Transcript - Jules Haas Interview
M: Good morning. How you doing sir?
Jules: I’m good. How are you today?
M: I’m doing just fantastic. It’s just that I was-I played your commercial earlier on, and I was talking a little bit about, you know, if somebody ask you, you should see a wills trust and estate attorney and you say what is that, you know you’re in trouble because it’s going to come to you eventually. You have to deal with this. Everybody deals with it, but they never think about it until it happens. Am I right?
J: That’s true. You know, a lot of times people really don’t plan ahead. And that’s not because are just being-ignoring it, it’s just they’ve got other stuff going on in their life. But, planning your estate, dealing with what we call advanced directives like power of attorney or healthcare proxy, these things are important to consider.
M: Then let’s just break it out. What is let’s say power of attorney? Is that when somebody is not coherent or something like that, that you can get a power of attorney where you can possibly handle their business. Is that what it is?
J: Well, power of attorney form allows you to designate someone to make certain property decisions for you. When it’s [inaudible] certainly you have to have a full capacity understanding that you’re delegating some of these decisions to someone else. But it doesn’t necessarily mean at that time or even when it’s used that you don’t have the ability to make those decisions. So for instance, let’s say that you’re going to buy or sell a piece of real estate and you’re going to be out of the country or across the country in a different state and you yourself can’t be there to handle that transaction. Now, you can give someone else a power of attorney to authorize them to act in your behalf. Now the typical power of attorney that is done in New York is what we call a durable power of attorney. So the power of attorney will stay in full force and effect if somebody comes -becomes incapacitated. And that’s the whole point of this many times. So, if somebody loses the ability to make these decisions there will be someone there to do that for them. But there’s a lot of planning and consideration that goes into it because there’s a lot of abuse. Particularly with older persons of powers of attorney. When people sign these documents and they don’t really understand the import of what they’re doing.
M: And not only that [clears throat] you have to make sure that the person is coherent while they’re signing this document because you cannot-it’s not valid, right?
J: Well the question always arises, did they understand what they were doing? And is the document valid? So the court should always-you know the court should invalidate it and there are many many court cases and disputes about whether or not a power of attorney was signed when someone had capacity to do so because the person that was given the power then went ahead and transferred assets in a way that other family members sometimes dispute. And then you have all of these court cases where this comes up, whether it’s a guardianship proceeding or the person is still alive or whether it’s in surrogate’s court after a person passes away.
M: Well, let’s just talk about that surrogate court. You know, a lot of people when you say, surrogate court, you know, they kind of just don’t know what you’re talking about because not many people talk about that on a regular basis, like if it’s criminal court or family court or something. You know, housing court, those are popular names out there; but for a court that is going to greet people eventually, a lot of people still don’t know what the surrogate court is all about. And this is divvying up the property of people when they die without some type of will, right? Isn’t that basically what the surrogate court is all about?
J: Okay. So the surrogate’s court handles all matters relating to a decedent. So, it’s where you go when you’re going to probate a will. It’s where you go when a person doesn’t have a will and you’re going to ask the court to appoint an administrator of an estate. Now the surrogate’s court handles a lot-you know, other things, but those are the two basic areas that people would understand about the surrogate’s court. So when someone dies, you’re probating a will, you go to surrogate’s court. Someone dies, they don’t have a will, you need an administrator, you go to the surrogate’s court. And they deal with all of those issues and all of the issues associated with those types of proceedings whether it’s an accounting proceeding, whether it’s a lost will proceeding, there’s just dozens and dozens of different types of problems and issues that arise in connections decedents estates.
M: Well folks, I just want to remind everybody who I’m speaking to. I’m speaking to attorney Jules Martin Haas. He is a 33 year veteran in the wills, trust and estates legal part of the business. And you hear things like the surrogate court and all of that and you trying to figure out what are we talking about. It happens to everybody, everybody-somebody dies and they leave property, they have some kind of a interest in many different things, and it has to be figured out. And this is the gentleman who you will have to make friends with and get to know and who will walk you through this maze of legal craziness. I can’t call it craziness because it’s not craziness, it’s just a lot of legal work and trying to make everything equal. Make sure that whoever has to get something from this property is paid off. It’s really very, very, a different area of law. And I’m so glad that you’re spending the time to come and explain to people that listen you have first, I think, is, and I want you to speak on this for a minute-get a will. Or talk to people who has properties to get a will.
J: Right. Yes. It’s important to prepare an estate plan which includes your will. A will is going to enable you to actually express your intentions with regard to how you want your estate disposed of. Whereas one, and I think we’ve spoken about this on other programs, when you don’t have a will, the estate-the laws of New York State are going to determine who is going to inherit your property. And that’s really not what you want because it may not reflect what your intentions are.
M: Oh, yes. Most definitely.
J: So, having a will is important.
M: Let me do this. You know we’re talking, but I want-a lot of people probably saying oh my God, this is exactly what I need. Folks if you want to get in touch with attorney Jules Martin Haas, there’s a couple ways you can do that. One is his direct telephone number. 212-355-2575. It’s easy to remember once you get into it. 212-355-2575. That is the direct connect to attorney Jules Martin Haas. 212-355-2575. Now your website, is it just your name?
J: Yeah, my website is-you type it out. It’s JulesHaasattorney-spelled out-dotcom. So it’s JulesHaasattorney.com. But if you just go to Google, and you type my name in which is Jules-J-U-L-E-S H-A-A-S. Just do a Google search it’ll come up. You know, hit my website.
M: And also your blog, right?
J: And my blog, which I publish every week. We publish an article about the states and guardianship and there’s just hundreds of pages on there with information people can look at to learn more and understand what their issues may be.
M: Well, I’m glad that you have all this information because like, I know, and this is what I was talking about even earlier in the program that you might not think that you need to speak to a wills, trust, and estate attorney, but everybody should have a meeting and some type of consultation on their estate planning, which, like the attorney just said, is part of-your will is part of that whole process. It’s kind of like, not what everybody wants to talk about, but you should talk about it and you should commit to a conversation with an attorney like Jules Martin Haas. Again, his number: 212-355-2575. 212-355-2575. I want to thank you very much for getting up this early to talk to us in the morning. But there’s a lot of people going to work, you know working hard, working many hours like I do and just don’t think about some of things that they have to think about and this is one of them. All right? And I thank you very much attorney for joining us this morning.
J: No problem Trevor. Thank you very much.
M: All right, sir.
J: I appreciate having a conversation with you today.
M: All right. Thank you very much sir.
J: Take care.