, they can perform any skills or tasks that you hire them to do. This is why it is imperative to go to a lawyer who practices in your needed area as an expert!

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1 Answer | Asked in Identity Theft for New York on
Q: I used my boss' credit card for a couple of personal purchases. Is that identity theft?
Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Oct 26, 2016

No. If you had no permission, it is plain old regular illegal theft.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Property deed doesn't match tax record. Complicating sale of home. Is this hard to correct?
Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Oct 20, 2016

No. Your attorney can handle this.

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1 Answer | Asked in Business Law for New York on
Q: My brother took over our family business and paid me out.

It turns out though that a huge contract that was on the books at the time in which payment was in arrears finally came through - I did some work on the contract before I left. Am I entitled to some of that money now?

Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Sep 2, 2016

It depends on what your buyout agreement says. That is the governing document.

1 Answer | Asked in Civil Litigation for New York on
Q: How do I get money owed me out of someone who is bankrupt?
Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Sep 2, 2016

The short answer is you don't. That is the point of bankruptcy -- to not pay your debts. The long answer is that if there is a basis to seek non-discharge of the claim, you can make a complaint to do so.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My neighbor claims trees on my property are blocking his view

and that it's affecting the value of his property/house. Can he go after us in any way to take down the trees or can we ignore him?

Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Sep 2, 2016

Ignore, unless they overhang his property, in which case he can cut that part down.

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Land Use & Zoning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: "town and village codes"

Need advice. I sold my home to a cash buyer. we both signed contract and everything was moving along. In the contract it stated the house was to be sold "as is, and no reduction in purchase price or claim of any kind for any change in such condition," etc...Basically the buyer knew I... Read more »

Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Sep 2, 2016

It depends on what your contract says. If it is the form, you need to legalize the deck or cancel the contract. This is a common suburban issue. I am not sure why your attorney cannot deal with it.

2 Answers | Asked in Landlord - Tenant and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Landlord keeping deposits?

I recently moved away from New York, and broke my lease at my apartment by doing so. My landlord is keeping my security +last month's rent deposits. However, I was required to continue to pay rent for the two months before he found a new tenant (who he wanted to pay a higher rent, which made... Read more »

Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Sep 1, 2016

You can bring a small claims case. The terms of your lease will govern.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: As a %50 beneficiary of a revocable trust in New York State, what are my rights?

As a %50 beneficiary of a revocable trust in New York State, what are my rights? The grantor of the trust passed away in 2015. Do I have a right to a copy of trust documents and an accounting. My trustee does not seem to know the answer, and the attorneys that penned the trust are not responding... Read more »

Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Aug 31, 2016

Can you clarify if the Grantor/Trustee is deceased or alive? In other words, do you have a current beneficial interest or do you have a contingent beneficial interest. This very much affects the answer. I would presume that the Grantor is the primary beneficiary. If Grantor has passed away,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My grandfather left money in trust for his two daughters.

Mom's share of the trust dissolves on my mother's death and then is divided between me and my siblings. Do we have to pay a lot of taxes when that happens? Is there any way to avoid it?

Sharon M. Siegel
Sharon M. Siegel answered on Aug 31, 2016

This depends on what type of tax you are asking about and the values of your inheritance. In any event, you will get a stepped up basis to your mother's eventual date of death. You are wise to consider this now while you have time to plan for it. You and she should sit down with a lawyer... Read more »

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