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New York Estate Planning Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: I am on medicaid in NY. My son and I are on deed. Is it to late to take my name off deed to avoid an estate recovery
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Sep 28, 2021

At this time, a transfer of any property to almost anybody else without receiving fair value in exchange would be considered an uncompensated transfer, i.e. a "gift", and would cause you to incur a penalty period for a number of days equal to the value of the gift divided by the then... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Contracts and Business Law for New York on
Q: My contractor for remodeling my home never give us a CO can we file a report it been 8 years.

My parents brought a house and got a contractor to remodel it from a single-faimly home to a multi-faimly. They got the remodeling done but never give us a CO certificate we been trying in touch for about 9 years and he been avoiding the situation and never really explaining what is going on. What... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Sep 24, 2021

You need to have an architect file for this change. A contractor cannot do it. In fact, doing this work without the proper filings may mean that there are open violations and permits that are bigger issues.

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 for New York on
Q: How do I know if a lawyer is mishandling an estate case? Person passed away in 2015, still not settled.

My great Aunt passed away July 2015. The first issue was that her lawyer lived in CT, while she lived in NYC (Stuyvesant Town). So per NY law, the CT lawyer arranged for a NY lawyer to handle the estate. However, before they could go over all the details, the CT lawyer passed away suddenly in Dec... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Sep 21, 2021

Yes. This is a long time. You should bring a proceeding for an accounting and to compel distribution.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Family Law for New York on
Q: meaning? “I nominate and appoint my children, John A, Jay A, and Cee A, alternate Co- Executor’s of my Will

so all 3 are equal Executor’s since my dad who was appointed Executor has passed?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Sep 8, 2021

It means that if the primary Executor is unable or unwilling to serve, the children named will serve together in that capacity.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: My dad passed on August 20 2021 and my mom passed on June 27 2021, i live in my dads house and have since 1995 this has

been my permanent residence and i have two children who reside here and are registered to school here and have been since birth. the house was bought between my mom and dad, i have step siblings who have a diff mom, is there anyway they can take over this house through probate? my dad didn’t have... Read more »

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

When there is no Will, it is called Administration. But it works similarly to Probate. If an estate has not been established yet, one will probably be needed. If the house was in both their names and was bought when they were married, the survivor of the two would be 100% owner; your dad it... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: If three out of four heirs agree to a cash offer for apprised value of house does the fourth have to as well?

The fourth heir wants to put house on market to see if a bidding war would happen to maybe get a few thousand more as where the other three are willing to take the garunteed cash offer at apprised value. Can the executor accept the cash offer or do all have to be in agreement

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Sep 1, 2021

Depends on the discretion of the Executor in the will based on the terms of the will.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: If I have the deed to my grandmothers house in Puerto Rico is it mine?

I’m being told that my cousins have rights to this house. My mother was the youngest of seven children and has died but now I’m being told that the house has to be divided among my cousins.

Gary Lane
Gary Lane answered on Aug 28, 2021

What exactly do you mean by "I have the deed"? Is the deed in your name? Did a transfer deed into your name ever get recorded or even written? Merely having possession of the piece of paper (the deed) does not give you possession of the property, even if it was given to you with that... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Tax Law for New York on
Q: How does 'Inherited IRA' work if IRA beneficiary is a rev trust? And rev trust doc lists 2 children as beneficiaries?

IRA value $700K. Can Inherited IRA live in trust with distributions to children's accounts? What/who is taxed?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Aug 25, 2021

Yes. A trust can be a beneficiary of an IRA. It is most common for the trust to pay the tax before distributing to the beneficiaries. The trust document should guide the trustee. Depending on whether or not the trust is a see-through trust inherited IRAs must be used up within either 5 or 10 years.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My aunt hired a friend as a lawyer to take over my grandma s estate where she got 50%and me my siblings the other 50%

She told me her lawyer told her how to not abide by the will so far she sold my grandma's household and most personal things giving her child a cut she has also giving them and her self the jewelery and money the house she refused to list for sale it's been 10years now ..don't know what to do

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Aug 20, 2021

You can petition to the Surrogate's Court for an accounting and to compel distribution.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: I have some estate matters that my siblings and I have to address as it pertains to our father. The situation is comple.

In short, our father passed away in 2012 and 2-3 years after his death step mother created an estate to collect a settlement from a lawsuit. She fraudulently claimed in this estate filing that my father had no children. She is currently being prosecuted by the Brooklyn DA's office. We are... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Aug 3, 2021

If the Will has already been probated, one of you can apply to be substituted as the Executor.

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 Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Real estate was recently sold (NY) and the beneficiaries were advised that the administrator / executor never obtained

an EIN/TAX ID and claimed estate under their own social security number for 26 years. What are the ramifications? Penalties? Do the beneficiaries have any recourse?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jul 25, 2021

There is a lot more information needed to answer your questions. There may be tax issues, fraud issues, breaches of fiduciary duty and several other legal issues. If the property was sold, was the title company able to clear title or are they unable to do so? You will need to speak, in detail,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Real estate was recently sold ( NY )and the beneficiaries were advised that the administrator / executor never obtained

an EIN/TIN number and claimed taxes under their personal SS Number for 26 years. What are the ramifications?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jul 22, 2021

You would need to review with a lawyer/accountant. The answer is in the details.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Is the estate of the deceased responsible for the maintenance of his/her home or are those inheriting the house?

Before the will goes to probate, what is New York State law?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jun 23, 2021

Those inheriting the house, but while in the name of the estate, the fiduciary needs to keep the beneficiary apprised of expense issues, and the transfer should be done ASAP upon probate.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: If a will indicates two beneficiaries, who both predecease the testatrix, who is the lawful distributee?

B (NY, died in 2017) left her estate in a 1961 will to two sisters; A (NY) and M (FL). The two sisters predeceased B. Beneficiaries to A's estate are her two children (NY & MA). Living beneficiaries to M's estate are her & B's brother, P (CA), and a niece, M (FL).

Julie King
Julie King answered on Jun 21, 2021

The answer will depend on what the will says. If the will has no "back up" people to receive the inheritance if the people listed as first choice have passed away, the inheritance will likely go to B's heirs by law. You should make an appointment with a probate attorney and have the... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: If I did a revocable trust through legal zoom, where do I file it.
Gary Lane
Gary Lane answered on Jun 15, 2021

Living Trusts are not filed. You may do so if you choose, but most folks do not file (record) them but instead keep them private. Should you choose to record it, it is done as your local County Recorder's Office, where deeds are recorded.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: My mother has Alzheimers. She has a POA document naming me as POA. Can I, as her POA, set up a revocable trust?
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 11, 2021

It depends on the wording of a POA. An attorney cannot answer your question without reviewing the POA.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning for New York on
Q: What recourse does one have if a supplemental needs trust was set up for someone who thought the beneficiary had SSI an

What recourse does one have if a supplemental needs trust was set up for someone who thought the beneficiary had SSI and not SSDI and the beneficiary doesn’t need the protection of the trust?

Can the supplemental needs trust be dissolved?

I've had a mental disorder since... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Jun 9, 2021

Your question cannot be answered without reviewing the supplemental needs trust. Some include provisions for early termination if no longer needed, such as the beneficiary is no longer receiving needs-based benefits, or if the amount held in trust has become too small to be managed efficiently, or... Read more »

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