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New York Probate Questions & Answers
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 »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: I have a $100,000 Supreme Court Judgement against my ex husband in Nassau County, NY. Plus he was in default of 135,000

$135,000 child support default . He hid his business, etc. His Mom died in 2016 with a Nassau County Will and its still open- leaving him as one of her beneficarie.s He died after her in 2018without a will Her house just sold. I filed papers in Nassau Supreme Court, so my mother in laws attny is... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 7, 2019

Neither attorney is fully right and both are part right. You cannot do this yourself. File a claim in the ex mother in law's estate to buy time. Then get an order from the Supreme Court as the second lawyer said. Also, child support enforcement can help you. Contact the Family Court to get... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Did my grandmother commit a breach of fiduciary responsibility?

My grandparents had mirrored wills and trusts. My grandfather passed several years ago, and my grandmother was the trustee and executor of my grandfather's estate. They had both signed a Joint Waiver of Agreement, a legally binding document whereby they relinquished the right to contest the... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Oct 24, 2019

She may have breached her duty. However, that determination would have to be made after reviewing the trust agreement.

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: new York state probate. father died . no will . no spouse. im his son by blood. paternity established. am I entitled?

my father died recently here in NY. I am his biological son and the paternity has been established. what am I entitled too if he didn't leave a will and he was not married?

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Oct 19, 2019

Yes. You should inherit along with any other children he may have.

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1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: My sister who is POA and executer of my mother's will has told me she has the deed...

Mother passed 3 months after "given deed" or "transferred" but now she wants to go to probate but why if my mom had no money ?? Will states I get half of everything and real estate ??

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Oct 17, 2019

Your question is unclear. But, if you were supposed to get half the house and the deed gave it to your sister, she would have problems if you probated the will.

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Are a will and a health Proxy made in the state of MA (3 years ago) are valid in the state of NY?
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Oct 4, 2019

Yes. But as the forms are different, I would change the health care proxy so NY hospitals do not give problems. Also, as state law differs, if the estate is large enough, change may be warranted for NY law if that is where maker of will resides now.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: Is an administrator’s deed needed?

A family member passed away without a will leaving his wife and adult children. His name was on the deed for their home. His wife applied for and received letters of administration. Does she need to use an administrator’s deed to transfer the property to herself? If she does, would she only... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Sep 15, 2019

Yes. An Administrator’s Deed is the correct instrument for the transfer. Transfer taxes may not be required If there is no consideration for the transfer. However, if the property has a mortgage, relief of the mortgage obligation is consideration.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: how long does someone have to file a will/estate in surrogate court? should they be taking/liquidating things?

Actually, my sister stole my Mom's latest paperwork out of house about 6 months ago, and is using an old will (I haven't seen it) which she says calls her executor, though circumstances are vastly different now. She hasn't filed the estate, lives in Kentucky, and took a bunch of my Mom's stuff... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Sep 4, 2019

There is no deadline to file a will. If the estate is in New York, you can check with the court to see if any estate was opened.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: I am the eldest daughter of a man who just died; he has a common law "spouse" and another daughter. What are my rights?

The common law wife was previously his legal wife but they divorced; the other daughter is theirs. I'm currently in New York, he lived in Texas. I do not know if he had a will, or what is "estate" consists of and am not sure I will be considered when everything is reviewed. What are my rights?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Aug 26, 2019

If he left a Will that would control. If not, Texas law will dictate who is a beneficiary of the estate. If they divorced she might not be considered a common law wife. You should consult a Texas estate attorney to determine what your next steps should be.

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My sister is sole heir for an estate. The lawyer(executor) has not given her any information on the estate .

She has not had the will shown to her nor seen what bills need to be paid, what has been paid. He wants to sell the house and the contents. Should she get her own lawyer to make sure he is doing nothing underhand? He had been in trouble years ago for ripping off a client.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Aug 14, 2019

Yes, if there is enough value in the estate that it matters, she should have her own lawyer.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: Who's job is it to get the property deed and change the title, my lawyer, the probate lawyer or the sole heir/executor?

I couldn't find the house deed. My lawyer's P.L. said they could for $500. I eventually paid $10 for an official copy at town hall. I'm still not sure how to change the title, I don't understand the included instructions. My lawyer said he could help. I've paid them approx $9-12K for both our wills... Read more »

Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst answered on Aug 12, 2019

There is no way any attorney in this forum can answer your question without reviewing your various engagement letters with your NY attorney because the answer depends entirely on the scope of those engagements and the fees quoted.

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Tax Law, Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: The IRS sent a notice of unclaimed 2017 refund + demand to file 2018 for a now dead person. Do I still need to file?

I'm the executor of Mother's estate + not in good shape to tackle this or pay to have it done. She died on Nov 4, 2018. I would say it's very unlikely she'd owed taxes, considering expenses from her long illness from Mar 2018 till her Nov 2018 death; all her MDW's were made on IRA's, etc. and she... Read more »

D. Mathew Blackburn
D. Mathew Blackburn answered on Aug 12, 2019

You should file 2018 and mark deceased and put the date of death. Without a deceased return the IRS can't know she died.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Who needs to be contacted for will probate?

My brother is deceased. No living parents, spouse or children. All siblings except one are living. Probate lawyer is telling us we must find and contact an estranged niece. Is this true? It is hiolding up probate process.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Aug 2, 2019

It depends on two things. One, what the will says. Two, when the siblings died relative to the decedent. It could be true.

3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: my late husband and his father set up the irrevocable trust whereas my husband acted as a trustee.

We are still married, and we have two minor kids in a marriage. Do my kids have right for share of this trust?

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jul 28, 2019

The trust generally spells out what happens when the maker passes away. I assume you father in law was the maker and your husband was the trustee. If no successor trustee is named in the trust, a petition will need to be brought in Court to appoint a trustee. If your kids are not beneficiaries of... Read more »

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1 Answer | Asked in Foreclosure and Probate for New York on
Q: I need help getting the deed of my late father's house into my name. I cannot afford a lawyer. Please help.

I cannot afford a lawyer, I want to Kno if any lawyers do any pro bono cases. For my children's sake, I need to get the deed transferred to my name, for the mortgage company, so I have a chance at saving the house, so we don't become homeless. If someone is willing to help me, I can work out a... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jul 26, 2019

I am not sure you need to do what you think you need to do. It depends on the equity, if any, in the house.

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
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.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law, Landlord - Tenant and Probate for New York on
Q: My friend’s common-law husband died and left his rent stabilized apartment to her in his will. The building is a co-op.

A squatter has been there for three months. Does she have rights? What can she do?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jun 30, 2019

If it is not her primary residence the rent stabilization law causes the apartment to be lost. The landlord will evict the occupant. You cannot transfer rights like this by will.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Should I give a copy of my will to my executor?

I had a revised will drawn up. I asked the attorney if I should give a copy to my executor. I was told not to give him a copy and to put the one I had in a safe place and let the executor know where it was. It seems to me that the executor should get a copy.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jun 26, 2019

The executor should have a copy, with a note where the original is located.

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