Buffalo, NY asked in Probate for New York

Q: I received poor legal advice in regards to an estate and it's now in surrogate court, do I have legal recourse?

In 2001 I entered a relationship with a terminally ill individual that just purchased a home with a 30yr mortgage. I was listed as a Tenant In Common but not added to the mortgage. A will was prepared leaving me all assets. When he became ill I was made POA and when he passed in 2003 there was no equity in the home. I retained his lawyer to settle the estate and he did let 1 family member know that I would be executor via mail. I was then contacted and told that the Will had never been recorded and there were no rights of survival included in the JTIC agreement. I had no legal rights and would need to wait for the family to settle the estate. In 2004 the mortgage co was notified of his death. I continued to pay it and was told to wait for the family. In 2017 he petitioned to have me named as administrator and it is now being handled by Surrogate Court. They want 10K for the family and I get to pay off the mortgage. I was never reimbursed for funeral expenses. What can I do?

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1 Lawyer Answer

Michael David Siegel

  • Probate Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Your question is confusing, but if you are administrator do what you want as the law requires. If there is a will, you can still probate it. The will appears to be the only way you get the house without paying off the family that appears to recognize your claim for paying all of these years.

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