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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    14

    Default What Happens if You Do Not Follow Procedure

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: New York

    My question involves estate proceedings in the state of: New York

    If a spouse dies, what paperwork does the surviving spouse need to file?
    What happens if they do not file and manage the assets as if the spouse was still alive?

    There is a family in my neighborhood that recently lost one of the parents. They story is that
    the widow is really distraught over the death and has designated one of the kids to manage the family
    assets. But the widower has not filed any death certificates or paper work. Her other kids are telling her
    she needs to file the paperwork, but she refuses. Apparently the child that she designated to manage
    everything does not get along with the other kids. What does not also help is that kid is really bad with money.
    It is a mess.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
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    17,916

    Default Re: What Happens if You Do Not Follow Procedure

    If a spouse dies, what paperwork does the surviving spouse need to file?
    She might not need to file anything. Married people generally own everything jointly with right of survivorship. Like a house, cars, bank accounts. All go automatically to the surviving spouse without probate and no paperwork. The exceptions are IRAs and pensions which might have to be probated if they didn't have beneficiary designations. Personal property is presumed to be owned by the one who possesses it, so everything in the house is hers.

    If the husband's death was recent she could take her time taking care of everything.

    If she chose a financially incompetent person to handle her finances, she will eventually have to face the consequences of that mistake.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
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    6,887

    Default Re: What Happens if You Do Not Follow Procedure

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    She might not need to file anything. Married people generally own everything jointly with right of survivorship. Like a house, cars, bank accounts. All go automatically to the surviving spouse without probate and no paperwork..
    That is not exactly true. It is true with real property and joint bank accounts. But not true for cars (and other titled property like boats and RVs) and bank and brokerage accounts held separately. If there was a designated beneficiary on bank and brokerage accounts, they get transferred to the beneficiary upon identification of the beneficiary and presentment of a death certificate. Banks don't transfer accounts from one spouse to another without letters testamentary issued by the probate court.

    If there was a will, then the estate has to go through probate or the estate has to go through probate intestate with no will. That is not automatic and requires paperwork.

  4. #4
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    Mar 2013
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    Default Re: What Happens if You Do Not Follow Procedure

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    That is not exactly true. It is true with real property and joint bank accounts. But not true for cars (and other titled property like boats and RVs)
    For titled vehicles up to $25,000 NY requires only the death certificate and appropriate DMV forms. Over $25,000 and, yes, probate court papers are required.

    This link is for exitsign's benefit.

    https://dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv843.pdf

    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post
    That is not exactly true. It is true with real property and joint bank accounts. But not true for ... bank and brokerage accounts held separately.
    I alluded to that.

    Quote Quoting budwad
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    Banks don't transfer accounts from one spouse to another without letters testamentary issued by the probate court.
    A joint account can be used by the widow as is or she can write herself a check for the balance and open up another account in her own name.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
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    14

    Default Re: What Happens if You Do Not Follow Procedure

    Thank you both for your responses.


    Quote Quoting budwad
    View Post

    If there was a will, then the estate has to go through probate or the estate has to go through probate intestate with no will. That is not automatic and requires paperwork.
    I am assuming there is a will. The family owns a bunch of businesses that the patriarch ran. What happens if the estate does not go into probate or probate intestate? What are the consequences?



    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
    View Post
    For titled vehicles up to $25,000 NY requires only the death certificate and appropriate DMV forms. Over $25,000 and, yes, probate court papers are required.

    This link is for exitsign's benefit.

    https://dmv.ny.gov/forms/mv843.pdf
    So if the car is worth under $25,000, no need for the additional paperwork. Interesting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    2,336

    Default Re: What Happens if You Do Not Follow Procedure

    Quote Quoting exitsign
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    If a spouse dies, what paperwork does the surviving spouse need to file?
    Depends on the relevant facts (e.g., the nature and extend of the dead person's assets and debts and whether or not he had a will). It could be that nothing or only a couple documents need to be filed. Or it could be that dozens of documents need to be filed.


    Quote Quoting exitsign
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    What happens if they do not file and manage the assets as if the spouse was still alive?
    This question cannot be intelligently answered in the abstract.


    Quote Quoting exitsign
    View Post
    the widow is really distraught over the death and has designated one of the kids to manage the family
    assets. the widower has not filed any death certificates or paper work.
    How could there be both a widow and a widower?

    In any event, the death certificate will be created and filed by a local or state department of vital records, and that process is typically initiated by the funeral home that handles the disposition of the dead person's bodily remains. I assume the family didn't just bury the body in the backyard. Right?


    Quote Quoting exitsign
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    Her other kids are telling her
    she needs to file the paperwork, but she refuses.
    Needs to file what paperwork? Why is she refusing?


    Quote Quoting exitsign
    View Post
    It is a mess.
    First, while I can understand your concern for a neighbor, this isn't your mess. Second, it sounds like all of the persons involved are adults. If anyone doesn't like what's happening, then that person or those persons can retain legal counsel to review the situation and provide advice.

    Quote Quoting exitsign
    View Post
    The family owns a bunch of businesses that the patriarch ran. What happens if the estate does not go into probate or probate intestate? What are the consequences?
    There could be dozens of potential consequences, some positive and some negative.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    3,972

    Default Re: What Happens if You Do Not Follow Procedure

    Quote Quoting exitsign
    View Post
    What are the consequences?
    The ownership of the property in the estate will not transfer.


    Quote Quoting exitsign
    View Post
    What are the consequences?
    Dogs will live with cats and I'll eat more vegetables. None of these things will have anything to do with you though.

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