A common phone call to my law office is: “My mother/father passed away, and I’m the executor in the will, what do I have to do?”
As the designated executor in a will, you will need to file a petition, along with supporting documents, in the Surrogate Court in the county where the deceased resided. (This post only addresses NYS law). The petition will seek a decree granting probate and letters testamentary – official court documents legally appointing you as executor, so that you can conduct financial and other transactions on the estate’s behalf. When filing the petition, you are agreeing to act responsibly in a fiduciary capacity in the best interests of the estate and to fully follow the deceased’s wishes in the will.
I recommend retaining an attorney at the outset to represent the estate and guide you through the probate process. You will need to assemble documents, including an original death certificate; the original will (and codicils, if they exist); original trust documents (if they exist); addresses for executors and beneficiaries in the will; and an itemization of assets such as personal property and real property (home, coop or condo) in the deceased’s estate.Read more
NEW YORK, NY -- Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that New York State Senator CARL KRUGER was sentenced today to seven years in prison for engaging in bribery schemes in which he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for taking official actions. As part of the schemes, the corrupt payments intended for KRUGER were directed to bank accounts controlled by MICHAEL TURANO, a Manhattan-based gynecologist, who was sentenced today to two years in prison for his role in the schemes. KRUGER and TURANO were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff.Read more
Over the next month, we should be able to review several key decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court usually finishes releasing their decisions for the previous term in June. Here are the six cases we will be reading about soon. For each case, you can find the date argued, a link to entire docket (thanks to the ABA website) and the question(s) presented to the court:
1. Arizona v. United States – Argued April 25, 2012
Arizona enacted the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act (S.B. 1070) to address the illegal immigration crisis in the State. The four provisions of S.B. 1070 enjoined by the courts below authorize and direct state law enforcement officers to cooperate and communicate with federal officials regarding the enforcement of federal immigration law and impose penalties under state law for non-compliance with federal immigration requirements.
The question presented is whether the federal immigration laws preclude Arizona’s efforts at cooperative law enforcement and impliedly preempt these four provisions of S.B. 1070 on their face.Read more
The New Rochelle Reform Club will host a special forum Wednesday May 22nd featuring former Yonkers City Councilman John Murtagh who will speak and answer questions about his years of experience with Forest City/Ratner, the developer of the proposed Echo Bay Project in New Rochelle, NY.
This is a "can't miss" event for New Rochelle residents concerns about the appalling track record for the Cleveland-based developer whose projects have frequently been the subject of state and federal corruption indictments.
Murtagh will share his unique insights into the business practices of Forest City/Ratner and the implications for New Rochelle in the wake of the City Council's recent 7-0 vote to move forward with an MOU extension for Forest City/Ratner's proposed Echo Bay Development in New Rochelle.
Murtagh opposed the Ridge High project and testified in the public corruption trial of Sandy Annabi and Zehy Jereis where the pair were convicted of bribery and corruption charges.
At the time, Murtagh said that Forest City Ratner has “little or no regard for public opinion", adding “Their entire business model is to exploit every tax loophole and taxpayer-funded subsidy that they can. Promise the world and deliver far less, and do it all by manipulation.”Read more
(White Plains, NY) -- Faced with family court facilities plagued by deteriorating building conditions that pose safety risks to Westchester families, residents, police officers and court personnel, the Westchester County Board of Legislators (BOL) pressed County Executive Robert P. Astorino’s Administration again this week to stay on track with renovations and long-term solutions.
Although the Administration promised to present the BOL with a plan last year regarding the numerous public safety issues and building problems existing at both the Yonkers and New Rochelle family court facilities, information about the County's plan only surfaced Wednesday during a meeting of the BOL’s Sub-Committee for Capital Projects, chaired by BOL Vice Chair Lyndon Williams (D-Mount Vernon).Read more
Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Tanisha Gomez, 27 of 132-39 88th Street, Ozone Park, New York, was sentenced today to an indeterminate term of three to nine years in state prison on her guilty plea to all counts of a nine count indictment that charged her with three counts of Aggravated Vehicular Homicide, class “B” Felonies, one count of Manslaughter in the Second Degree, a class “C” Felony, one count of Vehicular Assault in the First Degree, a class “D” Felony, one count of Aggravated Driving While Intoxicated, an unclassified Misdemeanor in the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, two counts of Driving While Intoxicated, unclassified Misdemeanors in the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law, and one count of Reckless Driving, an unclassified Misdemeanor in the New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law.
On July 24, 2011 at approximately 4:31 am, the defendant struck another vehicle head on as she was driving northbound in the southbound lanes of the New England Thruway in New Rochelle.
She had been driving her vehicle in the wrong direction on the Thruway for at least 6.4 miles in New York City and Westchester County.Read more
Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced today that Demetrius Williams, 36, of 40 Memorial Highway, New Rochelle, New York was convicted after a jury trial of one count of Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class “C” Violent Felony.
On May 6, 2011, at approximately 4:12 p.m., members of the City of New Rochelle Police Department responded to Yamaha Wheel Sports Center, located at 399 Huguenot Street, on the report of a verbal dispute.
Upon arrival, the officers met with a Yamaha employee and the defendant, and learned that the dispute was regarding a civil matter concerning nonpayment on a previous motor scooter purchase.
Both parties agreed that until payment could be made, the scooter would remain at Yamaha.
The dispute having been resolved, the police left.Read more
Former Yonkers City Council Democratic Majority Leader And Former Yonkers Republican Party Chief Annabi Convicted for Accepting Nearly $200,000 in Bribes and for Filing False Tax Returns Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Sandy Annabi, the former Democratic Majority Leader of the Yonkers City Council, and Zehy Jereis, the former head of the Yonkers Republican Party, were found guilty today by a jury in Manhattan federal court of public corruption crimes. Annabi and Jereis were convicted for participating in bribery schemes related to her position on the Yonkers City Council as well as the actions they took to conceal these schemes. Annabi was also convicted of making false statements to financial institutions related to loans she was seeking for two houses and an apartment in Yonkers, New York, and for filing false federal income tax returns. They were convicted on all counts after a seven-week trial before U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon.
Annabi, 41, and Jereis, 40, both of Yonkers, New York, were each convicted of one count of conspiracy to make and accept corrupt payments, one count of conspiracy to deprive the City of Yonkers and its citizens of Annabi’s honest services, one count of receiving corrupt payments, and one count of extortion. Annabi was also convicted of one count of receiving corrupt payments, three counts of making false statements to a bank, and two counts of filing false tax returns. Jereis was also convicted of one count of making corrupt payments.
Annabi faces a maximum sentence of 161 years in prison, and Jereis faces a maximum sentence of 65 years in prison.Read more