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New York Estate Planning Questions & Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on

Q: Can a family member have the right to deny inheritance because of a adoption stating that you are not a member

Or a hier to the family. He has been telling my other cousins that me and my sister have no claim because we were adopted. And this uncle is my so called Godfather

Lawrence Allen Weinreich answered on Jul 22, 2019

Unfortunately, adoption or not, a person has the legal right to leave his estate to whomever he wishes. The only limitation is that if the testator is married, in New York, a certain percentage of the estate must be left to the wife.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Tax Law and Intellectual Property for New York on

Q: If there are 2 owners on a house and only one is paying the taxes how do you get a receipt in that 1 persons name ?

In my mother's name a grandparent had left money for me to purchase a home or use for college once I was of age . My mother had withdrawn the money once we found our small home and my father had convinced me to put his name on the home in case of any accidents or lawsuits . 3 years later the story... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jul 18, 2019

You should get in touch with the County Assessor. However, I believe that whoever is listed on the Deed will be billed no matter who pays.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on

Q: My 86 Yr. old father inherited a $50,000 annuity and we need to decide what option to take the funds.

He has dementia and will be going into a nursing home shortly. One of the available options is to annuitize for 5-30 years. If we choose 30 years, will it be protected from Medicaid?

Michael David Siegel answered on Jul 12, 2019

Do a supplemental needs trust. We charge $1750. It will protect it from Medicaid.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on

Q: Can I sue my mother for lying to me about my name on the deed to home in order to get me to move in with her?

My name was added to the deed to family home in 2009, mother has lifetime tenancy. She told me repeatedly that it was my house, even crying in order to get me to move in to remove troublesome family members whom she had allowed to stay in house while she was living with her boyfriend. After moving... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jul 10, 2019

I don’t think you have sufficient grounds to sue your mother for lying.

When property is deeded to you that reserves a Life Estate, you receive some ownership rights. However, your mother has the right to live there. Since you are on the Deed, the property can’t be sold or transferred...
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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on

Q: I live in Staten Island NY and get letter from Jersey City court about Summons# TPT134746 Viol 39:3-33A. I never was NJ

My Last name not correct in letter. A am not drive in NJ , My car have NY state Plate.

Michael David Siegel answered on Jun 17, 2019

This could be a error or a sign of a serious issue of identity theft. Run your credit report and see what is there. Call the Jersey City court and see how they got your name.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on

Q: My brother wants to take my dad to court to challenge him on ownership of him and my mother's house - is this possible?

My mom and my dad sold the house they owned together in NY and bought a house together (theyre both on the mortgage) in Florida in ~2013. My dad has never lived in the house, he stayed in New York with his mom. My parents separated but stayed legally married. My brother moved to FL with my mom. My... Read more »

Lawrence Allen Weinreich answered on Jun 14, 2019

Under NY law, I don't see that you have any case against your father. You can try to bring an action to be appointed the guardian of his property if he is incapable of making decisions, but that is a long process and if your father is able to make rational decisions you will loose. You can try... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on

Q: How long does a probate attorney need to wait to contact the heirs, taking into account the diciest didn't leave a will?

Michael David Siegel answered on Jun 14, 2019

Your question is confusing. Probate means a will. Heirs receive stuff, so their will is generally not relevant. "Diciest" is unclear. Without understanding the facts, contacting heirs is the first thing an attorney does when hired, so the answer is no time.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on

Q: My legal-custodial parent which was my aunt died 13 years ago, has unclaimed funds, I am the only surviving child/kin

Her shady husband sold her house but he later died in 2014 (they were separated 30 yrs). She has unclaimed funds; am I able to claim due to her being my legal parent and only surviving child of hers, however, he has other children outside the marriage? she did not acknowledge his outside children... Read more »

Michael David Siegel answered on Jun 10, 2019

To get the funds, you need to open an estate proceeding. What kind depends on the amount. If the amount is small, it is not worth it. I am not sure of your status. Legal guardian is not a parent. You need to be adopted by a formal order to have a right to these funds. If alive, the husband... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law, Elder Law and Municipal Law for New York on

Q: My husband's mother passed away and did not have a will. What will happen to her home? There is no mortgage owed.

The home is located in San Juan, PR. If there is no will, can my husband legally inherit the home? Or will it have to be sold? What happens then?

Elaine Shay answered on Jun 4, 2019

If your mother-in-law passed away while residing in New York State, your husband should be eligible to commence a proceeding to Surrogate's Court called an Administration. The share of the Estate your husband would be entitled to would depend upon whether his mother was married at the time that... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Landlord - Tenant for New York on

Q: My father passed away and his house in Puerto Rico still has a tenant. She has been paying the same rent for almost

Over 15 years or so, I really don’t know. And the taxes are more than what she pays in rent. How h much can I raise the rent and when, etc. any info will help

Elaine Shay answered on Jun 4, 2019

Since the property is in Puerto Rico, your question would be better directed to an attorney admitted to practice in that jurisdiction.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for New York on

Q: My co-worker significant other died without a will. Who owns their camp? He has 4 adult children.

His brother is trying to say he owns the camp

Michael David Siegel answered on May 20, 2019

When you say camp, do you mean a business that is a camp for kids? His kids inherit his estate, not his brother. But a business is likely incorporated, and the corporate papers will govern what happens to your friend's share.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Civil Litigation for New York on

Q: Stranger has her name on the deed illegally after judgement

Erected a fence recently barring me from entering my own family property

Michael David Siegel answered on May 11, 2019

If the name is on the deed, she is not a stranger. Whether it got there legally is the question. I do not understand the judgment point.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for New York on

Q: What should I do with old insurance policies on my grandfather that I found among papers in my parent's estate?

There are three insurance policies, dated 1947, that my maternal grandmother had in which her husband was the beneficiary. In the event of his decease, the benefit would go to her eldest son. That son is also deceased, as are all the other children of my grandmother. However, the wife of that uncle... Read more »

Michael David Siegel answered on May 11, 2019

Call the companies and see if they were cashed in. Likely they were. You do not need to show an actual policy to cash in.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on

Q: Can you get out of stipulation in an irrevocable trust agreement. My grandfather put a stipulation that states i can not

receive the $ until i establish myself long term with employment,financial,health,etc.The trustee(lawyer)assured me this would be a smooth transition when the time came based on already being settled.On their recommendation I retired from truck driving to finish renovations my mother had started on... Read more »

Michael David Siegel answered on Apr 17, 2019

It depends on the terms of the trust to which you are referring.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on

Q: i inherited a house in brooklyn ny with my 2 siblings they have had apartments in the house for the past 50 years

am i entilted to any compensation being i never had an apartment in the building

Michael David Siegel answered on Apr 10, 2019

Only from the time you were on title. What you should do depends on what you want to happen to the house.

1 Answer | Asked in Criminal Law and Estate Planning for New York on

Q: trustee instructed by the will to create a special needs trust w/ trust document . Refuse/does a testamentary w/will

Moms accountant was given unprofessional advice allowed her accountant of 30 yrs be executor and trustee. My brother was executor and successor trustee. I refused to be a executor by choice because i couldnt walk and didnt want to be a burden. I was unaware that together they planned to screw... Read more »

Michael David Siegel answered on Mar 31, 2019

If your mother was competent, her documents will be enforced and whatever powers she gave your brother, fair or not, will be allowed.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on

Q: do i need a spousal consent for a TOD account in NY

My brokerage firm is telling me that i need my wife to sign a spousal consent agreement for them to open a Transfer on Death (TOD) account. I live in NY

Michael David Siegel answered on Mar 21, 2019

If it is a retirement account, like an IRA or 401K, yes.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Family Law and Real Estate Law for New York on

Q: MY NEIGHBOR PUT A BRICK PILLAR FOR A DRIVEWAY GATE ENCROCHED 9 AND A HALF INCHES INTO MY PROPERTY ..HE NEVER PUT A

DRIVEWAY GATE BECAUSE I TOLD HIM 3 YEARS AGO HE HAS TO MOVE THE PILLAR IF HE WANTS TO PUT THE GATE BECAUSE ITS ON MY PROPERTY..THE PILLAR HAS BEEN THERE SINCE 2009 I TOLD TO HIM HE HAS TO MOVE IT IF HE WANTS TO PUT THE GATE 2016 AND HE STOPPED BEING MY FRIEND ...IN 2017 HE STARTS TO PUT HIS... Read more »

Elaine Shay answered on Mar 18, 2019

It isn't clear what your question is but you are correct to be concerned about a possible adverse possession claim. There is a statute of limitations that can bar you from objecting to an encroachment on your property and by waiting before bringing an action against your neighbor you may lose your... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Elder Law for New York on

Q: Can a daughter of a pastors wife obtain a church with a durable power of attorney in New York?

The pastor died which was her dad and her mom

Is blind. She is trying to get a power of attorney to get the church which was in her dad’s name.

Michael David Siegel answered on Mar 14, 2019

No. If the church was a duly formed religious corporation, the bylaws of the corporation govern what happens to its assets.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Social Security for New York on

Q: I am a disabled man on SSI. I am on Medicaid. I'm in rehab for a stroke in 5/18 I received a small inheritance

The inheritance is $3636.00. I am due to get out of Northeast Center early 3/19 in a Medicaid program called TBI Waiver. Med resource is under $2,000, SSI would be problematic and I haven't called them, I received the check today. I want to do the right thing to do, I don't speak well on the... Read more »

Michael David Siegel answered on Feb 21, 2019

While technically this should be declared to Medicaid, it is too modest a sum for anyone to chase after you. Just deposit the check.

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