“Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright”…Or Is It?

//“Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright”…Or Is It?

“Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright”…Or Is It?

"Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright"...Or Is It? by Deborah E. Kaminetzy

Bob Marley, the singer famous for the song Three Little Birds, whose chorus was:

“Don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be alright”

passed away on May 11th,1981, without a will, with a fortune, and with at least eleven children from several different mothers, one of whom was his wife. The court battle was long and complicated.

It is said that Bob Marley had religious reasons for not drafting a will. His religion did not believe in acknowledging death, and he felt that drafting a will, despite his having cancer, would go against his religion.

Well, we don’t live in Jamaica, we live in New York. What does New York have to say about passing away without a will?

The laws of intestate succession are found in Estates, Powers, & Trusts Law 4-1.1. There are protocols for who would receive the benefit of the estate, such as your spouse getting 100 percent if you have no children, to getting $50,000 plus one half of your remaining estate if you do have children, with the children getting the remaining half in equal shares. The law goes as far along the family tree as grandparents and grandchildren with virtually all contingencies being considered. The law also treats relatives of the half blood the same as those of the whole blood. The law also dictates who would be in charge of your estate, the “administrator,” acting much like an “executor.”

Most of us do not have a religious prohibition and would be well served to have a will drafted dictating our wishes regarding our money, our minor children, and possibly saving our heirs on estate tax. When you have a will drafted, you get to decide who will be in charge of your estate  in other words, who will make the decision about selling certain assets. That executor is supposed to distribute to the beneficiaries in the percentages and at the times dictated by your will.

After your will is executed, you can go about your life and “feel alright” knowing you have taken care of this important document.

Deborah E. Kaminetzky, P.C.


Deborah E. Kaminetzky, Esq.
Kaminetzky Law & Mediation, P.C.
132 Spruce Street
Cedarhurst, New York 11516
Phone: 516.374.0074

By | 2019-05-14T21:55:15+00:00 May 11th, 2017|Estate Planning|Comments Off on “Every Little Thing Gonna Be Alright”…Or Is It?

About the Author:

Deborah E. Kaminetzky
Deborah E. Kaminetzky is the founder of Kaminetzky Law & Mediation, P.C. located in Long Beach, New York. Prior to starting the firm Deborah worked at a Long Island firm where she learned the practice of Matrimonial and Family law and Estate Planning. Deborah has also worked at the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs where she was responsible for prosecuting unlicensed home improvement contractors and negotiating settlements for consumers. Prior to practicing law, Ms. Kaminetzky was the president of a commercial property management corporation in the New York Metro area. Ms. Kaminetzky is a member of the National Association of Divorce Professionals, New York State Council on Divorce Mediation, Family and Divorce Mediation Council of Greater New York, New York State Bar Association (Business Law, Estate, Family Law, ADR and General Practice Sections), Nassau County Bar Association (where she serves as Chair of the General, Solo and Practice Management Committee and The Nassau County Women’s Bar Association. Ms. Kaminetzky was appointed to the Committee on Law Practice Management of the New York State Bar Association in 2015 and has been a frequent speaker and author of articles for their journal. Ms. Kaminetzky serves on the Board of Directors of the Yashar Attorney and Judges Chapter of Hadassah as a their Treasurer, and was their Woman of the Year 2012 and Leadership award honoree in 2019. Deborah graduated from New York Law School in 1991 and the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1986. Ms. Kaminetzky was admitted to the First Department in 1991 and the United States Supreme Court Bar in February of 2015. Deborah is on the Matrimonial fee dispute arbitration panel for Nassau County. She expanded her alternative dispute resolution practice by completing a Mediation certificate program in December of 2013, an advanced Mediation certificate program in 2015 and most recently a Divorce Mediation certificate in early 2016 from The New York Peace Institute. Ms. Kaminetzky has spoken to various groups on topics including matrimonial law, technology and social media use, and disaster preparedness for business including cybersecurity.