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George Howard Dippel

George Dippel’s Answers

106 total


  • Husband dies with no will. What is the inheritance distribution between his wife and two adult children in New York State.

    none

    George’s Answer

    In addition to $50,000 and one-half of the balance of the estate, a New York surviving spouse is entitled to certain "exempt" property, such as a vehicle worth up to $25,000, cash up to $25,000 and household furniture, appliances, etc not exceeding $20,,,.

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  • Dad died Nov. 2014; all assets went to mom. I am a beneficiary of the will. Can i see the will now or wait for probate filing?

    I live in New York..thank you.

    George’s Answer

    A surviving spouse is also entitled to certain "exempt" property in New York State, such as a car worth up to $25,000, Cash up to $25,000 and household goods and furnishings worth up to $20,000. If you believe that there are remaining assets just in your father's name (not property held jointly with your mother which would pass to her outside of the will by operation of law) and you are a beneficiary of this property in your father's will, you can petition the Surrogate's Court to compel your mother to produce the original will.

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  • My father passed away February 14, 2014. My step mother has yet to bury his ashes or have the will read...

    Is this time period within the norm, if there is a norm? A year has nearly passed and I , nor the rest of the family has been able to visit his site for comfort during the holidays. After he passed away, she no longer considers some of us "her fa...

    George’s Answer

    If you believe that that are assets just in your father's name and his will bequeathed property to you, you can petition the Surrogate's Court to order your step mother to produce the will. Once the court has the will a probate proceeding can be commenced. If all of your father's assets were held jointly with your step mother there would be no need to probate his will, assets would pass to your step mother by operation of law.

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  • Do I need a lawyer

    My son passed away he had no will or power of attorney would I be able to go into his bank which is bank of America and will they release his checking account funds to me

    George’s Answer

    If you held the account jointly with your son, you should be able to access the account by presenting the bank with a death certificate as joint accounts pass to the survivor by operation of law. If the account was just in your son's name you will need to be appointed the administrator of his estate. If the account is less than $30,000.00 you can be appointed a "Voluntary Administrator." There is a DIY program at www.nycourts.gov which will guide you through the process. If the account is over $30,000.00 you will need to file a petition to be appointed an administrator which will require the assistance of an attorney.

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  • No will for father

    My father passed 2 years ago. He had no will, but made it clear that the house was us kids'. His wife of 5 months is living there and will not give us ANYTHING out of the house. There are things he gave us, and things I own in there. She changed t...

    George’s Answer

    If your father died intestate (without a will) and the deed to the house was in just his name, the house becomes part of his estate. Under New York laws of intestacy, a surviving spouse receives the first $50,000.00 of the estate and then half of the balance, the remainder to be equally divided among the children. Also a surviving spouse is entitled to certain "exempt" property including cash up to $25,000.00, a vehicle worth up to $25,000.00 and household furniture, appliances etc. not exceeding $20,000.00. The house in this case would now be owned jointly by the surviving spouse and children. In such a case a joint owner could institute a legal action called "partition" in which a court would order the house sold and the proceeds divided among the parties. If the deed to the home in i the name of your father and his wife the home would generally go to the surviving spouse by operation of law and not become part of your father's estate. You should seek counsel of an attorney experienced in estates and rel estate to further discuss your options.

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  • Can the beneficiary of an estate do anything to force the executor to settle things in a timely manner ?

    If the executor of an estate is taking too long (i.e., 20 months and counting since date of death) to settle things (distribute assets, file tax return, etc.), is there anything that a beneficiary of the estate can do to force a settlement soone...

    George’s Answer

    New York State fiduciaries (executors or administrators) can wait seven months from the date of their appointment (not the date of death) to distribute assets to beneficiaries. Seven months is the time in which creditors can present claims to the estate. If you believe there is an inordinate delay, a beneficiary has the right after seven months to petition the court to compel the fiduciary to file their accounting. Usually this is a last resort as a judicial accounting is expensive and the estate bears the cost. An informal accounting is more common. Seek counsel from an attorney experienced in these matters.

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  • Do we need a will attorney or is an on line application sufficient?

    I am married. We are also home owners We have no children but we have pets and would like to provide a trust fund for them and make provisions for a place for them to live. Are there any other factors we should be taking taking into considerat...

    George’s Answer

    The preparation of your last will and testament, which can incorporate a trust for your pets, is only the first step in assuring your will will be admitted to probate by the New York Surrogate’s Court upon your demise. Your will must contain the necessary provisions to assure the appointment of your executor, and the disposition of your estate including the creation of any trust. Assuming the contents of your “on-line" will passes muster, it is crucial that your will be signed before competent witnesses with the proper formalities required under New York State law. If this is done under the supervision of an attorney, there is a presumption that the legal formalities have been complied with. This is not the case when an attorney is not involved. Any failure in following these requirements can result in the will being denied probate and thus frustrating your wishes.

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  • IF A MAN DIES DURING DIVORCE DO CHILDREN WHO ARE FROM ANOTHER MARRIAGE HAVE A CLAIM ON THE ESTATE IF THERE IS NO WILL

    My boyfriend died during the middle of his divorce. There is no will, so I understand that, as his legal wife, she will inherit his estate. However, he has a son from another marriage who is now 20, does he have a claim to the estate?

    George’s Answer

    New York's laws of intestacy provide that when a decedent is survived by a spouse and a child, the spouse receives the first $50,000.00 of the deceased's estate and one-half of the balance, the remainder going to the child(ren). A spouse is also entitled to certain "exempt" property, Including but not limited to cash up to $25,000.00, a vehicle worth up to $25,000.00. Any property held jointly or with a designated beneficiary will go by operation of law to the surviving joint owner or beneficiary and not be subject to the laws of intestacy.

    Since the parties were in the process of a divorce, there are certain factors in which a surviving spouse would be disqualified from receiving an intestate share, one of them being abandonment. Consult with an attorney experienced in these matters.

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  • Claiming a property after death of family.

    i have a sister who died suddenly without leaving behind a will and she owns a co op apartment. I am only the surviving kin in the family and i want to claim that property. how do i claim it? this is in westchester county new york.

    George’s Answer

    You will need to petition to be appointed the Administrator of your sister's estate. This involves filing a administration petition with the Surrogate's court in the county where your sister had her primary residence. Once you are appointed, you can sell or transfer the cooperative apartment to your name. The procedure can be quite complicated so you should consult with an attorney experienced in these matters.

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  • Can i file on my taxes a co-op I inherited

    I just inherited a co-op my mom passed away went through the probate and certificate in now in my name...can i claim this on my income taxes........

    George’s Answer

    If the co-op is now your principal residence, you can deduct the portion of the maintenance you paid during the year which is attributable to interest (if the corporation has an underlying mortgage) and real estate taxes. The co-op's accountants typically send a letter to shareholders stating the percentage of maintenance which is deductible. If this is not your residence, it's treated as any other investment property. Also, if this isn't your principal residence, when you sell it you will be subject to capital gains tax. Gain is determined by subtracting your cost basis from your sale price. You will get a step-up in cost basis equal to the fair market value as of the date of your mother's death so it is a good idea to have the unit appraised as of the date of death.

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