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New York Elder Law Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for New York on
Q: Is my sister committing elder abuse?

She has POA. She has sold some of our 91 yr old mom's property & given the $ to her daughter. She's giving Mom's house to her son & spending Mom's money to renovate it first. She leaves Mom alone for days with the same guy (42 yrs old & unmedicated bipolar) who... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Oct 13, 2021

It sounds like financial abuse at the very least. If Adult Protective Services are not responding, you can try your county’s District Attorney’s offices. Depending upon where you live, they may have a unit dedicated to elder abuse.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Elder Law for New York on
Q: My mother (90) owns her home in Huntington. She would like to add her 2 daughters to the title. What is the process?

Can we do this by completing a form or do we need to get a lawyer? Can we file electronically? I live in Maryland, but her house is in New York. Thank you.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 22, 2021

In order to add additional parties to title, a new deed must be executed. Unfortunately, technology advances, such as esignatures have moved forward faster than our legal system has adapted. Therefore, it is necessary to executed wet ink copies of the deed and accompanying transfer documents that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for New York on
Q: How much can I expect to pay a lawyer to be my agent under a durable power of attorney for finances?

What is a typical payment arrangement? I assume no payment is necessary until the agent actually begins carrying out his duties. Is the payment arrangement something that should be spelled out in the power of attorney document?

Gary Lane
Gary Lane answered on Jul 27, 2021

Do not use an attorney. No reason to spend that money. Anyone you trust who has reasonable acumen, can perform the task. If you wish to pay anyone, yes, be sue to spell it out.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Elder Law and Health Care Law for New York on
Q: I dont know anyone who can sign a durable power of attorney form. We dont have living friend that could do it. What now
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jun 17, 2021

If you don’t have a family member or friend, you can appoint a lawyer, financial advisor or institution as your agent. If you wish them to exercise power only in the case of your disability, you should discuss a springing POA. If you have no POA and become disabled, a court will appoint a... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for New York on
Q: Can a attorney refuse to change a will.

My brother passed away and mom wants to take his name off the will. Her attorney refuse to do it

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on May 18, 2021

It is unclear whose will needs to be revised. If it is the will of a deceased person, it cannot be revised. If it is the will of a living person, the only person who can revise it is the living person, who can only revise it (with the assistance of an attorney recommended) if he or she still has... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: Mother has passed. My sister wants to be co administrator. Mom lived with me, can my sister enter my home to take items?

My mom signed a paper saying that she wants me to have all items of hers left in the home. Because she gave the rest of her children what she wanted them to have when she was alive and knew that they would give me a hard time. How can I protect myself, I know they want to be spiteful because mom... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on May 10, 2021

No one can enter your home without consent. That being said, you may not be entitled ultimately to all items.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for New York on
Q: I’m caregiver/longtime (40 years) companion for a man w/advanced cancer. He’s verbally abusing/lyin about me. What do I

He told palliative care nurse that I’m stealing from his bank account. I have Power of Attorney but haven’t touched his $. He fell out of bed & has bruises. I’m afraid I’ll be accused of elder abuse. What protections do I have. Can I refuse to let him come back to the home we live in... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on May 4, 2021

The question of what you can or should do is not something that can be answered that easily. You should consult with an attorney, who can get the information necessary to properly guide you. Questions you should be prepared to answer will include what your relationship is to the man and who is the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for New York on
Q: I live in NY State. I want to create a Durable POA. I read the law in NY is changing and the new law will be in

effect only after 6/21/2021. Should I wait until then to create the POA?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Mar 5, 2021

It depends what you want the POA for. If you sign it now it remains effective after the new law takes effect. You can always sign a new one later.

1 Answer | Asked in Family Law, Gov & Administrative Law, Elder Law and Divorce for New York on
Q: NYC dept of health denied request for birth certificate stating first name has one letter different than legal name.

What law requires a senior citizen to change the name on their birth certificate to match current name ?

Why is name on social security not considered legal name?

Howard E. Knispel
Howard E. Knispel answered on Feb 3, 2021

You can file a petition to change your name with the court. It is a relatively simple form that you can download from the court website. As for divorced people, every NY divorce judgement includes an order allowing the person to change their name back to their previous name.

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: If I lived with mom, was her caregiver for 18 yrs, and paid for improvements in her house, can't I be paid for it now?

Mom needed 24/7 monitoring, and frequent trips to Drs and treatment. I worked from home to care for her. She died in 2015 and now I must sell the house and split the proceeds with my sister who never visited or cared for mom. I also paid for new appliances, a front porch, a whole house generator... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 16, 2021

You may be entitled to credits for the improvements. However, if you had no caregiver agreement while she was alive you would not be entitled to compensation.

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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2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law and Health Care Law for New York on
Q: How can I get help to obtain Power of Attorney for my Mom that is currently in and out of a nursing home and hospital?

My Mom went to the emergency room in the beginning of October, her blood pressure was high,,the next thing I know, she has been intubated, and from then on, she has not been able to return home.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 4, 2020

To sign a Power of Attorney, your Mom must be able to understand what she is signing and its impact. If she suffers from dementia, Alzheimer's or a mental infirmity and is unable to understand, you would have to bring a Guardianship proceeding to assume control of her property and/or personal... Read more »

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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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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Daughter has POA for mom, brother has letter of administration for same property. How do we sell home in NYC?

If we do find a buyer, are 2 different checks cut...one in my decease dad’s name and one in my living mother’s name? Please reply only if you are familiar with NY state laws. My POA is for my mom who is still living. The letter of administration is for my deceased father.

Vincent Gallo
Vincent Gallo answered on Oct 17, 2020

A power of attorney ceases to have any effect upon the death of the person granting the power of attorney.

2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: In NY state is a durable power of attorney that has been signed by two witnesses but not notarized valid?

The Principal is currently incapacitated. Principal and agent signed and 2 witnesses signed.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Sep 30, 2020

No. The form must be completed as required.

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law, Health Care Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on
Q: When an adult relative moves into my rent-stabilized unit, what do I say if the landlord asks how long they'll be here?

I'm an age 72 disabled senior who has lived in my rent-stabilized apartment In NYC for over 30 years. Before Covid, I rented my second bedroom to college students from Japan to defray my monthly expenses. I have built up rent arrears this year because I've not been able to rent to foreign... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Sep 15, 2020

The landlord appears to have no basis to ask you how long your new housemate may be staying with you. In NYC you are entitled to have a roommate even without your landlord's permission. Although the landlord may have inquired because of the Covid-19 crisis, it is perhaps even more likely you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for New York on
Q: My father is in a long term rehabilitation center and we have applied for medicaid for only him and not my mom.

How do we protect their house? Do we put the house under my moms name only? Thank you.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Aug 8, 2020

Now that you have applied for Medicaid your options are limited. You should speak with a Medicaid Planning attorney as soon as possible.

2 Answers | Asked in Divorce and Elder Law for New York on
Q: Need assistance on Filing A Nullity of Marriage. How do I start?

I was Married 05/20/2000

My Husband didn't divorce

His first wife until 2008. This was 8 years after we are together. He left me in February 2007. My Marriage is not valid, and I need it nullified.

He had a stroke last year, and I went back to assist him, because no... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Aug 7, 2020

As long as you have all the documentation to support that he was still married when you entered into the marriage contract, you will be able to get it annulled. You must start an action in court and should have an attorney assist you. Matrimonial/Divorce attorneys and Estate Planning attorneys,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law for New York on
Q: How does NY State intestate laws if only asset is a home and spouse and children are living?

Dad has been dead many years. 3 kids, mom still living. Only asset is one house in NYC. How much does mom get if we sell home after intestate is completed by the court?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Aug 2, 2020

The laws of the state where Dad was last a resident will apply. If he was a resident of New York and died without a Will, assets are split 50% to surviving spouse and the other 50% to surviving children.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: My deceased aunt left a Will. If I submit a Petition to Surrogate Court will I be able to access her banking info?

I live in Georgia and she lived in New York. I am the Executor of the will if appointed voluntary administrator is that all I need to carry out duties as Executor and will I be able to access banking info and have access to her apartment.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jul 16, 2020

Yes, you will.

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