Lawyers, Answer Questions  & Get Points Log In
New York Probate Questions & Answers
1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Can someone tell me what this says in non-legalese?

This paragraph appears in my last will and testament:

I direct that all estate, succession, inheritance, transfer, legacy, or other death taxes imposed by the laws of the United States or any state thereof upon any property constituting a part of my gross taxable estate or upon any... Read more »

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

If there is not enough money in the estate to pay taxes, people who got other property have to pay in proportion to what they got.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: my mom passed but left a letter stating my dad gets the house her and a house in alabama is this a legal document

this was not witnessed or notarized meant Step dad they were married 45 yrs

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

No. But you and your stepdad can work it out between you if you agree. If not, you get half and he gets half, but you need to form an estate.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate and Estate Planning for New York on
Q: What should I do with old insurance policies on my grandfather that I found among papers in my parent's estate?

There are three insurance policies, dated 1947, that my maternal grandmother had in which her husband was the beneficiary. In the event of his decease, the benefit would go to her eldest son. That son is also deceased, as are all the other children of my grandmother. However, the wife of that uncle... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on May 11, 2019

Call the companies and see if they were cashed in. Likely they were. You do not need to show an actual policy to cash in.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: In NY to probate a will how much of a genealogy is needed? What documents, etc?

There is a clear will leaving everything to six friends. I’ve found that he had five uncles, all dead. He had no communication with any cousins.

Do cousins need to be found? What does the court require?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on May 1, 2019

Honestly, this is not a simple estate. There is a pro se clerk you can talk to in the Surrogate's Court, but in my view you should have a lawyer. Your questions are so broad and so general, it would be like teaching a course in probate. See the clerk. If you still cannot understand what to do,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Nys if my grandmother had no will and 1 surviving child and 1 predeceased child (,my mother) who inherits everything?

My grandmother had 2 children, my mother and my aunt. My mother died ten years ago and my grandmother died recently leaving behind no will. Does my aunt automatically inherit everything or do my sister and I have rights to my mother's share?

Deborah Wolf Miller
Deborah Wolf Miller answered on Apr 11, 2019

Your mother's children have the rights your mother would have had, according to NY EPTL 4-1.1(a)(3), as long as your grandmother had no surviving spouse. Your aunt does not automatically inherit everything.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My mother passed away due to illness. She had no will but had personal belongings that she wanted her children to divide

We are 6 siblings all grown My brother took all of her personal belongings jewlerey, coin collections ect. He refuses to share the items. What can I do in this case?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 12, 2019

Not a lot. Unless these items are titled in some way, your brother will say they were gifted to him prior to death, and you have little to say against it.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: My father passed away over 20 years ago. It was recently discovered that he did not cash some of his pension checks

The pension administrator indicated the unpaid checks are designated as part of of my father's estate. My mother passed away 1 month ago. Should we include my mother in the letter of adminstration?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 10, 2019

The answer depends upon the amount involved, and whether the funds are held by the pension fund or have been sent to unclaimed funds at New York State.

1 Answer | Asked in Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: My mother died 2007 and left a paid home behind in PR. what is needed to sell property

My sister who resides in Puerto Rico has assumed complete control over the home. She refuses to provide specific information and her attorney will not share information. I am one of three sisters (heirs) who reside in New York City and of us all want to sell the home. what can be done?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 6, 2019

It is a PR issue and you need a PR lawyer.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: If I had a joint account with a parent do I need to go through probate or can I just hand out themoney according to will
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jan 4, 2019

Neither. If it is a joint account the money is yours. Just take it.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Using CA Small Estate Affidavit to settle father's CA estate. How do we do NY Ancillary Probate for vacation home in NY?

Because there are no letters of administration with the CA Small Estate Affidavit, how do we we file with the NY Surrogate Court?

Also, since none of the executors or beneficiaries are NY State residents can we file it ourselves or are we required to use a lawyer?

Lastly, we have... Read more »

Ben F Meek III
Ben F Meek III answered on Jan 2, 2019

I assume from your questions that there is a valid last will and testament and that your father did not have assets in California that necessitated its being probated. Whether the Will must be probated in NY depends on the nature of your father’s real estate ownership there. For example, if... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: I received poor legal advice in regards to an estate and it's now in surrogate court, do I have legal recourse?

In 2001 I entered a relationship with a terminally ill individual that just purchased a home with a 30yr mortgage. I was listed as a Tenant In Common but not added to the mortgage. A will was prepared leaving me all assets. When he became ill I was made POA and when he passed in 2003 there was... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 25, 2018

Your question is confusing, but if you are administrator do what you want as the law requires. If there is a will, you can still probate it. The will appears to be the only way you get the house without paying off the family that appears to recognize your claim for paying all of these years.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My mother’s estate is being probated in Florida but she owned property and had bank accounts in New York

Do I need to do an ancillary probate for New York?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 21, 2018

For real property, yes.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: What is the average fee to transfer ownership of a house that will go into probate because of the death of the owner?
Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Dec 14, 2018

Many factors, such as whether the decedent had a will, go into determining the legal fees that may be incurred in association with transferring title to a home after the passing of the owner. Therefore, would probably be most helpful in your situation to consult with various attorneys of your... Read more »

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: In New York State, if a will is thrown out by Probate Court, can ANY personal property of the deceased be removed?

While I am presently living in my deceased parents' home, a sibling wished to remove the piano owned by our parents. Can she legally remove it before estate is probated?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Dec 10, 2018

No. She cannot enter. You can call police if she does.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for New York on
Q: My aunt left no will, need to know what steps to take next?

My aunt died in 2016. She has one child but he refuses to return my calls. She left no will and to my understanding he is next in line. if he doesn't return my call, what do I do next. Does it goes to the next in line or we have to go to the probate court for all that. Please help!!!!

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 26, 2018

If there is no will, your cousin inherits everything. You have no role here. What are you trying to do?

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: In New York State , how long must an heir wait after probate for the will to be distributed ?

My 84 year old uncle is an heir to a will for the sum of $15,000. The deceased died May 2016, the will has been probated February 2018. The attorney stated he can’t pay after attorneys taxes are done April 2019. I smell a rat.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 23, 2018

While there may be a reason to wait, seven months after letters are issued, which is the time for claims, is the standard time to wait. To compel payment, you would need a petition in the court.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My father died before his predeceased sister estate was settled which he was willed 25%! What happens to his 25%

My aunt died 4years before my dad, my other aunt controlled the other 75%

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Nov 6, 2018

It goes to his estate.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: What should be done with a deceased relative's documents?

My uncle passed away 2 years ago. He had no spouse or children and was living in assisted care at the time. The person that had been acting as his POA has now turned over to me all documents, forms and other papers she had in her possession. The bulk of them include bank statements, checkbook, bill... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Oct 27, 2018

As next of kin, file a voluntary administration to collect the bank account. Check unclaimed funds to see if there is anything on deposit with New York State. There is no need to keep records of old assets, etc., but this estate needs to be cleaned up.

2 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Estate Planning, Foreclosure and Probate for New York on
Q: can i be held accountable for a contract i did not sign? i am one half of an estate and other half signed

family member passed and house was lost 8 years later. i did not live in the house and was told on many occasions by person living in the home that the house was a loss but it took 8 years until member left house. now i get notice that there was money left in the estate. member "signed" a contract... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Oct 17, 2018

More details are required, including the actual contract. But it sounds like it is not binding.

View More Answers

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My ex-husband's house is in probate. My minor children should inherit . His mother is his adult surviving heir.

She relinquished her rights to me as guardian of the minor children. It's been three years and the lawyer has gotten nowhere with this case. This house is in limbo and I'm paying the mortgage with no ability to make repairs or inquire into the state of the insurances,taxes or anything else. This... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Oct 7, 2018

Probate means there was a will. Children do not have to be left anything. How do you know that your children inherit something?

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.