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Many decedents’ estates contain assets in the form of real estate.  A decedent may have owned a home or rental property or a commercial building containing a business.  Such items are typically the most valuable items among the decedents’ assets. If a decedent left a Last Will, such document may provide for the disposition of a specific parcel of real estate to a named person.  When the Will does not contain such a provision…
As a Trusts and Estates lawyer in New York, I receive many inquiries from individuals who are concerned about recovering and protecting their estate inheritances.  The administration aspect of an estate generally can be in one of two forms.  There is a probate estate where a decedent dies leaving a Last Will and Testament.  When there is no Will, the estate is the subject of an intestate administration.  The New York Probate Lawyer Blog has…
Estate planning in New York is important because it allows a person to create planning documents such as a Last Will and Living Trust.  Advance directives in the form of a Power of Attorney and Health Care Proxy can also be made.  While these papers reflect a person’s intentions regarding the disposition of assets and personal care, they also allow the selection of fiduciaries, such as Executors, Trustees and Agents. In situations where a Last…
A person who is a New York domiciliary typically has his estate administrated in the County Surrogate’s Court where he maintained his home.  Domicile is a person’s primary home as opposed to numerous residences which may be used. Whether a New York decedent has a probate estate or dies intestate without a Will, primary estate proceedings are filed in New York.  However, it is not uncommon for a decedent to own various forms of property…
The forum for proceedings regarding a decedent’s estate is typically the Surrogate’s Court.  Probate proceedings and requests for intestate administration are filed in the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the decedent lived.  For example, if the person lived in Manhattan, the estate proceedings would be filed in the New York County Surrogate’s Court.  This would be so even if the individual happened to die in a different location, say on vacation in another…
Estate planning and creating a Last Will and Testament is important.  However, during the planning process, attention must be given to the eventual probating of the Will.  When a Will is admitted to probate by the Surrogate’s Court, the effect is to validate the terms and provisions in the document.  At that time the executor is granted letters testamentary and can begin the estate settlement process. The New York estate laws and procedures require that…
Like most things in life, estate planning in New York comes in all different shapes and sizes.  Each person has their own unique situation regarding assets and desires concerning advance directives and post-death distributions. When reference is made to a so-called non-traditional family, the reality is that in today’s world, nothing is really non-traditional.  However, the reference is important for at least calling attention to situations that require extra care and scrutiny to fulfill estate…
One of the responsibilities of a fiduciary, whether an Executor, Trustee or Administrator, is to discover, administer and protect the assets of an estate or trust.  When assets are in the form of bank accounts or other financial funds, these items can be transferred into a new estate or trust account and controlled thereafter by the fiduciary. Many trusts and estates own different kinds of assets.  One of the most valuable assets is real estate
A New York estate is administered by an Executor or Administrator.  An Executor is appointed when a Last Will is admitted to probate.  The appointment of an administrator occurs in a case when the decedent dies intestate without leaving a Will. The job of the estate fiduciary encompasses many functions.  First and foremost, the decedent’s assets need to be discovered and collected.  This process may be time consuming but is very important.  If a…
Many of the issues concerning estate planning, including the preparation of Last Wills, Living Wills, Health Care Proxies and Powers of Attorney involve the personal intentions of the creator of the document. For example, a Will should reflect the manner in which the testator desires or intends his assets to be disposed of at the time of death. Likewise, the identification of agents and the delineation of powers and directives in a Power of…