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My Father passed away in 2003 and resided in NY Goshen County. Is there a time restriction to make claim on assets? Had No Will

Pine Island, NY |

I reside in FL. Since 10 years has lapsed being the only Blood Child am I entitled to any of his assests. His wife whom is not my Mother states she followed probate rules but never received any documentation nor has she communicated with me since his death. His residence was paid off prior to his death however the property records are still reflecting both names. Lastly, he had property in GA which is showing mine and his wife name, however she has not paid any taxes for past 3 yrs. The property is going into Tax sale Jan 2014. She communicated with County tax of GA stating she wasn't going to pay since the property belong to me and was my responsibility. However in prior attempts she will not sign a quit claim deed to make it legal. Trying to figure my recourse. Thank you.

Attorney Answers 1


If your father died survived by a spouse and his assets (such as the house) were in joint names, there is a good chance it was not necessary to probate the estate. You could contact the Orange County Surrogate's Court in Goshen and ask if an estate was ever opened there, but I am not at all sure the clerks will give out that information over the telephone. If they won't there is a court service down the street call Orange Paper Placers that could check for you for a small fee. Of course, if you need any work done in the Surrogate's court you will need to retain a lawyer there. As far as the GA real estate is concerned, if you are on the deed you are just as responsible for the taxes as she is. If you don't want the property to be sold for taxes, you will need to pay them and then hire a lawyer there to partition the property so you can get your money out of it or buy your stepmother out.

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