Bellport, NY asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for New York

Q: Hello from New York. My dad recently died, my mom died a year earlier, the house is still in my dad's and mom's name.

I live in the house. Dad and Mom wanted only me to have house, not my brother, because I took care of them for over 10 years. There are no papers signed though for me to have it. My brother said you have to have his name on it also because they left no papers for me to have it.

Is this true? I don't want to split house.

What if my brother doesn't want his half? It still has to be in his name also? If so, can he then just give his half to me if he wants to with a title transfer?

3 Lawyer Answers
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: Your brother is right. Children split equally if there is no will.

Benjamin Z. Katz agrees with this answer

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: When a person dies without leaving a Last Will and Testament, it's said that they died intestate. When a person dies intestate, that person's property is distributed according to the law. In New York, that law is found in EPTL 4-1.1.

Who gets what depends on who the living relatives are and their relationship to the Decedent, the person who died. The family members who are entitled to a share of the Decedent's estate when there is no will are called "distributees".

In the simplest terms:

If the Decedent has... then

a spouse (husband or wife) and no children the spouse inherits everything

children* but no spouse children inherit everything

spouse and children* the spouse inherits the first $50,000 plus half of the balance. The children* inherit everything else.

parents but no spouse and no children* the parents inherit everything

siblings (brothers or sisters) but no spouse, children*, or parents the siblings inherit everything

* If a child dies before the Decedent and had children of their own, then the Decedent would have grandchildren. Those grandchildren would step into the Decedent's child's place and inherit in place of the child.

About Decedent's Children

For children to inherit from their parents, New York State requires that there is legal parent-child relationship. In most cases this is not an issue but it's not always clear.

Adopted children will inherit just like a biological child.

Foster children and stepchildren will not inherit unless they were legally adopted.

Children born after the Decedent dies will inherit.

Children born outside of marriage, also called non-marital child, will inherit from a male Decedent if paternity is established

Grandchildren will inherit only if their parent (the Decedent's child) dies before the Decedent died.

If the Decedent has no family at all, then the property will go to New York State.

https://nycourts.gov/courthelp/whensomeonedies/intestacy.shtml

Russel Morgan
Russel Morgan
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: The can always contest the Will and have it go through a probate but if you provide details on why the assets should move towards on your behalf, I can provide you the proper details on how to do so. The court then decides with what is destined to happen in the end.

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