The settlement of a New York estate involves dealing with many different estate assets. These assets may include bank accounts, stocks and bonds and retirement funds. In many instances the most valuable item comprising a decedent’s estate is real property. Such property may be in the nature of the decedent’s residence or investment or commercial real estate.
It is not uncommon that when a person dies their home had been owned by them for many years or even decades. Very often the decedent lived in their home with other family members such as a spouse or children or other relatives like nieces and nephews. Problems tend to arise where the decedent was not survived by a spouse and other family members had been living with the decedent in the home. Typically, the real property residence is either given in a Last Will to persons other than, or in addition to, those who had been living there with the testator. When there is no Last Will and a person dies intestate, the interest in the real estate may pass to a group of individuals who are the decedent’s next of kin or distributees. Such persons may or may not include the residents of the property. Continue reading →