Category Archives: Uncategorized

Who can contest the provisions of a will?

The Facts: As part of their Medicaid planning, over ten years ago my parents transferred their house to my brother Joe. They did not put my name on the deed because I had filed for bankruptcy. However, the understanding was that at some point after their deaths, Joe would sell the house and give me […]

Are you leaving money on the table?

The Facts: My father died last year and I was issued letters testamentary by the surrogate’s court. When going through my father’s desk, I found a bank statement dated June, 1999, for a savings account I did not know existed. The balance in the account in 1999 was nearly $5000.  Unfortunately, the bank that held […]

Can a wife demand more than she’s left in her husband’s will?

The Facts: My father married a woman named Jane after my mother’s death. They were married for ten years before my father died. In his Will, my father left everything except the contents of his house to me and my sister. The Questions: Is it true that Jane is entitled to a larger share of […]

When are testamentary trusts appropriate?

The Facts: I have always believed that trusts were for people with money and that I would not need to create a trust in my Will, since my net worth is modest. The Questions: Are there circumstances when someone with modest means should consider a trust? The Answer: Absolutely! It is unfortunate that there are […]

Do I Really Need a Healthcare Proxy?

The Facts: My daughter told me that I should have a healthcare proxy. The Question: What is a healthcare proxy and should I have one? The Answer: A healthcare proxy is a legal document recognized in New York by which competent adults appoint a person to make medical decisions for them in the event they […]

Is a Boundary Line Agreement Needed?

The Facts: I am selling my house. A number of years ago I replaced the fence that enclosed my back yard. The person who is buying my house had my property surveyed and it appears that the fence is about 3 feet inside my property line. The title company is requiring me to obtain a […]

Will or Beneficiary Form: Which Controls?

The Facts: I was told that the money in the joint account I have with my son and the money in my IRA will not be distributed according to my Will when I die. The Question: Is that correct? The Answer: Yes, that is correct. Many people mistakenly believe that, following their death, the provisions in their Will […]

Is the State Holding Your Money?

The Facts: After my mother died, I found the passbook for a savings account she had at a local bank. I contacted the bank and was advised that the account was closed and that the funds in the account were transferred to the state a few years before my mother’s death. The Questions: Can a bank simply […]

Is it Time for the Appointment of a Guardian?

The Facts: My aunt is widowed and living alone. Lately it has become clear that she cannot continue to live independently and cannot handle her finances. She is confused and does not appear to be eating well or bathing regularly. Unfortunately, there are no family members in a position to take care of my aunt. She […]

What You Need to Know Before Hiring a Home Improvement Contractor

With the onset of the warm weather, homeowners throughout Long Island have begun to focus on home improvement projects from replacing windows to building that much needed addition. While some homeowners take the “do it yourself” approach, many hire contractors to be sure the work is done correctly in accordance with local building codes and […]