Question

  06/19/15, 2:02 pm
Question is for estate attorney practicing in New York. Back in 1987 my mother inherited the personal property of a friend. The section of the will says only personal property - it did not itemize. Part of the personal property were photos by my mother's friends husband (deceased before) which still have value. My mother received some of them in the late 80's.. She died in 2002. About 2 years ago we were contacted by the wife of the executor. She said that when the house was being cleared, she took home bags and boxes of "discards" or trash that she kept unexamined until after her husband, the executor's death, about 6 years ago. They were not included in the probate inventory. She claims she had a letter stating my mother was through with the property but the letter she sent does not say that. For the last few years she and two of her friends, one a photographer, have been sorting and preparing the collection. She's also called galleries and museums to ascertain possible value. She says she has not sold anything. She called me, as my mother's heir, wanting a signature on a court document allowing her to sell. Because of legal costs, suing her for conversion isn't possible. She mentioned an agreement between us. I thought we could come to terms, but that hasn't worked. My question is: for Surrogate's Court in Manhattan, is there any I can take the will and other estate papers and get some document declaring my ownership without directly suing the woman now in possession? If so, that would be a bargaining tool. I believe statue of limitations on conversion in NYC is 3 years? Any information appreciated.
United States   |   New York  |  Probate Trusts Wills & Estates
Cost: Paid

Answer

Eric Gottfried Says:

Jun 29,2015 9:39 AM

You have raised several complicated issues. We have attorneys that can assist you. Please contact my office for assistance at 212-766-5665

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Eric Gottfried
Gottfried Law, PLLC
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