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

Q: I and my Sister in Law are Tenants in Common. House immediately passed to us outside of probate after my mother passed.

I am also awaiting the Surrogates Court appointment as the Voluntary Administrator of her Small Estate (I am the named Executor in her will). Its been two months - courts seem backlogged - and can provide no estimates to this appointment - so I can't distribute property to beneficiaries yet. I have the duty to protect my mothers assets contained throughout the house. Sister in Law is not a Beneficiary under the will - and best viewed as a threat and danger to the personal property contained within. She and her lawyer have demanded a key to the house (or they will change the locks). If a key is provided - I will no longer be able to protect her my mothers property. I have and continue to provide Sister in Law with supervised access to the premises whenever she needs it (house unoccupied). Can I continue to withhold this key - until court appointment and until property has been distributed?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
  • Probate Lawyer
  • New York, NY
  • Licensed in New York

A: If she has joint title with you, she gets equal access. Thus, you cannot prevent her entry. If there are personal items to secure, remove them to another location. Unless the items are titled in some way, no one can ever determine who owns what.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.