New York Fiduciaries Are Required to Recover all Estate Assets

Estate Lawyers in New York are familiar with the various statutes that provide executors and administrators with powers to administer an estate.  Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (EPTL) Section 11-1.1 entitled “Fiduciaries’ powers”, sets forth many of the matters that a fiduciary can engage in to facilitate estate settlement.  For example, under EPTL 11.1.1, the fiduciary can invest and sell estate property.  He can also settle or contest claims either for or against the estate.

The New York Probate Lawyer Blog had posted a number of articles concerning the ability of an executor or administrator to commence proceedings in Surrogate’s Court to obtain the turn-over of estate property from third parties who are withholding the property from the fiduciary. These types of proceedings are governed by Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA) Section 2103 (“Proceeding by fiduciary to discover property withheld or obtain information”) and SCPA 2104 (“Inquiry; trial and decree).The fiduciary may utilize these sections of the law to discover missing assets and to obtain their recovery for the estate. I have represented many fiduciaries and parties in connection with estate turnover proceedings. These cases are typically commenced and determined in the Surrogate’s Court. It is important for the client to have representation by someone who is familiar with the statutes involved and the Court process. There is a Surrogate’s Court in the various counties in New York such as Kings County Surrogate’s Court and Queens County Surrogate’s Court.

An interesting case concerning a turnover matter was recently decided by Manhattan Surrogate Nora Anderson on July 1, 2016. In Estate of Sideris, a preliminary executor of an estate sought to recover certain property from relatives of the decedent. According to the Court decision, the property had been taken by the relatives from the decedent’s bank and residence in Greece along with certain of the decedent’s Greek land interests. In granting summary judgment to the petitioner, the Court agreed that the relatives did not provide any basis to retain the decedent’s assets and that the assets should be turned over to the preliminary executor.

If you are involved in any form of estate litigation or property turnover proceedings, please call me now for a free discussion regarding your issue.

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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