The market for Mobile Food Vendor’s Permits in New York is extremely tight. According to some reports, the waiting list for getting a new permit is in the thousands, meaning that getting a Mobile Food Vendor’s Permit can take some people up to a decade. The fee for one of these legally obtained permits may not be that high, only a few hundred dollars, but the value can be worth tens of thousands more.
Demand is so high and supply is so limited that there is a thriving market for illegal transfers and rentals of food trucks and carts that happens around the city.
It is because of this, there are many who hold one of these permits who may wonder what a New York estate lawyer can do for them when it comes to leaving this permit to a loved one in a will.
Unfortunately, there is no good news for the majority of legal food truck permit owners when it comes to inheritance rights.
In general, food truck permits are not legally transferable. This does not mean that transfers do not happen, as can be seen by the thriving black market business in selling and renting these permits. This ban on transferring permits does not just include transfers via a sale or some other form to a third party. With very few exceptions, the transfer of a food truck permit is illegal in all forms, including leaving that permit to someone as part of an estate. When the permit owner dies, the permit cannot be transferred to his or her heirs.
The exception to this is for veterans. Veterans have a bit of an edge when it comes to applying for food truck permits. This is most explicitly seen when it comes to fees. A veteran would not have to pay the normal application or renewal fee for their license with the city. Additionally, there would be limited inheritance rights when it comes to a veteran. In the case of a veteran, his or her surviving spouse can inherit, as can the guardian who would be using income generated by the license to support minor children.
It must be kept in mind, however, that transferring a permit after death can only be for the spouse and children, and that transfer still has limitations. For example, a surviving spouse would lose his or her interest in the permit if they remarry and the permit would revert back to the state in the case of the last minor child reaching 18 years old. Additionally, besides the limited exception of the spouse or children, there would be no way to leave the permit to anyone else, whether in a will or otherwise. There is nothing in the law that would allow transfer to a parent, sibling, business partner or friend. So if you leave the permit to someone in a will, the bequest will not be valid unless that person is related to you like described above.
Contacting a New York estate lawyer is one of the first things that you should do in the case of having complexities caused by having state or city permits that generate income for your family.