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Richard, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 53701
Experience:  Attorney with 29 years of experience.
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I have a friend (Lana) who is originally from the Ukraine and

Customer Question

I have a friend (Lana) who is originally from the Ukraine and has lived here for 18 years. For the past 14 years, she cared for and elderly man and his sister. The man died about 3 years ago and left her a trust fund which she cannot touch until she is 55 (she is 45 now). The sister died about 3 weeks ago. It should be noted that Lana cared for this lady while she was in extremely poor health (practically and invalid) in her home up until the day she died while continuing to work her full time job as a pharmacy tech.

There is a "friend" who was included in the will of the sister. He is 56, and they had known him for most of his life. It was the sister's hope/wish that this man and the Lana would be together, whether married or in a serious relationship. This man is extremely wealthy, lives in an upscale New York community, has yacht, and is making frequent trips to the Bahamas. The lady's will stated that all her money be left to this man and Lana but neither one could spend any of it without the other's approval.

This man has told Lana that he will never give her any of the money unless they are together. He has her convinced that there is nothing she can do because of what the will states. In the meantime, he is going to the Bahamas for a month at a time, enjoying time on his yacht, and living the high life on his own money while Lana is working full time just to make ends meet. He told Lana that the lady who had died wanted her to have a nice car. He bought one but will not give it to her, again unless they are together. I have a feeling that the lady had given him the money to buy the car but he is making it seem like he is spending his own.

Please let me know if there is anything Lana can do. She wants to sever all ties with this man but get what she has coming to her.

Thank you
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Richard replied 5 years ago.

Good morning. If I were you, I would have Lana file a petition with the probate court to have the provision of the will that both need to agree be deemed void because it's against public policy to hold people hostage in such a way by basically forcing people to together. Also, she should also consider getting his comments that he will never agree to give her any money unless she lives with him on email, text, voice mail or recording. This is basically extortion and a criminal offense. Once she has evidence of criminal offense she can go to the district attorney and pursue criminal charges and the criminal offense facts will help a probate court judge deem the provision void.



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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Hello, and thank you so much for this information. In your reply you said that Lana should get this man's comments on a recording (among other methods). I am just curious, what methods would be acceptable to a probate judge in this day and age?

Thank you
Expert:  Richard replied 5 years ago.
Text, voice mail, email, phone recording.....any of those would work. New York is a "one-party" consent state, so it's acceptable for your friend to record the phone recording without informing him.
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
Thank you so much. This really helps. I am not sure how to give you a feedback score but you are AAAAA++++++++ in my book!
Expert:  Richard replied 5 years ago.
You're welcome! Thanks so much for the kind have a great day!!

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