The laws in New York when it comes to transferring vendor’s licenses are extremely strict. In general, such a license cannot be transferred to someone else. For many years, this was the case even when it came to inheritance rights for the families of vendors besides veterans. The law has changed recently, however, meaning that a vendor’s license should be taken into account when working with a New York estate’s attorney to come up with an estate plan or handle an estate.
Up until April of 2016, the only way to really transfer a vendor’s license through inheritance is if the license holder was a disabled veteran. In such cases, the spouse of that veteran could inherit and use the license. However, there were times where the license would be transferred back to the State, such as when the surviving spouse remarried or when the last minor child reached the age of 18. The spouse would not have been able to transfer that license to someone else.
What Happens to a Vendor’s License After the Death of the License Holder?
Outside of the families of disabled veterans, there was no way for anyone to inherit a vendor’s license, including the spouse or children of a license holder who died. The new law brings inheritance rights more into line with what the law was for veterans and their families. Now, a surviving spouse of a license holder can obtain transfer of that license upon informing the State. Additionally, if a surviving spouse does not opt to use the license, a guardian of a minor child of the deceased license holder can temporarily get the rights to the license, as long as the income generated by the license is used to support the children.
There are some instances where the license would revert back to the State. One such instance would be if the surviving spouse remarries. Another would be if the last minor child who is being supported by the license reaches 18 years old. The license would not be transferable by the surviving spouse, meaning that when they die or cease using it, the license would transfer back to the state.
What must be noted is that a vendor’s license cannot be transferred through a will and cannot be transferred to anyone besides a surviving spouse or the guardian of the license holder’s minor children. An example of this would be a sibling, parent or friend of the license holder. That person would not have a right to a vendor’s license, regardless of whether the license is left to them in a will.
Because of the rules change, it is important that a vendor’s license holder consult with a New York estate attorney to develop an estate plan at this point. It is equally important that the surviving spouse of a license holder also consult with a lawyer so that they can be sure that all of the necessary steps are taken to make sure the transfer is done correctly.