Staten Island, NY asked in Real Estate Law for New York

Q: If my father passed away and just his name on the deed are me and my brother entitled to the house if step mom sells it?

My father passed away and left everything to my step mom thinking she would help my brother and I but she totally ignores us and is planning on giving everything to her children. I've recently been contacted by a lawyer asking my to sign a paper so she can sell the brownstone in brooklyn I refused and she can't sell it. My father stated in the will he leaves all property to her but her name is not on the deed am I entitled to the property if she passes away or do I have any rights to a portion of the money if I sign the paper and they sell the house. The house is worth about $1,000,000. I don't understand why the lawyer needs my signature if I have no right to it. Any explanation of this would be helpful.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Peter Klose
PREMIUM
Peter Klose
Answered
  • Nyack, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: You are likely being asked to consent to probate of the will, or if no will, to the administration. If the will actually left everything to the step mom, and there are no grounds to contest the execution or validity of the will, then you likely will have no right to share in the proceeds of the sale of the house

Bottom Line-- you should have an attorney review the facts with you -- the internet is not going to give you fair answers because you may be mis-interpreting the facts or the law. Stated differently, don't rely on this answer to inform your belief and your response, call an attorney, call the attorney representing the Estate, learn your rights carefully.

Barry E. Janay
PREMIUM
Barry E. Janay PRO label
Answered
  • Florham Park, NJ
  • Licensed in New York

A: If he left "everything" to your step mom and it was just his name on the deed then it's going to be your step-moms. If your step-mom passes away her estate is still entitled to the entirety of your dad's estate. Without knowing what document the lawyer wants you to sign I can't say with certainty what rights you may be giving up by signing it, most likely it is a waiver of process for your dad's estate proceeding.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
Answered
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: If there is a will, and you are not a beneficiary, you are out of luck. It is legal to disinherit kids. If there is no will, then you and your brother get half. If there is a will, you might be being asked to sign a waiver to probate it. You can refuse, but the will will be probated unless you have some basis to object.

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