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New York Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: If I lived with mom, was her caregiver for 18 yrs, and paid for improvements in her house, can't I be paid for it now?

Mom needed 24/7 monitoring, and frequent trips to Drs and treatment. I worked from home to care for her. She died in 2015 and now I must sell the house and split the proceeds with my sister who never visited or cared for mom. I also paid for new appliances, a front porch, a whole house generator... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jan 16, 2021

You may be entitled to credits for the improvements. However, if you had no caregiver agreement while she was alive you would not be entitled to compensation.

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 Probate for New York on
Q: Does priority debt come first in terms of sold property?

If a co op of a deceased persons estate is the type of co op which can only be handed back to the company and one can not sell it themselves or rent it themselves. Will the company be forced by the law to release all funds gotten from sale and allow the debts of the estate to be paid in order of... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 11, 2021

You will need to get Voluntary Letters of Administration to collect this asset, unless there is more to the estate. The funeral must be paid by someone, who will get reimbursed by the administrator.

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 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.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Is there a timeframe in which you must probate a will? Thank you.
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 2, 2020

yes and no. YEs, but you can file an affidavit explaining the delay after a certain point. These are almost always sufficient to make deadlines unlimited.

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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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: My friend died and left me the house we lived in. I have the will and the death certificate. What do i do next?

Is there a time period in which this must be done?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Dec 1, 2020

You must file a petition in Surrogates Court to be given power to probate the Will and administer the estate, which would include transferring the house.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Can the executor an the estate remove ALL items from the decedent's home without permission of the other beneficiaries?

The executor of the estate, who is also a beneficiary has removed "all" personal items of the decedent from the home. The executor was given the home in the will. The other two beneficiaries were not given an opportunity to go through any of their father's personal items, furniture,... Read more »

Gary Lane
Gary Lane answered on Nov 23, 2020

Yes, they should sue. The Executor is not authorized on their own to do this. They should be communicating with the other beneficiaries. Yes, this certainly could be grounds to have them removed and replaced.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: Title company found my moms maiden name on the title and she has since passed but I’m trying to sell it, what can I do?

My mom passed over a year ago and we had the deed set up as joint tenants with right of survivorship. The title company just notified me there is no evidence of her passing since she was married and her death certificate states my step dads last name. Is there any way to avoid probate and prove to... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Nov 19, 2020

A copy of the marriage certificate should be sufficient proof of the name change. This would require communication with the title company to determine what else is concerning it.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: If the owner of life estate deed dies. Does the beneficiary need to go thru probate to sell the property?
Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Nov 13, 2020

When a life tenant dies, the owner of the property has full rights. In other words if a property is deeded to A, reserving a life estate for B, when B dies, A has full rights to transfer or sell.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: statute on probate to heirs garnishment of wages nyc

lone parent passed away own home . no will 5 children . now 1 sibling is being threatened with garnishment of income due to outstanding 100k med bill. instead of placing lien on home. is this a normal ,legal procedure?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 10, 2020

No. They must have signed hospital papers as responsible party. You are right. It is for the estate to pay, if anyone.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: is This legal for my dad to keep property and change ownership and then take out loans on houses in my moms sole name?

My dad the administrater changed the deeds ownership somehow to his own when my mom died intestate, she’s the sole owner of the properties. He said he is continually keeping rents from said properties when he dies maybe we will get our inheritance from them. There are 7 children. Nobody agreed... Read more »

Giselle Ayala Mateus
Giselle Ayala Mateus answered on Oct 21, 2020

To deal with this you need to start a process in Surrogate's Court. An executor will be appointed and then your mothers property would be distributed according to the law Office cause there is no will.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Elder Law, Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Daughter has POA for mom, brother has letter of administration for same property. How do we sell home in NYC?

If we do find a buyer, are 2 different checks cut...one in my decease dad’s name and one in my living mother’s name? Please reply only if you are familiar with NY state laws. My POA is for my mom who is still living. The letter of administration is for my deceased father.

Vincent Gallo
Vincent Gallo answered on Oct 17, 2020

A power of attorney ceases to have any effect upon the death of the person granting the power of attorney.

3 Answers | Asked in Copyright, Estate Planning, Intellectual Property and Probate for New York on
Q: If I wanted to publish my dead grandpa's written songs (he had no will), could his children sue me for the rights?

He died 20 years ago, he had no will. He had 3 daughters, including my mother, who are all still alive.

He was a singer/songwriter. Many of his songs were either typed on a typewriter or written in notebooks (only I have access to).

I want to publish his work, but I am afraid that... Read more »

Floyd Edwin Ivey
Floyd Edwin Ivey answered on Oct 16, 2020

His songs were copyright property and, like everything else he had, passes to others by a will or, if no will, by state laws. Someone owns the property including the copyright songs. A granddaughter might have rights however, with a mother(wife?) and children, it is not likely.

Your use...
Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Can the executor of my aunt's estate come after me for the joint account my aunt put me on years before she passed away?

my brother, one of the beneficiaries of the will, left me a threatening message saying I'm suppose to pay all the expenses from that and that I robbed him!

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 16, 2020

Simply having a joint account does not mean that both parties to the account are equal owners of the asset. For example, many older people will add an adult child to a bank account for convenience in having assistance with banking matters instead of to make a gift.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Can I file for a Letter of Administration for my mother's estate?

My mother passed away. She was married at the time of her passing. Then her husband passed away. Now I am in the process of filing for the 9/11 fund for my mothers passing. Because she was married at the time of her passing, do I have to find her husband's heir's? I would like to file for... Read more »

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Oct 16, 2020

You should still be able to file for Letters of Administration. However, if your mother's husband was living at the time your mother passed, his estate will still be entitled to a share of your mother's estate.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Can I file for a Letter of Administration regarding my mother's Estate?

I am trying to apply for the 9/11 Fund for my deceased mother. I have been told that because she was married at the time of her passing her husband would be entitled. He has since passed away. My mother did not have a Will. They have no children together. If my mother's husband had any... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Oct 14, 2020

You need to become the administrator of her estate. Who would get the money once collected by the estate depends on the family tree and times people died.

3 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: how long can a attorney, hold a probate/ will without notifying any of the benificeraries or any amounts or findings?

its been 6 years already and he obviously had no intention of notifying the beneficiarys that everything was completed nor did the executor, something is very fishy, I contacted the attorney and asked for all papers he said I will try to get things together, Said its been 6 years he said I really... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Oct 7, 2020

That seems like a very long time for you to not be informed of the delay.

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2 Answers | Asked in Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: In NY state is a durable power of attorney that has been signed by two witnesses but not notarized valid?

The Principal is currently incapacitated. Principal and agent signed and 2 witnesses signed.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Sep 30, 2020

No. The form must be completed as required.

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