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New York Estate Planning Questions & Answers
3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: Does a will have power over asset distribution if beneficiary is not listed on broker's beneficiary list?

Family member A has Family member B as beneficiary in their will. Family member A's financial advisor has Family member C as beneficiary. What entity take precedence upon death of Family member A's death?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jan 13, 2021

Generally, a Will only has power to dispose of assets owned by the decedent after death. Therefore, an asset such as an investment account that has specific instructions designating disposition of the asset upon death controls.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My question is, I have a friend who lives in the state of Maine, her husband passed away a little over a year ago,

a bank Credit card in his name only, she has been paying the monthly payment since he died, Is she responsible for this card since he's passed and can she get all the money back she has paid since he died?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jan 12, 2021

I'm sorry for your friend's loss. It would be better if you or your friend posted this under Maine questions. Laws in certain areas could differ from state to state. There's no guarantee that all posts are picked up, but there could be better chances of a response there. You could... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: How can I compel an estate to reimburse me for final expenses that I paid?

My mother's will states that the estate will cover final expenses. I laid out the funds and my siblings reimbursed me their share of the cost. The estate has not reimbursed me for my share. (I have no idea if the estate paid them back). The attorney for the estate is trying to get me to... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 27, 2020

If he is putting in writing that the estate is reimbursing you in exchange for a release, I don’t understand your hesitation. Do you believe you are owed anything more?

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My father is incarcerated he place me as his beneficiary how does it work I haven't had contact with him recently
Howard E. Knispel
Howard E. Knispel answered on Dec 23, 2020

Beneficiary of what? This question is too ambiguous to answer. Be more specific.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: In New York , under a trust HEMS standards, can the surviving spouse have house utilities paid ? Gas/Electric.

The widow does NOT pay for property taxes, property upkeep, home insurance etc. Nor will her estate benefit from a sale. The 2 step children are remainderman beneficiaries and the late husband always paid those bills, in the lifestyle she had been accustomed to for 30 years.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 20, 2020

Utilities are normally included as part of maintenance.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: What are liability benefits of holding real estate in an LLC? Could a tenant still go after my assets or other LLC?

I have an LLC that holds a Brooklyn residential property. I have an LLC that holds a South Carolina property. Let's say that a resident of the Brooklyn property sues me, receives a money judgment and exceeds the insurance payout. Would they be able to go after the equity in my LLC (that holds... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 14, 2020

As long as you are operating the LLC as a distinct and separate entity, liability is limited to the assets of that LLC. To go after you personally or your assets, someone would have to show that you are not operating the LLC as a separate entity, that you are commingling funds and ignoring the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Is there a look back period on a revocable or a irrevocable trust.
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 14, 2020

Medicaid can look back 5 years when someone applies for institutional nursing care. That applies to transfers to individuals or trusts. Non-institutional care has no look back period right now but will have a 30 month look back starting next year.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: A friend of 40 years died in NYC recently & has no known family, who is eligible to oversee his estate administration?
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 3, 2020

The Office of the Public Administrator. As there is nothing in it for you, no reason to get involved.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law and Estate Planning for New York on
Q: How can my cousins in Maine gift me a piece of family land that is still in my great-great grandmother's name?

My cousin's father paid taxes on the land all of his adult life.

When he died, the town sent the bills to my cousins. They have been paying the taxes on the land for about 40 years.

They would like to gift the land to me, but title search shows the land still in my great-great... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 2, 2020

You need a Maine lawyer. If it goes back that many generations, the title issues might make this an impossible mess.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: Estate Law Question I am a beneficiary for two properties of my late relatives.

I am a beneficiary for two properties. One of the properties I currently live in and the deed is half in my name. The other half is in my late relatives name. The second property I am owed half from the sale of the administrator. No wills were left from my late relatives. I went to mediation and... Read more »

Victor M. Feraru
Victor M. Feraru answered on Dec 1, 2020

Did you go at this along, representing yourself? I need a lot more information before I can give you a better answer. There are too many what if's.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: My friend died and left me the house we lived in. I have the will and the death certificate. What do i do next?

Is there a time period in which this must be done?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 1, 2020

You must file a petition in Surrogates Court to be given power to probate the Will and administer the estate, which would include transferring the house.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Executor of an estate question

The person left no will

Gary Lane
Gary Lane answered on Nov 24, 2020

If no Living Trust either, then you must go to probate court.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Executor refusing to reimburse beneficiary the property taxes he paid on behalf of the Estate

Under what NYS SCPA provision, can a beneficiary petition the Court to commence a proceeding against a fiduciary if the Executor refuses to refund property taxes that the beneficiary paid on behalf of the Estate? The testator directed that all his debts and administrative expenses be paid out of... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 24, 2020

The beneficiary would have to file a claim first, and then compel payment of it.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Can the executor an the estate remove ALL items from the decedent's home without permission of the other beneficiaries?

The executor of the estate, who is also a beneficiary has removed "all" personal items of the decedent from the home. The executor was given the home in the will. The other two beneficiaries were not given an opportunity to go through any of their father's personal items, furniture,... Read more »

Gary Lane
Gary Lane answered on Nov 23, 2020

Yes, they should sue. The Executor is not authorized on their own to do this. They should be communicating with the other beneficiaries. Yes, this certainly could be grounds to have them removed and replaced.

2 Answers | Asked in Traffic Tickets and Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Was issued a speeding ticket while in city employee uniform & showed bandg. I work in the security deptmt of the MTA

Can I get the ticket dismissed as a city employee?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Nov 23, 2020

It could be worth discussing in more detail with an experienced traffic ticket attorney. Overall, there is a high level of positive sentiment and appreciation toward public transportation employees because of the risks they face in providing all of us with vital services 24/7 and keeping the City... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: Title company found my moms maiden name on the title and she has since passed but I’m trying to sell it, what can I do?

My mom passed over a year ago and we had the deed set up as joint tenants with right of survivorship. The title company just notified me there is no evidence of her passing since she was married and her death certificate states my step dads last name. Is there any way to avoid probate and prove to... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Nov 19, 2020

A copy of the marriage certificate should be sufficient proof of the name change. This would require communication with the title company to determine what else is concerning it.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: If the owner of life estate deed dies. Does the beneficiary need to go thru probate to sell the property?
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Nov 13, 2020

When a life tenant dies, the owner of the property has full rights. In other words if a property is deeded to A, reserving a life estate for B, when B dies, A has full rights to transfer or sell.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: statute on probate to heirs garnishment of wages nyc

lone parent passed away own home . no will 5 children . now 1 sibling is being threatened with garnishment of income due to outstanding 100k med bill. instead of placing lien on home. is this a normal ,legal procedure?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 10, 2020

No. They must have signed hospital papers as responsible party. You are right. It is for the estate to pay, if anyone.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: I am both non-domiciled and a non-resident of CT but wish to make a will applying CT law. Is this possible ?

CT is not my home nor do I intend to make it my home. Nevertheless, its laws, as told by a friend, are well suited to my purpose.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Oct 26, 2020

I am not aware of any CT law that is unique in estate planning the way corporations use Delaware law for certain purposes. As you have not stated your purpose, no one could answer your question. The short answer is a will is probated in the court where you reside when you die. So, if you are a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Have trust XYZ living trust Have 4 LLC's single mem. hold title to different real estate- Can u Xfer the LLC to trust?
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Oct 23, 2020

Short answer, yes. Long answer, this may not be the best estate planning if the values are high enough.

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