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Man at odds with deceased partner’s relatives over brownstone

One of the primary reasons why so many estate planning experts in Miami encourage people to have a will is so that disputes over the rightful ownership of their property and assets can be avoided. When one dies without a will, he or she is said to have died “intestate.” Florida has laws that spell out the state’s intestate succession policies. These laws name the deceased’s family and next of kin as the heirs to his or her estate. Some may have no issues with this. Others, however, may want to first consider any special relationships they may have with people who they would like to benefit from their assets, and how their inaction may affect those parties.

Anyone needing an answer to that question need only look at the current case of a New York man, who is currently filing to lawsuit to keep from potentially being thrown out on the street. The man resided in a coveted Manhattan brownstone apartment building with his partner of over 50 years. That partner, who was the titleholder of the property, died two years ago. The two never married, yet his partner did draft a will leaving all of his property to the man. That will has been invalidated due to the fact that it not have the requisite signatures of two witnesses. With no valid will, the property passed to the man’s nieces and nephews, who have now listed it for sale. They had offered to allow the man to stay in one of the apartments, however their attorney implied that their thoughts may change in light of his lawsuit.

Those wanting to avoid such drama with their estates may wish to work with an attorney to create a will while they still can.

Source: The New York Times “A Brownstone and the Bitter Fight to Inherit It” Maslin Nir, Sarah, Oct. 23, 2016

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