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New York Probate Questions & Answers
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 »

2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: I'm inquiring about estates. My commonlaw husband passed away recently and we have a daughter. He left no will.

We were asked to prove paternity. Our daughter is 27 yrs old we lived together 29 yrs hes on certificate.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jul 21, 2020

If your daughter is the only heir, then the birth certificate is usually enough. If the court appointed a guardian for unknown heirs or someone is challenging, then you may need more proof. As you did not state where you are in the proceedings, I cannot give better advice.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: How do I get items in safe deposit box appraised after my father's death?

I am trying to find out how I get items in a safe deposit box appraised if I cannot remove the items?

Facts:

1) The owners of the box are me and my father, my father is deceased. The bank knows this.

2) The bank is in NY.

3) The items within the box are likely small... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jul 17, 2020

If you are listed as a joint owner I don't understand why you are not being given access. However, I suggest that you file for a small estate for voluntary administration based upon the assets you are aware of. Once you are empowered by the Court, you can certainly get access to the safe... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law and Probate for New York on
Q: My deceased aunt left a Will. If I submit a Petition to Surrogate Court will I be able to access her banking info?

I live in Georgia and she lived in New York. I am the Executor of the will if appointed voluntary administrator is that all I need to carry out duties as Executor and will I be able to access banking info and have access to her apartment.

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jul 16, 2020

Yes, you will.

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4 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My Mom recently passed and she owns a co-op in brooklyn that she is leaving to her 4 children.She has a will.

The co-op board says we have to purchase her co-op then be approved first before we can sell it. and there are fees involved of course and we need to hire a lawyer. Is this legal?

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on Jul 15, 2020

Part true and part not true. The co-op can be left as provided in the will -- i.e, titled in all four of you. The problem with this provision is that the co-op has the right to approve any transfer like a sale. In short, the transferee needs to be approved like any regular buyer. As some co-ops... Read more »

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3 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Mother's will was in NC but she moved to NY 6 mos. ago. Assets are in mutual funds and bank account. Do I need a lawyer?

I am named as executor. I am not on her bank account as joint owner but through power of attorney had access to her accounts.

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 15, 2020

A Power of Attorneys become invalid upon the grantor’s death. To have the power to act with respect to assets in your mother’s name, you would need to be appointed by Surrogate’s Court as her executor

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: Can a motion for summary judgment or to dismiss be made during trial w.new evidence or need it be a motion under 4401?

The trial began months ago w.the other side rested but due to Covid-19, put on hold. During the pandemic, I lost my job and attorney who got Covid-19. Pre-trial, he filed a MTD 3211 on estoppel based on a sister-state's trial they lost on same matter, but other side lied saying it was not on... Read more »

Benjamin Z. Katz
Benjamin Z. Katz answered on Jul 13, 2020

I would not do this by yourself. You should hire an attorney. CPLR 4401 usually relates to the evidence presented at trial. CPLR 3212 is a motion for summary judgment, asking the court for judgment based upon the law. If you previously moved for the relief requested a motion to renew or reargue may... Read more »

1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: How long does a lawyer have to release funds held in escrow from a previous estate once asked for them

By sisters estate adminstration ?

Elaine Shay
Elaine Shay answered on Jul 10, 2020

Unless the attorney is the executor or administrator there would be little reason for the attorney to be holding money in escrow , except possibly in connection with the sale of real property. In any event, provided the terms of an escrow agreement mandate the release of funds, it is simply the... Read more »

2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My mother in law and father in law passed away The house will go to the 3 sons if 1 son passed is his son entitled

To his portion

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

If there was no Will then the assets pass to the children in equal shares. If a child predeceases the parents then that child’s share passes to his/her children in equal shares.

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2 Answers | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: A lawyer representing the estate of my Fathers first wife is asking me for a death cert.-am I due any compensation?

The lawyer said the court is requiring my Dads death certificate in order to settle the first wife's estate...they were divorced in 1965 and she died in 2010

Howard E. Knispel
Howard E. Knispel answered on Jun 11, 2020

Are you referring to a death certificate for your father? You have no legal obligation to provide this. You can ask for the cost of obtaining it to be reimbursed.

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2 Answers | Asked in Contracts, Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: How does an Anti-Lapse Statute in NY apply, if two named relatives listed passed away with no children or wife?

my great aunt left a will naming nieces and nephews.

only my mother's immediate family - two brothers and sisters were in close contact and took active care of her. i.e shopping. hospitalizations from repeated falls, helping her walk and treating her infections.

the other... Read more »

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

Anti-lapse statute in NY allows children of named beneficiaries to receive gifts. Since the deceased beneficiaries died without children it doesn’t apply. Most properly drafted Will address that contingency. An attorney would have to see the Will to properly advise in this case.

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2 Answers | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: how can I get access to my mom's estate?

my mom died and 2 long time family friends got power of attorney before her passing. they got POA when she was already sick with dementia this was done without me knowing. they put her in a nursing home without me know and wouldn't tell me where she was until she was there a month and a half.... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on May 21, 2020

You need to petition to be administrator of her estate and then sue the friends.

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1 Answer | Asked in Probate for New York on
Q: My grandmother passed away and it’s been a couple weeks and I’ve heard nothing of a will.

My grandmother told me in confidence that she had a will and left nothing to my father because she didn’t want the wife getting anything. It’s been a couple weeks and I’ve heard nothing about it. I asked family that were close to her but one gave me a weird bs answer and my dad made it seem... Read more »

Michael David Siegel
Michael David Siegel answered on May 11, 2020

You cannot do anything without a will. Your father is next of kin, not you. If they destroyed the will then you are out of luck. If you could even get a copy you would be better off.

1 Answer | Asked in Estate Planning and Probate for New York on
Q: My father passed away on April 3, 2020. I only discovered then that I had been disowned over a phone call made in 2010.

This news had been kept from me since 2010. The terms of the IRA (part of the trust) have been changed. The terms of an irrevocable trust have also been changed. The family attorney (Welch & Zink, of Corning, NY) no longer represents the family in favor of ". . . a close friendship with... Read more »

Lawrence Allen Weinreich
Lawrence Allen Weinreich answered on May 5, 2020

This is not a family law question, it should be posted in the trusts and estates section. In addition, you should discuss that any lawyer the issue of the "family" attorney who now only represents your brother as there may be a conflict depending on the circumstances and facts.

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