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Thomas Sciacca
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Thomas Sciacca’s Answers

39 total

  • Do I need an attorney to legally adopt my now 10 year old cousin, which I have had full/legal custody and guardianship over for

    the past 9 years. Both biological parents are deceased.

    Thomas’s Answer

    Probably not. Forms with instructions are available online at courts.state.ny.us. Good luck.

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  • 3 Siblings not speaking, Mom died 4 months now. No will. Assets included sale of house to be divided when mom passed. Help!

    Dad passed 15 years ago with a will with all assets going to mom. Sibling took in mom and had cared for her till she passed 4 months ago. She's refusing to give up any share of the money.

    Thomas’s Answer

    You should apply to the Surrogate's Court for Letters of Administration, or have an attorney do that for you.

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  • N.Y.S. DOES THE LAWYER WHO DREW UP THE WILL NEED TO BE RETAINED FOR THE PROBATE PART?

    LAWYER NOT RETURNING CALLS TO THE EXECUTOR. WILL OVER A YEAR OLD AND NOTHING. TIME TO MOVE ON?

    Thomas’s Answer

    The nominated Executor can hire any attorney he/she chooses. You will need to present the original Will to the Surrogate's court. Who has it, you or the attorney?

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  • Can I get a lawyer to help change the person given guardianship.

    My aunt who's is 88 was exploited she now in nursing home and wants out she wanted to go home can't because some had sign her home over to them know she can't really read. So she trusted this person and basically after that put her on streets call...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Removing a guardian is often tricky. and always involves intervention of the Court. I attach a link to the statute that deals with removal of guardians so you can get a sense of the standard the Court must apply to remove someone.

    Have you tried contacting the guardian to try to work out the issues?

    Good luck.

    Tom Sciacca

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  • My father died i am his only child he left a will appointing me to be the sole executrix and trustee of his last will

    he left me his house and half share of his mother house that she left him also all his property whether real or personal do i have to probate the will

    Thomas’s Answer

    • Selected as best answer

    I agree with everything posted to date. However, depending on the size and complexity of the Estate, some people choose to file the probate papers themselves. If you would like to do so, I attach a link to the fillable forms on the Court's website below. There is also a useful checklist there as well.

    If you find this answer helpful or the best answer, please indicate as such - thanks! Good luck.

    Tom Sciacca

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  • How much longer will estate take to settle?

    Probate granted 4/17/12 and house sold 2/10/13.I called the lawyer 4/1/13 and was told the taxes are done they are just working on accounting it will be about a month.6/1/13 called the lawyer to find out how much long he will not give me a time fr...

    Thomas’s Answer

    Every Estate is different. However, a general timeframe to administer an Estate is between 18 and 24 months.

    I agree that this attorney does not represent you - he represents the Executor of the Estate. However, part of the Executor's job is keeping the beneficiaries informed as to the status of administration.

    If you want to have some more pull, you can always threaten to file a proceeding in the Surrogate's Court to compel an accounting from the Executor. This will result in a short-term Court date where you can get some real answers. You may wish to have an attorney bring this proceeding on your behalf, or you may wish to bring it yourself (I attach a link to the fillable form below). Hinting that you are considering doing this may also get you some answers.

    I hope you find this helpful. If you do, please click the link to indicate that this is a helpful or best response.

    Good luck.

    Tom Sciacca

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  • If I died, and came back to life, can I collect life insurance?

    I was under cardiac arrest, and the doctors were not able to resuscitate me--the defibrillator attempt failed. I was declared dead (shows on my medical records), but as the staff was vacating, my heart started up again. I am just curious if I can ...

    Thomas’s Answer

    That would be a pretty neat trick!

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  • My daughter receives ssdi and NY Medicaid. She is the beneficiary of $6000 life insurance policy from her father who just died.

    How will this money affect her NY medicaid? Can she put it into her NYSARC Community II Trust without losing her benefits? She also has a Supplemental Needs trust set up by her father. How can she avoid losing her benefits? Thank you.

    Thomas’s Answer

    The money cannot go into the existing Supplemental Needs Trust unless that trust is a first-party (payback) trust. NYSARC - it depends on whether the pooled trust is income only (as many are).

    Unless she has other assets, have you considered the possibility of just letting her keep it? One can be enrolled in Medicaid with up to $14K in her own name, and SSDI is not needs-based (restrictions on income only).

    I agree that you should consult with an attorney to get some clear ansers and examine your specific situation.

    Good luck,

    Tom Sciacca

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  • Do I need an attorney for guardian for my elderly mother in NYC.

    Hi: I was went to NY Supreme Court to petition for guardian for my elderly mother. I was told by the clerk that I would need an attorney. Is this correct or can I do this without an attorney?

    Thomas’s Answer

    I agree. In theory, you can bring any proceeding without the help of an attorney. Some are more complicated than others, and an Article 81 Guardianship is complicated. I have done several, so I know everything that is involved. That said, you could spend several thousand dollars paying an attorney to do it.

    If you'd like to fly solo, I'd recommend checking out the information on the Guardian Assistance Network's website (I provided the link below). If you'd like to hire an attorney, I agree that the referral service would be helpful - or, you should speak to one of us who practice regularly in the area.

    Good luck.

    Tom Sciacca

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