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New York Estate Planning Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: My uncle failed to probate his mothers will for his personal gain of use of her property and passed away 7 years later.

My father just found out he was beneficiary to half of the home. My father will probate the will, Is my uncles estate due the half share? There are no clauses in will regarding either heirs death when will is probated. No mention of their in-laws or estates. This is in NY.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Apr 5, 2021

The will governs the disposition. The uncle's estate would be surcharged for rent for the seven years.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: If I put all of our assets into a Medicaid Asset Protection Trust, do I still have any control over those assets?

If our assets are in a Medical Asset Protection Trust, can I continue to pay bills, cash checks, control my personal corporation through which I work as a freelancer?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Apr 2, 2021

Bottom line ...no. Once an asset is in an irrevocable trust, which is what a MAPT is, you give up control of those assets. You may still be able to receive income from the trust, but you may not transfer, sell or use assets. You would appoint a trustee to control the assets. As for the corporation,... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: A friend of mine bought me a new car before they passed away and the title is in my name only can it be taken by family
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Mar 28, 2021

If it was a gift, it’s yours. However, if the friend loaned you the money to buy the car and retained a lien or you signed a promissory note, the estate owns that debt.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My father was a beneficiary of an estate that was not settled prior to his death.

My father was a beneficiary of an estate that was not settled prior to his death. After my father passed, we hired an attorney only to probate his will and assign an executor. Our attorney got involved with the attorney for the estate my father was a beneficiary of. We were told that we should not... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Mar 18, 2021

You can request the checks be made a certain way, but if I were the lawyer for the first estate, I would insist that the check be made to the Estate of your father, and a release be signed by your father's executor. If you can get the lawyer to do otherwise, it is not illegal.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: What rights to cash proceeds and assets of a discontinued synagogue does the congregation have?
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Mar 6, 2021

None. That is why typically a merger with an existing congregation is done.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: As trustee and executor and poa, Can I sell a piece of property in the family trust if it willed to a family member?

My mother who is sick and has Alzheimer’s has a condo in Florida that isn’t being used. We live in NY. It is in the family trust. It is willed to my estranged sister after mom passes. The maintenance fees are 400 a month plus taxes, and I would rather use that money towards her care or save... Read more »

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

As Trustee, you have the power to administer the trust and the assets contained in it. The Trust agreement will dictate what you can and cannot do. The Trust agreement would need to be reviewed before a proper opinion could be provided.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My father owns an apartment in PR. His girlfriend lives there 5 days a week and my father got her a membership.

If my father passed away and the apartment is in a trust under my name and my sister could the girlfriend claim squatters rights or say we can’t kick her out?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Feb 23, 2021

Since the laws for property rights vary from State to State (or Territory), a New York attorney cannot answer that question for you. Consider posting your question in the board for that area.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My fiance and my dtr bought a house and the title is only on her name, can his older kids claim this house in future?

Loan as well as the title. After closing the title will be ONLY ON MY DAUGHTERS NAME

Will my fiance kids (all married) claim the house when hes not around anymore?

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Feb 20, 2021

You could repost and add Real Estate, Probate, and Estate Planning as categories - those areas of law are closer to the issues you raise than the Family Law category is. Not every question is picked up, but you could have better chances there. Good luck

Tim Akpinar

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My aunt passed away yesterday and she owns a house. She never married nor had children. The only living sibling is her

Brother (my dad). What is the process in regards to inheriting the house? I have her deed and she was the only person on there. This is in Puerto Rico

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

Normally, if she left a Will it would need to be probated. If no Will, an Administation proceeding would need to be brought in the county where she resided before death. The person petitioning may then need to make a second petition in Puerto Rico in order to have power there. It can be a complex... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: Can I own a house in Puerto Rico but continue living in New York? or do I have to live in Puerto Rico part of the time?
Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar answered on Jan 30, 2021

Your post remains open for four weeks. Not every question is ultimately answered on this board, but you could try reposting under Puerto Rico to seek legal insights from attorneys who practice in Puerto Rico, where the house is situated. If you still receive no response, you could reach out to... Read more »

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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