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New York Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My mother passed away and had 4 children. What's the easiest process to get her house sold and have proceeds split?

The house is in her name, her live-in boyfriend has a few bills in his name but not on the house.

She did NOT have a will.

The house is in semi-okay condition. It needs a lot of work. I would like to know how/when I should get the process started for putting her house on the market... Read more »

Jack Mevorach
Jack Mevorach
answered on Jul 2, 2022

A proceeding must be filed in Surrogate's Court to have an Administrator appointed as fiduciary of the estate. The Administrator can have the house sold and divide the proceeds.

Regarding the sale of the house, Have a free telephone consultation with counsel.

Jack

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for New York on
Q: What say does a beneficiary (me) have concerning how cash assets are distributed? Executor chose, not the deceased.

We are in NY State. Brother (executor) wants to distribute over 4 years (tax reasons): I prefer lump sum or 2 years. Can the cash be distributed in different ways to different beneficiaries? If not, does this require a legal intervention?

David Ostrove
David Ostrove
answered on Jun 30, 2022

The trust language controls. The Trustee must administer the trust strictly in accordance with the Settlor's intentions.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: A colleague verbally asked I take care of her final affairs. I have Power-of-attorney (signed, witnessed, and notarized)

No health care proxy. She told me her wishes, and a Will was written for her to sign, get witnessed, and notarized, but her health turned (she's unconscious) so it's invalid. But I know her wishes. She has an estranged sister who is not the beneficiary (a non-relative third-party) of her... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
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Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on Jun 19, 2022

The Power of Attorney is valid during her lifetime. If it gives you power to make financial decisions and transactions, you can pre-pay for burial and funeral arrangements now, including the headstone.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Hi my mother passed away with no will here in New york. She had a 25% share of an open estate among 10 others. (50%

Divided between her and her sister and 50% split between 8 heirs. The estate was never closed. What happens to her share?

Robert Stephen Sikorski
Robert Stephen Sikorski
answered on Jun 2, 2022

Your mother's estate can demand either a formal or an informal accounting from the estate from which she was a beneficiary. Informal works if the other estate will cooperate, otherwise you would have to demand a formal judicial accounting.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: how long can a trustee have to establish a trust after the death of the deceased

Deceased died in 2003 and trustee has been embezzling ever since

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on May 30, 2022

It should be immediate under the terms of the will. You need to bring a petition in Surrogate's Court for relief.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Business Law for New York on
Q: S Corporation 4 equal share owners , if one of the owner die , how to keep his shares within Corporation

If one owner die , how to avoid outsider demands

Samuil Buschkin
Samuil Buschkin
answered on May 12, 2022

There are several unknowns here and best to direct your question to an attorney, who can review the documents. In a nutshell, it all depends! It depends on the corporate structure, governing documents (and always but not likely primarily here on applicable laws). It is generally absolutely doable... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: 3 children are on will for dad's estate 1 has passed on with no will of his own is his daughter entitled to his part

My dad who is still alive doesn't want her to have anything to do with will or benifit

Gary Krim
Gary Krim
answered on May 11, 2022

The answer depends on what your father's Will says on the subject. Without seeing the Will it is impossible to say. The Will might include language to deal with this type of situation, i.e. on of the named beneficiaries dying before the maker of the Will. Generally, a bequest in a Will does... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: My mother and step-father (who are residents of NYS)own valuable real estate. If my mom passes away, do I have any

claim to her share of the property?

Gary Krim
Gary Krim
answered on May 9, 2022

It depends on a number of things:

1. What title on the property is - if you are on title then you have a claim to at least part of the property

2. Does you mother have a Will naming you a beneficiary - if there is a Will and you are not named as a beneficiary then assuming the Will...
Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Legal Malpractice, Estate Planning and Elder Law for New York on
Q: Can a lawyer be held accountable for NOT providing legal service to his client?

Elderly client moved in with daughter who had coerced her to change her will and make her power of attorney. Elderly client asked lawyer to revise will without involving this daughter. She told him she was in fear of daughter, her finding out and taking it out on her because she found out... Read more »

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on May 5, 2022

If an attorney was simply approached out of the blue, the general rule is that the attorney is free to accept or decline a matter. Same goes for the prospective client, who is free to retain or not retain an attorney. There are instances where an attorney may not easily withdraw, such as in an... Read more »

3 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Family Law for New York on
Q: I’m listed as a beneficiary on a will. The executor hasn’t made any action is over a year. What can I do?

My grandmother has a will which lists my father and two aunts as beneficiaries. The will states that if one of those parties predeceases her, their share will be given to their children. In 2017, my father passed away. In Februaryof 2021, my grandmother (dads mom) passed away. My aunts have not... Read more »

Sandra M. Colatosti
Sandra M. Colatosti
answered on Apr 23, 2022

Your father’s children are entitled to 1/3 of your grandmother’s estate. The will should have appointed an executor(s) to handle the distribution of the property. You should speak to a lawyer.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: I have a question about if one beneficiary can or cannot sue another beneficiary of an estate.

There are 5 beneficiaries ( I will call them B-1,2,3,4,5)in our parents estate. I am one (B-5) and also the executor. B-1 & B-2 sued me for breach of duty. 9 years of court hearings finally came down in the judge finding no fault in me as executor and dismissed all charges.

The estate... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Apr 18, 2022

It is not a suit by beneficiaries. You can bring a petition to surcharge the share of the one bringing the suit for the legal fees before you distribute. But, this will be another round of litigation.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My father and his wife both passed away owning a house. Can my father's wife kids sell the house without my brother and
Gary Krim
Gary Krim
answered on Apr 18, 2022

In addition to the order in which your father and his wife died and the name on the deed of the house, whether either your father or his wife left Wills detailing who their respective executors were or if someone was appointed the administrator of the estate(s) by the court is also relevant,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Probate for New York on
Q: Property's owned by 3member LLC. Upon death of a member, does his spouse have a say or its just other members?

The property is owned by a three member LLC with 5%, 15%, and 85% distribution. Upon death of the member with 5%, what happens to the property? Does his wife have a say in what happens with the property? Does she get any benefits from the property? Can she make decisions on the property? If the... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Apr 6, 2022

Depends on the operating agreement. If truly silent, the shares pass to the estate.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for New York on
Q: Have private stock in my dad's estate for a family business. Would I pay taxes on the sale?

The person looking to buy is my uncle, he offered 90,000 between my two brothers and I. Would be pay taxes on the 30,000 each. The stocks still in the estate and the offer is to give money to the lawyer who would then write the checks to us and the stocks would never technically be ours. Is there... Read more »

Gary Krim
Gary Krim
answered on Apr 4, 2022

Only the owner of the shares can sell them. If the shares are estate assets then the executor or administrator can sell them on behalf of the estate. Depending on the circumstances the estate might have a taxable gain, but if the cash after taxes is distributed to you and your brothers as heirs of... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for New York on
Q: I the son am beneficiary in my moms will.she had a joint bank account of 17ooo.who gets the money.

My sister-in- law is the executor of the will and also on the joint bank account

Richard William Cutler
Richard William Cutler
answered on Mar 20, 2022

In New York, the names on the bank account trump the will, or more accurately, the bank account passes outside the will. That your sister is executor of your mother's estate is irrelevant. If she is the only one on the bank account, she gets the account. If she is a co-beneficiary on the... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: When a man passes away and doesn't have a will, who is the person responsible for making decisions on property left?

the relatives left behind are a 23 year old daughter, 16 year old son, and 13 year old girl. No spouse exists.

Benjamin Z. Katz
PREMIUM
Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on Mar 7, 2022

From the individuals mentioned, only the 23 year old daughter would qualify as an Administrator for the estate. Someone will need to apply to the Court to serve. Once they are granted Letters of Administration by the Court, they may collect all property, make transfers, sell, and manage assets.... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and International Law for New York on
Q: What are the Legal Disadvantages of a CareTaker in a Will

If some one from my Friends or Extended Family is asking me, that they would like to write my name in there will as a Care Taker. If I say OK. What will be legal disadvantages in worst conditions for a Care Taker. If They are in Debts or can't pay the Hospital Bills in Future. Do I have to pay... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
PREMIUM
Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on Mar 1, 2022

I am not sure what you have been asked to do. A Will is a document that states a person's wishes following their death. You would not be a caretaker of someone who has passed away. It is possible that you are being asked to be an agent under a Health Care Proxy, which is sometimes combined... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
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... Read more »

Elaine Shay
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Elaine Shay
answered on Feb 27, 2022

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:... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for New York on
Q: In nys can a nursing home take a life insurance payout to the nursing home resident if the spouse still thier home dies

My mom is in a nursing home. They are asking me to become her power of attorney. Her husband he still lives home is not doing well and will probably pass soon. The nursing home is trying to put my mom on medicaid to pay for her long term treatment. When her husband dies, will the nursing home get... Read more »

Toshinori Isoai
Toshinori Isoai
answered on Jan 26, 2022

This has to be thoroughly examined and analyzed. Who is the beneficiary of the policy? What is the cash value (not benefit) of it? Whose house is her spouse living now? Medicaid application must be well cultivated and planned in advance because there is a cap for both income and assets of the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Based on that definition and the expectations of a fiduciary, does the client have a conflict of interest?

The client in your office is 1 of the 3 children whose mother just passed away intestate, owning only 1 piece of real estate and a bank account. The client has been living with his mother in the property and claims that he should be allowed to purchase the property from the estate, but at a lesser... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
PREMIUM
Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on Jan 25, 2022

I'm not sure if you are asking about New York. However, in New York, if the decent left no Will, the client can certainly petition to be appointed as Administrator. Personal representatives commonly have an interest in the estate assets that may conflict with other potential heirs. Those... Read more »

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