What is Estate Administration in New York?
Managing a person’s affairs after they pass away is referred to as estate administration. This entails compiling a list of the decedent’s assets, paying bills, creditor’s claims, paying taxes and other debts and distributing assets to heirs. A personal representative designated under the decedent’s will is given the legal authority to take care of these estate administration matters by the New York Surrogate’s Court. The Court will issue Letters Testamentary. When a person dies without a will (intestate), then the Court will appoint an administrator and issue Letters of Administration. The administrator and the executor have the same powers and duties to act as the personal representative of the estate.
Searching for Assets and Long Lost Heirs
The personal representative may need to seek the help of other family member to find the decedent’s assets as well as having to search on their own. Sometimes a private investigator may need to be hired to track down long lost family members or to find assets that may be located in other places besides New York. Keep in mind that when looking for assets nothing should be overlooked. You never know what you might find and where it may be hidden. For instance, your Uncle Ed may have hidden his stamp or coin collection or other collectibles in a box in the closet or his money under the mattress. So don’t forget to search the house carefully. There are many stories of relatives finding family treasures in the least most likely places.
A property appraiser or Realtor may also be needed to give an opinion on property values or when real property needs to be sold.
Administering an estate is complicated and time consuming, especially when estates are large and there are many assets. Estate administration requires the assistance of an experienced estate lawyer in New York to guide the personal representative through the process. The attorney works with the personal representative to make sure that all legal formalities are carried out properly and that no timelines are missed. Saint Pre Law Firmd will prepare the necessary legal documents, attend any court hearings and resolve any disputes that may arise between family members or other interested parties.
Even the administration of a smaller estate can have its share of problems with family members ending up in disputes or the estate having to defend against a litigation matter brought by a creditor or unhappy heir contesting the will. This is where the personal representative relies on the expertise of the estate attorney to help resolve difficult and complex matters. Heirs can be confident that they will receive their inheritances and that the estate will be wound up and closed quicker when a New York probate attorney is involved in the probate administration process.