New York estate settlement involves many different types of rules and statutes. When a person dies the first question to be asked is whether the decedent had a Last Will and Testament or whether he died intestate. Once this fundamental issue is established either a probate petition or a petition for Letters of Administration can be filed with the Surrogate’s Court.
The New York Probate Lawyer Blog has published numerous articles concerning the need to provide the Court with all the names and addresses of a decedent’s next of kin. It is not uncommon for kinship information to be missing or difficult to obtain. Sometimes the services of a professional genealogist are needed to track down missing heirs. Also, the Surrogate’s Court may require that a kinship hearing be held to determine the status of individuals claiming to be a decedent’s distributees
While finding lost heirs is important, there are situations when determining the status of a possible decedent arises. The problem is showing whether this person is alive but just avoiding contact, or whether, in fact, the person is deceased. During this period of uncertainty, the missing individual’s affairs and assets are in limbo and not being attended to.