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Benjamin Z. Katz

Benjamin Z. Katz

Life Planning for Your Family the Right Way!
  • Estate Planning, Animal & Dog Law, Real Estate Law...
  • New York
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I have a different philosophy than many attorneys. My goal is to form and maintain long term relationships with my clients; not to provide legal documents on a transactional basis. I am blessed to be a happy husband, a proud father and a joyful pet owner. I have always felt that a life well lived is one filled with connections to others.

Our lives are filled with uncertainty. If you are single, married or in a relationship; if you have children, plan to have children or not; or if you have pets or charities that you wish to provide for, you need a plan to address that uncertainty. If you don't have a plan in place, state laws will control what happens to you and your family. I can help you formulate and implement a plan tailored to your needs and choices and then review that plan with you throughout your life to make changes as needed.

Eliminate uncertainty for your family should you become incapacitated or die. Protect and control your assets. But most importantly, leave a legacy of confidence and positivity for all your loved ones.

Presently, areas of practice include Estate Planning, Probate & Administration, Residential Real Estate, Guardianship and Animal Law.

I serve as a Consultant to several mortgage companies, having instructed real estate and mortgage licensees for many years and co-authored and edited several mortgage textbooks including Mortgage Lending Principles and Practices (6th, 7th and 8th edition).

I am a NYS Certified Real Estate Instructor. I am a member of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association and the New York City Bar Association. I serve as a Volunteer Attorney for Free Legal Answers through the ABA as well as serving as a member of the Estate Planning Committee of the Senior Lawyers Division and serve on the New York City Bar Association's Consumer Affair Committee. I am an Attorney Member of the Animal Legal Defense Fund and support several charitable organizations.

Practice Areas
  • Estate Planning
  • Animal & Dog Law
  • Real Estate Law
  • Probate
  • Elder Law
  • Free Consultation
  • Credit Cards Accepted
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
New York
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  • English: Spoken, Written
Professional Experience
Benjamin Katz, Esq.
- Current
Law Offices of Benjamin Z. Katz, Esq.
Hofstra University
J.D. (1994) | Law
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State University of New York - Stony Brook
B.A. (1991) | History
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Professional Associations
New York City Bar Association
- Current
Activities: Consumer Affairs Committee Member
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American Bar Association
- Current
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New York State Bar Association
- Current
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Articles & Publications
Mortgage Lending Principles and Practices, 8th Ed.
Hondros Learning
Certified Real Estate Instructor
New York State Department of State
Websites & Blogs
Legal Answers
54 Questions Answered

Q. When somebody dies unexpectedly and they have two powers of attorney are they responsible for disbursement of money
A: A Power of Attorney is not effective once the person dies. If there was a Will, once the Surrogate's court determines it is valid, Letters Testamentary will be issued to the Executor/Executrix. If there was no Will, Letters of Administration will be issued to the Administrator/Administratrix. Those "letters" grant power to the fiduciary to manage and disburse estate assets. A felony conviction will disqualify someone from serving in a fiduciary capacity.
Q. How long does it take to get letter of administration from the time petition is submitted to court in Kings county
A: It depends upon the cooperation of potential distributees. If it is done correctly and everyone cooperates, it could be in 3-4 weeks.
Q. Can I refuse to be a co-executor of my brother’s will before he dies or do I have to wait for the ultimate event?
A: If you told him that you don’t want to serve with your sister, that is all you can do at this point. If he dies before you and your sister, you can decline to serve. If your sister passes before him you can choose to serve.
Q. How do I file a claim against a lawyer (Versace) for discrimination?
A: You can file a complaint with New York State Division of Human Rights.
Q. My boyfriend gifted me a dog, we broke up and took the dog back from me, how do I get him back legally?
A: I noticed you are in NJ. I’m not sure where the dog is but generally you will need to bring an action to recover the dog in the jurisdiction where it is located. Since most states (including NY) treat pets as property, you will need to prove ownership. Is the dog licensed to you? Do you have vet records indicating you as owner? Do you have a bill of sale in your name? Is there something you can show to prove that you took responsibility for your dog? If you do, you can sue your boyfriend in court.
Q. I am a missionary in the Philippines. My father died in 2011 and my brother took care of everything. I was not told if
A: Do you know if your brother brought an estate proceeding for your father? If not, you would need to petition the court for the power to discover and secure assets including the bank account. If you do it yourself it would only cost a few hundred dollars. If you hire an attorney it could cost about $1,000 to $1,500.
Q. Did my grandmother commit a breach of fiduciary responsibility?
A: She may have breached her duty. However, that determination would have to be made after reviewing the trust agreement.
Q. Is it legal for a son to acquire a Reverse mortgage while mom in a nursing home? Two names on deed.
A: You should consult an attorney to determine the surviving sister’s rights. Your instincts may be right. But all the facts should be reviewed before a legal conclusion can be made and the proper action taken.
Q. Who gets the dog and what are my rights?
A: It sounds like you both potentially can claim ownership. However, based upon what you indicated, you probably have a stronger claim. The two of you can agree who is the true owner through a written agreement. If not, the Courts may have to decide for you if there is a dispute in the future.
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Contact & Map
387 Park Avenue South
5th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Telephone: (646) 952-9010