The job of an estate fiduciary is to settle a decedent’s estate. Whether the fiduciary is an Executor or Administrator there are three main aspects to estate administration. At the outset, the proceeding to appoint a fiduciary is critical. This is because until an administrator or executor is appointed, there is no one who has authority to handle the affairs of the decedent. Thus, estate assets cannot be collected or protected and estate debts and obligations cannot be paid or satisfied.
Each estate is confronted with different issues. Sometimes a Last Will needs to be probated which may result in estate litigation in the form a Will Contest. Other estates may be intestate which can involve kinship hearings.
Once a fiduciary is appointed, the next step is to collect the assets of the estate and determine what debts, taxes or other liabilities need to be resolved. On occasion, there may be lawsuits involving the decedent concerning debts such as mortgages, credit cards or medical expenses. There can be disputes concerning real estate ownership or business interests. The New York Probate Lawyer Blog has published many articles relating to estate administration.