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New York Probate Questions & Answers
2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Hi:The father of my children bought a property in PR cash and passed away with out doing a deed. What happens now

We where never married, we had 2 children together. He has other kids from 2 different women. One never allowed him to see his child but is claiming money

Howard E. Knispel
Howard E. Knispel answered on Feb 20, 2020

If he owned the property he must have a deed. I assume you mean he does not have a will. Was he married at the time of his death? An estate action must be filed for intestate succession to determine the inheritence rights. Depending upon where he died, someone need to file the papers there and in... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: What is a decree appointing administrator form used for?
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Feb 19, 2020

Official appointment of Administrator by the Surrogate’s Court

2 Answers | Asked in Criminal Law, Estate Planning, Banking and Probate for New York on
Q: Is it illegal for my Dad's Girlfriend of 13 years to use his ATM card after he dies? What law makes this illegal in NY?

My father was declared brain dead on Jan 9th, and passed away on Jan 24th. His girlfriend has made 2 withdrawals using ATM, one of which weeks after death. The DA said that it's not illegal if he gave her permission; but, how can he give permission if dead? They are not married. He died intestate,... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Feb 13, 2020

Regardless of whether you are able to convince the DA to take action, the Estate can commence civil litigation to recover any funds wrongfully withdrawn.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My sister and I are co-executors in NY. I have the Letters of Testamentary. How do we handle the deed of Mom's house?

She plans to buy out my share and live in Mom's house. There are debts we need to settle yet. Do we wait until we pay off the debts and she pays me. Do we need to file an Executor's deed first?

We also just sent in forms ET-30 and ET-117 with the original letters.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Feb 8, 2020

If you are working together, I would do the Executor's deed but just to your sister. Memorialize your deal. It is important to do it right. Real estate title is really critical to get right. When you sell or refinance, there may be no way to cheaply correct errors.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: As executor of my brother's estate...

As I am executor of my brother's estate, my mother asked to have the estate's only property partitioned. My mother and sister-in-law are both beneficiaries and they aren't getting along. The property is pre-marital property that was in my brother's name only and he willed the house to both his... Read more »

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

In this situation, as you describe it, your responsibility as an Executor is to transfer the property to your mother and sister-in-law and that is it. Let either one of them sue the other for partition since they are having the dispute.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: In NY intestacy, who is included in "issue of grandparents"? Are aunts and uncles by marriage included?

In case where someone died intestate with no spouse, no descendants at all, and no surviving siblings, parents, or grandparents, my understanding is that the next distributees to be considered are "issue of grandparents".

If one child of the grandparents is still living, and another child... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 24, 2020

Estates, Powers &Trusts Law Section 4-1.1 states:

“6) One or more grandparents or the issue of grandparents (as hereinafter defined), and no spouse, issue, parent or issue of parents, one-half to the surviving grandparent or grandparents of one parental side, or if neither of them...
Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My mom passed in the blizzard of 2010. No will. House was paid. Sister lives there still. I'm the oldest

After 5 years we would sell the house and split the monies. This sister is a lot shady. Can my brother and I force her to sell? I believe she has a felony

Conviction and we never appointed her executrix. If we did we never received papers for it what would be our recourse. She has... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 14, 2020

From what you describe it does not appear that an estate proceeding was started or you would have been given notice. You can go to the Surrogates Court in the county where she lived to check. You may be able to force the house to be sold as a beneficiary. Let me know if you need further help.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My son's father died 04/19 My son was 17. Recvd, signed notorized 6/19. Now notice sent to son 18 for his sign & notoriz

Child turned 18 11/2019. Why are they asking for his signature on a Consent to Probate form.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jan 7, 2020

Unfortunately, without more information about what your son is being asked to sign there is no way to accurately answer your question.

4 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: What can I do (or my Mom) to regain control over family’s estate, after my brother used my mom’s power of attorney to

change all legal documentation, making himself a sole owner of all the houses, trusts, insurance policies, LLC’s, etc. He stole over $15 mil while my mom is still alive.

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 6, 2020

Your mom can sue him for breach of fiduciary duty, self dealing and fraud and void the transactions. However, I would need to know more to properly advise you. In any case, you and your mom should speak with an attorney.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Cousin borrowed money from father now father passed away she now says she doesn't have to pay me back because he died.

I'm the executor of his will

John Anthony Pappalardo
John Anthony Pappalardo answered on Jan 6, 2020

You need an attorney who practices in Surrogate Court

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: My mother gave a Power of Attorney, effective immediately, to my only brother. My brother is a sole owner of my family’s

Multimillion estate. My mother and I are left with nothing. Please advise.

Thank you!

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 5, 2020

It is not clear what you are asking.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: My mother acted fraudulently, breached the trust and I lost funds which should be pass to me under my father’s will.

My father’s estate is very large. How can I recover the funds given to me by my father?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 16, 2019

If you believe your mother breached her fiduciary duty, you can challenge her actions and seek to recover any losses.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: i am trying to probate my aunts estate/property. Can i be assigned admin. her son is unresponsive to me. I am from NY

Her son, my cousin has blocked me from communications. He had a brother he passed away and his son (deceased brother) is incarcerated. The bank of the property is willing to allow me to action on the property if i provide letters of administration; my mother and i had paid for the funeral costs and... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 11, 2019

Yes. If there is no Will naming a particular person as Executor/trix then you may apply for Letters of Administration.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: In a probate deposition of the will's witnesses is the attorney hired by the executor permitted to question witnesses?

In this case the executor is the sole beneficiary named in the will.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 9, 2019

Absolutely. That is how it works. It is called a 1404 examination.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: I’m being alienated from any knowledge of my mother’s will and trust by my family even though I am an heir.

Denied copies of any papers. And never notified about anything. What can I do in this situation?

Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Lawrence Allen Weinreich answered on Dec 8, 2019

You can always get copies of any papers filed in court. You should also speak to an attorney about a will contest based upon what you are saying.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Can bank force an estate to sell family home to pay credit card bill in NY? No other assets. Daughter lives in home.

Mother had $78K credit card debt with $48K to one bank. Daughter has lived in home and was supported by mother for 15+ years. Daughter has no job and no assets. Can the bank force her to sell the home and become homeless? Daughter is not underage or disabled.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 22, 2019

Yes. If home is owned by estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: How long does it take to get letter of administration from the time petition is submitted to court in Kings county
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Nov 19, 2019

It depends upon the cooperation of potential distributees. If it is done correctly and everyone cooperates, it could be in 3-4 weeks.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My aunt died, she had three brothers, one my dad, Richie,who also passed and Uncle john- Alive. Am I entitled to money?

My Aunt Margie died in 2015. She had three siblings; Tommy, Richie and John. Tommy was my dad and he passed in 2009. My Uncle Richie passed away in 2007 and also has two children. My Uncle John is still alive and my family and I don't speak to him. I was told by a friend that I should be entitled... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 15, 2019

It depends if there was a will or not. And, if the money passed by a beneficiary designation or is in the estate. If an estate proceeding is opened, you should get notice. Or, you can call the clerk and see if one was filed.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Am I legally allowed to be the administrator or a co-admin of my grandfather's estate while his son (my uncle) is alive?

My estranged uncle is petitioning to become the administrators of, first, his mother's estate (my step-grandmother), and then, second, his father's estate (my biological grandfather), essentially double dipping. My uncle had two sisters (my mother and aunt, both deceased). My mother had two... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 13, 2019

You can object. As next of kin, he has priority, but the court can refuse him.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Do I have legal grounds to be the administrator/representative or a co-admin/co-rep of my grandfather's estate and why?

My grandfather died in 1994. He had three children (two daughters with his first wife, my grandmother, and one son with his second wife, my step-grandmother). Both wives have died. Both daughters have died. My mother had two children (both alive). My aunt had three children (two alive). My... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Nov 13, 2019

It does appear that you might be an intestate heir because your mother (grandfather's daughter) has died. Therefore, you have an interest in the estate. Therefore, you have standing to petition to be appointed personal representative of your grandfather's estate. Do not delay. If your uncle has... Read more »

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