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Deborah Gail Rosenthal
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Deborah Rosenthal’s Answers

4 total

  • PROBATE QUESTION

    About 7 years ago, myself and another person were witnesses to an attorney drafted will of a mutual friend. She passed about three months ago and one of her children is objecting to it. Questioning it's validity due to it not being witnessed by an...

    Deborah’s Answer

    There are four ways that a will can be overturned in New York: (1) lack of capacity; (2) undue influence; (3) the will wasn't properly executed; and (4) fraud. I believe that the most common reason that a will does not pass muster is that it wasn't properly executed. If an attorney supervised the drafting, then there is a presumption that it was properly executed. If you do not remember the execution ceremony, then it is best to say so at the deposition. You should be shown the original will, and you probably will be asked if you recognize your signature and the testator's signature. For a will to be properly executed in New York, the testator must declare the instrument to be the testator's last will and testament and the testator must request that the witnesses witness the wil execution. The testator must be of sound mind and not incompetent to make a will at the time the will was made. You must witness the testator sign the will and the other witness sign the will.

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  • What are some things that a estate planning attorney will discuss with client when making a will?

    I know that estate planning attorney draft wills for clients, but do the help the client draft the will or do they just write down what the says in the will? Do they discuss things such as prenups, 401k, retirement plans, life insurance and etc?

    Deborah’s Answer

    There are four main topics of discussion: (1) who you are and who are your next of kin; (2) what are your assets and how are they titled; (3) who do you want to administer your estate and what do you want to do with your assets after you die; and (4) advance directives, such as power of attorney, health care proxy and living will.

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  • What is the statute of limitations to contest a will for someone who died in brooklyn new york?

    My 88 year old mother was recently told by her older sister that their father, who died about 30 years ago, left everything to the older sister and nothing to my mother. My Mother does not believe this is possible and wants to see the original w...

    Deborah’s Answer

    If the will was filed for probate, it is a public record. It should have been filed in Surrogate's Court in Kings County, New York. Your mother should have been notified of the probate of her father's will at the time it was being probated to give her the right to contest the will. You can review the entire file in the Record's Room of the Surrogate's Court in Kings County. After so much time has elapsed it will be difficult to contest the will. Didn't your mother know her father died. Why is she questioning his testamentary scheme 30 years after his death?

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  • A beneficiary of a NYS trust is demanding a full accounting of the assets of the trust before the trust is settled.

    A beneficiary of a NYS trust is demanding a full accounting of the assets of the trust before the trust is settled. Is he entitled to it and who pays for the work. Half of the assets have been distributed and the rest will distributed after the s...

    Deborah’s Answer

    A beneficiary has a right to demand an accounting. Also, a full accounting, with desired documentation (including a receipt and release) will protect the trustees. You should hire a lawyer to assist you with this matter.

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