Jules Martin Haas

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One of the most valuable assets compromising an estate is real estate.  Typically, a decedent may own a home which he occupied with other individuals or which third parties occupied alone. When the Surrogate’s Courts appoints an Administrator or Executor, the duties of the fiduciary often include securing and selling the real estate.  The real estate may need to be sold to satisfy estate obligations such as a mortgage or credit card bills or…
After a person dies it is usually necessary to enter the decedent’s residence for various purposes.  To begin with, it may be that the home needs to be searched to see if the person left a Last Will and Testament.  Gaining access to the home may not be difficult if the decedent lived with a spouse or other family member.  However, if the decedent lived alone or voluntary access cannot be obtained, then an application…
After a person dies it is necessary to determine whether it is necessary to file a Surrogate’s Court proceeding.  Such filing would be in the form of either a Probate Proceeding or an Administration Proceeding.  The Surrogate’s Courts are located in the various counties in New York.  For example, there is the Brooklyn Surrogate’s Court, a Manhattan Surrogate’s Court and a Queens Surrogate’s Court. An initial inquiry regarding a decedent’s estate concerns whether or not…
Probating a Will in New York requires strict adherence to statutory and procedural rules.  The primary source of authority is the Estates, Powers and Trusts Law and the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act. When a person dies and leaves a Last Will, there are many instances when family members or friends may feel that the provisions in the document do not reflect the decedent’s true desires or intentions.   The immediate reaction is to speculate that the…
When a person dies without a Last Will and Testament he is said to have died intestate.  In these cases there are two statutes in New York that must be referred to for primary consideration.  Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (EPTL) section 4-1.1 entitled “Descent and distribution of a decedent’s estate”, lists the priority of the decedent’s distributees (next of kin) who are entitled to inherit the estate.  As can be expected, a decedent’s spouse…
The appointment of a Guardian in New York requires the commencement of a Guardianship Case in the Court.  It may be difficult at times to determine the appropriate procedures and the proper Court concerning these matters.  There are Guardianships under Article 17-A of the Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA)Article 81 of the New York Mental Hygiene Law (MHL) also sets forth a means for the appointment of a Guardian. A recent Brooklyn Guardianship…
When a person dies it is necessary to determine the individuals who have a right to inherit the estate assets.  While this may at first seem to be an easy task, the fact is that in many cases the first identification of such persons may be complicated and time consuming. To begin with, an initial inquiry needs to be made as whether the decedent had a Last Will and Testament.  If so, the Will sets…
Probating a Will in New can often be an uncomplicated process.  While there are many aspects to a probate case, in most instances the surviving family is cooperative and there is no controversy among the parties involved. However, New York Estate Lawyers are familiar with situations where there are disputes that lead to estate litigation in the form of Will Contests.  Of course, it is important that when a person creates an estate plan…
Probating a Will in New can often be an uncomplicated process.  While there are many aspects to a probate case, in most instances the surviving family is cooperative and there is no controversy among the parties involved. However, New York Estate Lawyers are familiar with situations where there are disputes that lead to estate litigation in the form of Will Contests.  Of course, it is important that when a person creates an estate plan…
There are numerous instances where the identity and location of estate assets is a source of New York City Estate litigation in the Surrogate’s Court.   An estate fiduciary such as an Executor has a fiduciary duty to collect and protect estate assets for the benefit of estate beneficiaries.  If the fiduciary fails to carry out his responsibilities he may be found to have breached his fiduciary duty and be personally responsible for the loss to…