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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 35297
Experience:  16 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My stepfather gave my brother and I the house( i live in this

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My stepfather gave my brother and I the house( i live in this house now for the last ten years) with him having a life lease on it, now his daughter has power of attorney for him, they are putting my stepdad in a nursing home and they are emptying out his place which is attached to my home and told us if we took anything out of it we would be arrested.. my mom passed away last year and she left us some stuff but we did not take it out of the apartment so my stepdad would not feel lost in the apt. now his daughter says its all theirs.. can she do this to us..what can i do..and she said that me my brother and her will go to her lawyers office and she is removing my step dad from the house
Hello and welcome! My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try my level best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.
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Did mother leave you certain items of personal property in a will or some other type of writing?
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Or was it just understood that you would get certain items?
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

I do have something that she wrote on paper and had her sister at the time sign as a witness back in 2009.but it is written in french not sure if that matters or not.. thanks,

The actual language doesn't matter as long as it can be translated. What does matter is what it says.. If it says " I am giving my daughter Suzy Smith the Ming Vase in the living room as of today XXXXXX" then that means that as of that point, it is yours. But if it says "I want my daughter Suzy Smith to have the Ming Vase when I die"., unless that document is executed with all the formality of a legal will, it doesn't count.
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In NY in order for something to be treated as a valid will, it has to be signed by the testator in front of two witnesses who must also sign the will. So if this is a statement about giving you something when she dies and it isn't signed by two witnesses and her, then it wouldn't be legally binding.
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I hate to say it, but it isn't what someone's intentions were that counts...it is what they actually legally did that does.
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Thanks
Barrister
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