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New York Probate Questions & Answers
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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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: TOD stock account. Who has the authority to liquidate the stocks in the account once the owner is deceased?

No estate account and no executor has been appointed

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Sep 29, 2020

The account must have a named beneficiary. Upon death of the owner, it is supposed to be transferred to the beneficiary.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: What do I do to see that I or my daughter get the beneficiary rights my husband was due?

I’m in desperate need of help. Some key facts are as follows:

• Husband’s Brother Dies in Hospital in December 2015

• Husband becomes Executor of his Estate

• All Siblings and Parents are Named Beneficiary of Estate

• Wrongful Death Suit is Filed (in CT)... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Sep 29, 2020

If you husband is a beneficiary of his brother’s estate, his wife (you if you were married at time of death) and children are entitled to his share since he survived his brother.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Do I have to pay 65% of the will's expenses because I am the beneficiary of 65% of the residuary estate? New York law.

The executor of my mother's estate says that estate expenses come out of the residuary estate, and since I'm the beneficiary of 65% of the residuary estate (and my brother is beneficiary of 35% of the residuary estate) that the estate expenses will have to be paid 65% by me and only 35%... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Sep 25, 2020

Any estate expenses are paid before distributions. I’m not sure what you mean by will’s expenses.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Someone told me I have to go to probate court. I don't know what this is. Can you tell me?
Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Sep 14, 2020

Surrogate's Court for the county where the person died. Clerk's number is online or in phone book.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning, Probate and Real Estate Law for New York on
Q: My home is in both my name and my late husband's. He died 10 years ago with no will. All we had was the house.

We lived paycheck to paycheck. He had been disabled for 24 years. How do I get the deed in just my name?

Howard E. Knispel
Howard E. Knispel answered on Sep 14, 2020

You may not need to. If you are going to sell, Usually the title company will accept a deed granting to the buyer from the surviving spouse with a death certificate. If you do want to change the deed now, you would need to file a new deed along with the death certificate and transfer documents,... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: How can a beneficiary prove his or her identity for a death benefit when his or her name/marital status is wrong?

My father died last October. He has a death benefit with his union. He was a resident of NYS, in NYC. He listed my mother as the beneficiary, but with an inaccurate/incorrect name and marital status. My mother is listed as his wife, but they never married. Her given name is listed with his surname.... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Sep 1, 2020

Do you have other siblings? If not, then it does not matter whether you or your mother gets it. They have to pay someone. Thus, offer them to either pay your mother, or pay an estate, or pay you. They may require waivers so they do not pay twice, but you do not care about that either.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: If a vehicle is used for personal use, but titled through their used car business, is it considered a personal vehicle?

The father passed away in June 2020. His four "personal use" vehicles in his garage are titled through his used car business. One of the vehicles has a value over $25,000. The executor of the will believes that all four vehicles "possibly" belong to the beneficiary that got the... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Sep 1, 2020

The title governs. It goes with the business.

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My siblings and I not in NY but New York lawyer states long lost relative estate in probate what does this mean for us?

We all live in different states and another country. We are being sent papers to review and sign. What are these papers. This person we are told is our uncle. Lawyer found my father to notify but he has passed now lawyer wants us to sign papers but did not explain what they were for. Just told us... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Aug 30, 2020

Without seeing the paperwork, no one can properly advise you. Normally, when someone files a petition to be granted power to administer an estate, they ask potential distributees to consent to their appointment.

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1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: How do I obtain a vault search for a will that was stored in a New York Depository vault but not filed with Surrogate?

............

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

If the will was held privately, like in a bank, there is no record. When wills are filed with the Surrogate they are given numbers and entered. Thus, I am not sure where you think it is located.

3 Answers | Asked in Real Estate Law, Probate and Estate Planning for New York on
Q: Im being sued for my house that my parents gave to me in 2009 they had me take over the bills and signed a promissory

note stating they can't take care of the home expenses and was giving the house to me fast forward to 2018 my mom passed away in January and in February a deed transfer was made taking my mom off the deed and adding myself along with my dad to the deed in April another deed transfer was made... Read more »

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

These cases turn on the facts. You must answer it and not default. The fact the deeds were done by a lawyer and notarized helps, as long as those people will testify for you. However, you are years away from that issue. For now, you just need to respond. The manner of the response depends on... Read more »

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: As 1 of 3 exec's dads will probate acct closes tues. If I write to lawyer does he have to answer my ?'s . No call back

This lawyer did parents estate when mom had dementia put her on medicaid for $. Then sibling gets excess income I have to pay, created accounts w mom as joint, refused to pay me back, I couldnt object no lawyer, really want them all caught but no help but need to know my future I have mom and... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Aug 9, 2020

I cannot follow the facts. Is your mom dead or alive? You are mixing legal terms. The POA is not relevant if your mother is dead. If there is an estate, you have to petition for the relief you want.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: my mother is the beneficiary of her brothers personal bank accounts and ira's .

the lawyers handling the estate are telling her not to informed the banks until the estate goes into probate . is this normal procedure ?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Aug 6, 2020

No. She can collect the accounts with a death certificate and should do so immediately.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: 120 characters for a legal question? See "More information".

"When such beneficiary reaches the age of 24 years the principle then remaining and any accumulated income shall be paid over to the beneficiary." What does the above mean regarding the inheritance of a trust? ie. is this trust being passed on OUTRIGHT AND FREE OF TRUST?" Does the... Read more »

Howard E. Knispel
Howard E. Knispel answered on Aug 5, 2020

First, this is not a "Family Law" question. It is an estates question. However, any lawyer would need to see the entire trust to interpret it. What you are describing appears to be a final distribution of an asset, meaning it would no longer be governed by the trust, but, ahgain, that is... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Can a Probate Attorney pass on a verbal message from the judge to a beneficiary of a will? Should it not be in writing?

Should the beneficiary follow the instruction of this probate attorney if what he says is not in writing?

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

Your question is not clear. If you are a beneficiary and you don’t trust the attorney handling the probate you can retain an attorney to advise you. I’m not sure what you are asking about the judge.

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My sister bullied my mom who had Dementia to change her will 3 weeks after the final one was made.

Can I contest that will as I have several other wills spanning 27 years that do not have my sister or her children in it.

Can I ask the court to appoint an Independent Executor as my sister abused her POA role before my mother died?

The Substitute Executors are not interested in the... Read more »

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

You can object to your sister’s appointment and to the validity of the Will. However, I would encourage you to retain an attorney to advise and assist you.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: Can My Mother sue my uncle to pay the bills and debts left since his passing in reference to his business?

Father passed away from Covid in April, he left a handwritten will which stated that my Uncle was the beneficiary of his bank account, and he was to distribute the money equally between My mother , my brother and myself. My father has left a business and since we trusted my uncle would do the right... Read more »

Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Lawrence Allen Weinreich answered on Jul 24, 2020

This should be posted in the Estates and Trusts section. However, in general, since your father died in NY, NY has jurisdiction. In NY, a handwritten will is not usually legal. You would have to start a proceeding in the Surrogates court where your father resided. As part of that proceeding,... Read more »

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