One of the more common problems that is encountered by estate Executors and Administrators is the recovery of a decedent’s property from third parties. New York Estate Attorneys frequently need to counsel fiduciaries regarding the Court procedures to obtain assets that belong to an estate. I have represented fiduciaries in numerous cases to recover property.
Very often an Executor or Administrator is confronted with a situation where a house or apartment that was owned by the decedent continues to be occupied by persons’ after the decedent dies. Moreover, such occupants refuse to vacate the property which prevents the Executor from selling the property and completing estate settlement.When these situations arise, a proceeding can be brought in the Surrogate’s Court to obtain an Order of Eviction. The Surrogate’s Court will accept jurisdiction in these types of eviction proceedings particularly where the occupants are family members.
It should be noted that when the occupants of estate property are third party tenants, it is also possible for the fiduciary to bring summary eviction proceedings in the appropriate housing court. I have assisted many fiduciaries in evicting tenants from estate property in landlord-tenant court.
A recent case decided by Manhattan Surrogate Nora Anderson on December 28, 2015 and entitled Matter of Jakuboski provides a typical example of the estate eviction dilemma. In Jakuboski the decedent owned a cooperative apartment that was valued at approximately $650,000.00. When the decedent died the apartment had an outstanding mortgage debt of approximately $440,000.00. The apartment was occupied by the decedent’s brother who was not named as a beneficiary in the decedent’s Will. Since the estate had virtually no liquid assets, the Executor could not pay the monthly mortgage payments or cooperative maintenance charges. As a result, the mortgage bank had taken action to foreclose on the mortgage. This dilemma appeared to be the direct result of the refusal by the decedent’s brother to vacate the apartment and allow it to be sold.
The Executor in Jakuboski filed a proceeding in the Manhattan Surrogate’s Court to evict the brother from the apartment. This request was granted by the Surrogate who issued an Order of Eviction.
The New York Probate Lawyer Blog has published numerous posts regarding the process whereby estate fiduciaries can bring proceedings in the Surrogate’s Court to obtain the turnover of estate property which includes obtaining eviction orders against persons who wrongfully occupy estate property such as houses and cooperative or condominium apartments.
There is a fiduciary obligation to protect and collect all estate assets. Sometimes Estate Litigation is needed to make sure that the estate’s interests are adequately protected. I am experienced with litigation in the New York City Surrogate’s Court including Manhattan Estate Litigation and Queens Estate Litigation. If you have any questions or issues regarding estate administration or court proceedings to obtain estate assets, call me now for a free discussion.
New York Trusts and Estates Attorney Jules Martin Haas has helped many clients over the past 30 years resolve issues relating to probate and estate settlement throughout New York City including Manhattan and Brooklyn. If you or someone you know has any questions regarding these matters, please contact me at (212) 355-2575 for an initial consultation.
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