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

Q: Prior to the new changes, who inherits property in PR if grandfather died nearly 30 yrs ago?

Out of 7 children and my grandmother, my aunt is the only living child. 24 grandchildren, including her children are living. Under the previous law, who would have been executor of estate and rightful heir? Under new law, I read that we all are. One cousin lives there for years. My aunt claimed control of grndfthr's assets. Recently my aunt, through her daughter has announced that back taxes are owed, we're all heirs and we have to pay the txs, clean up and legal consultation fee before 4/30/22. We have no documentation stating who was executor, will, if there ever was one, etc. My cousin is also demanding we pay her back for paying the clean up fee which was not agreed to. Neither my aunt, her daughter or the cousin living there will give me any information other than the tax bill. She is also saying I have to sign a declaration of heirs or a notarized ltr by a lawyer with my mom's name and my SS# to opt out. 2 cousins have docs. What is my legal responsibility and rights? I want out

1 Lawyer Answer
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay
  • Probate Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: The state where a decedent lived at the time of his/her death determines which law applies for the determining distribution of estate assets. In New York, if there is not a will that provides for a different distribution the order of inheritance is outlined at this link:

If your grandfather resided in New York State at the time of his death, you may have the right to have the Surrogate's Court recognize you as the representative for the estate, but in any event you should retain counsel before proceeding further.

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