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New York Estate Planning Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Should I sign a “receipt, release and waiver” prior to receiving the funds? (NYS)

I got a letter asking me to sign and have notarized a “Receipt, Release and Waiver” saying I received distribution from my mom’s estate. If I’m reading the legalese correctly, it also releases the executor from any liability. The letter instructs me to send this to the lawyer’s office to... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Sep 26, 2022

It is standard. When you return it, say it is in escrow pending transmittal of the funds.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: How do i get my name added to a deed. In Orange County NY

I am the administrator of my father's estate. My stepmother who predeceased him took out a mortgage in her name only. I cannot get any information on the loan until i get my name added to the deed. What is the quickest way for me to get this done. This information is needed urgently.

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Sep 21, 2022

You may be better off reposting under the "Real Estate" category. I'm sorry your question remains open for two weeks, given the urgency of the matter. It was probably overlooked under the "Government Contracts" heading. Some questions do go unanswered on this forum, but you... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for New York on
Q: My aunt passed away and set her will to pass with per stirpes rules.

One of her brothers predeceased her and since he was listed, his portion went to his son, my cousin.

My mother died after my aunt but before the estate was distributed.

The lawyer reached out to me 9 months ago to say that my sister and I would split mom's share. But calls... Read more »

Jack Mevorach
Jack Mevorach
answered on Sep 20, 2022

Have a free telephone consultation with counsel.

Jack

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My mother passed away 8 years ago. No contact with then spouse. How do I get probate admin status for executorship

We have no clue as to where the former spouse is. I'm whom she attempted to leave as executor.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Sep 20, 2022

There are ways to find anyone. You are going to have to find them, or a last known address.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for New York on
Q: My financial advisor (CFP) contacted my brother (no power) to advise him I'd made a change to my POA. Did he break a law

My brother is a friend of the CFP but has no legal authority for my estate - living trust. The CFP is in Georgia. I think he breached client confindentiality at the very least and likely violated a code of ethics. What recourse do I have? Is there a Board where I can lodge a complaint? Thank... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Sep 19, 2022

I see nothing "illegal", but it is weird.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Foreclosure for New York on
Q: Need help with getting my name added to a deed

I am the administrator of my father's estate. My stepmother who is predeceased my dad took out a mortgage in her name only several years before she died. My dad never had the mortgage changed to his name neither did he add it to any paperwork he just paid it when it was due. Since his death... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Sep 9, 2022

You are getting bad information. If you are administrator, you are entitled to information. If a foreclosure has not started you have time. However, you will have to reinstate the mortgage by paying all arrears to avoid foreclosure. The bank will not take partial payment. Hire a lawyer to deal... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Do distributions have to be made to all beneficiaries at the same time?

I was just told by my deceased mothers financial advisor that distribution from her accounts have to be made to all beneficiaries at the same time. We are talking about an IRA and a Brokerage account both of which have designated beneficiaries named.

Darlene  Pasieczny
Darlene Pasieczny
answered on Sep 1, 2022

This may be true. Generally speaking, brokerage firms and custodians of retirement accounts have contractual terms in the account agreement regarding the timing of distributions to named beneficiaries after the death of an account holder. Additionally, depending on state and federal law, and the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Who is responsible for the upkeep of a house, between the death of the owner and the time probate starts.
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Aug 31, 2022

In New York, the estate, but costs can be assessed against the beneficiary if there is a specific bequest.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: My father died 7months before my mom and he wrote a will that he hand wrote and had it notarized and stamped.

My mom just passed 4 weeks ago. My father didn't sign the will even though he clearly wrote it. Is it a binding document and since my mom is gone also are my father's wishes valid. My mom left no final wishes in writing

Howard E. Knispel
PREMIUM
Howard E. Knispel
answered on Aug 27, 2022

First, this is not a Family Law question. It is a wills and estates question. Having said that, a will is not notarized. It is witnessed by at least 2 witnesses and the witnesses' affidavit is notarized. Also wills are not supposed to be handwritten except in rare circumstances. So the... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: If I put my home into an irrevocable trust is it advantageous to make myself the trustee, or someone else (child)?

I own my home in my name.

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

It depends what you want to achieve. A primary residence should go into a QPRT for tax purposes, and you need a disinterested trustee.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: I am the remainderman of a life estate. Should I have received any documentation (i.e. deed) after probate is done?

Grandfather passed away a few months ago and gave a life estate to my aunt who lives in the home. She is also the executor of his will. I am a remainderman. Now that probate is complete, should I have received anything that says I own an interest in the home? Or it is simply passed on to me upon my... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel
answered on Aug 17, 2022

There should be a recorded deed with you as remainderman, and aunt with life estate. Ask the lawyer for a copy, or you need to go to the County Clerk (if Suffolk Co., which is where you posted from).

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for New York on
Q: Elder law. Hello. my mother is 85 . how can I get control of her finances?

She has neglected her obligations for over 6 months. she is frail and forgetful. she's financially solvent Recently I helped her pay the following: rent arrears to the landlord's lawyers, Con Edison shut off notice, cable tv, land line phone, car insurance, car mechanic. but she cannot... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
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Benjamin Z. Katz
answered on Aug 15, 2022

If you believe she can understand what she is signing and wants to do so, she can sign a POA. If she does not understand or understands but does not want to, you will need to petition for guardianship. You should not try to do this without speaking with an attorney.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: I am leaving my real property to my daughter. Can I provide any provision in my will or can she which would not allow

My son in law to inherit this property

Tim Akpinar
Tim Akpinar
answered on Jul 30, 2022

It looks like your question went unnoticed for almost a week under this general heading. You could repost and add "Probate" and "Estate Planning" as categories. There's no guarantee that every question is ultimately picked up here, but you might have better chances of a... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate 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

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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
PREMIUM
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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