Beneficiaries of an Estate in New York may be determined in a number of different ways. The most recognizable method of beneficiary designation is the naming of an individual or institution to receive a benefit in a Last Will. There are many different types of dispositions that can be made in a Will such as leaving a specific item or property to a beneficiary or by just setting forth that the beneficiary is to receive a certain share or percentage of an estate.
Another method of beneficiary selection is where a decedent does not prepare a Last Will. When a person dies intestate his estate is distributed to his distributees (i.e. heirs at law). The persons who qualify as distributees are determined by the New York Estate laws. Estate Lawyers in New York are familiar with Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (EPTL) Section 4-1.1 which provides the priority of the individuals entitled to share in the intestate estate. EPTL 4-1.1 is entitled “Descent and distribution of a decedent’s estate”. This statute has been discussed in many prior articles in the New York Probate Lawyer Blog. Continue reading →