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Sharon M. Siegel
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Sharon Siegel’s Legal Guides

14 total


  • Spouses and a will

    If you are married, your spouse cannot disinherit you, unless you waive the right of election, fail to claim it, or the court deems that your conduct disqualifies you (very rare). NY law applies if the surviving spouse was a domiciliary of NY. It is not goverened by the laws of t...

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  • The Executor Stole Estate Property

    What is your legal relief when the Executor stole estate property? Your legal relief is to bring a petition tocompel a turnover proceeding. This type of proceeding can be brought in connection with an accounting proceeding or on its own. The Surrogate's Court can compel a fiducia...

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  • When Do I become the executor?

    First, a personal can only petition the court to be named executor after the testator (the person who wrote the will) has died. A person only becomes an executor under a will when the Surrogate's Court appoints them by a probate decree. A person is not the Executor of an estat...

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  • Finding a will

    What happens when a decedent dies and there is no will "found"? There is no master directory of wills and in New York testators don't record wills. So, how do you find the will? Sometimes, a testator will file a last will and testament with the Surrogate's Court for safe keepi...

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  • Difference of a Co-op and Condo?

    In New York, a hot topic for people potential purchasers is what is the difference between a co-op and a condo. A co-op is a share of stock. It is not an ownership of real property, it is an ownership of stock in a co-operative. In contrast, a condo is a conveyance of real pro...

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  • Ancillary Probate

    What happens if a decedent dies as a NY domiciliary, but owns real propertyout of state?The property that is owned in NY would behandled by a normalprobate, administration, or the like. However, realproperty that is owned out of state would require the fiduciary to commence an an...

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  • Understanding Trusts

    A trust is a legal document. All trusts must be written on paper. There are many categories of trust. A "testamentary trust" is a trust that is established under a will and only comes into effect upon death. An "irrevocable trust" is just what it sounds like - a trust that c...

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  • Estate planning - do I need a will?

    Yes. That is the answer. Not everyone needs the same type of will with the same level of complexity, but everyone should have one. Why? Everyone has something that needs to be administered - even if it is simply your clothes or everyday watch. Any item that is not titled (su...

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  • Waiver and Consent to the Probate of a Will

    A waiver and consent is a form used in all counties of the Surrogate's Court, State of New York. It is used in all types of Surrogate's Court proceedings. If you sign a waiver and consent, you are waiving your rights to file objections to theprobate of a will (see my legal guide...

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  • Revocable Trusts - Are They Useful?

    A revocable trust is a trust that can be changed, altered, or modified by the grantor/maker of the trust during his/her lifetime. In this regard, it is similar to a will. A revocable trust provides you no tax benefits at all. Even after an asset is transferred to a trust, it i...

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