Category Archives: Uncategorized

Do I need to use the drafting attorney to probate a will?

The Facts: My aunt Mary died recently. She was widowed and had no children. My father, her only sibling, died a few years ago. In her will Mary named me as the executrix of her estate and the sole beneficiary. The attorney who drafted the will expected to be retained to handle Mary’s estate but, […]

If someone has a will, is probate always required?

The Facts:  My brother John died unexpectedly. John never married and has no children. He had a Will in which he named me as executrix and left everything to me and my sister, Julie. The only assets John had was a bank account with a balance of $22,500. The Questions: What do I need to […]

When is it necessary to have a new deed prepared?

The Facts:  My husband, Fred, died recently. We are both on the deed to our house. The Questions: Do I need to change the deed? The Answer: Whether you need to change the deed depends on how you and Fred took title to the property when you first purchased it. You and Fred were co-owners […]

Things to think about when naming a guardian.

The Facts:  I am starting to work on my estate plan and am having trouble deciding who I should name as guardian of my three children in the event I die when they are still minors. The Questions: Can you provide some guidance on what factors I should consider when making a decision about an […]

Is an easement appropriate here?

The Facts:  Ever since I purchased by property, my neighbor had allowed me to drive over his property to get to my garage since the driveway that is on my property is very narrow and difficult to navigate. I am concerned that when my neighbor dies or sells his property, I will no longer be […]

How does Covid 19 impact on estate planning?

With the Covid-19 pandemic on everyone’s mind, many people who have not engaged in estate planning have contacted me about how best to proceed with the development of an estate plan. It seems that the fear of the virus has made people understand the need for estate planning. However, even if you have a will […]

What do I do with this stimulus check?

The Facts:  My father died in September, 2018. In April, I received a check from the United States Treasury payable to my father in the amount of $1,200. The check reflects the Economic Impact Payment or stimulus check authorized for many citizens as part of the Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security or CARES Act. […]

Medicaid eligibility

THE FACTS: My house and most of my liquid assets are held in an irrevocable trust that I funded over five years ago. I am fortunate in that my income is sufficient to for me to live comfortably without using my savings. THE QUESTION: If I do need to move into a nursing home down […]

The rights of a grandparent

THE FACTS: Since my grandchildren, twin boys, were born seven years ago, I have cared for them five days a week while my daughter and son-in-law worked. My daughter is in the process of a divorce and my son-in-law will likely have shared custody. He is threatening to prohibit me from seeing the boys. THE […]

The legal significance of paternity

THE FACTS: My friend Joe, a New York State resident, was never married, but he and his on-again off-again girlfriend had a son together. The child was 14 months old when Joe died without a will. Before his death, Joe spent most of his free time with his son who lives with the girlfriend in […]

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 […]