The Surrogate’s Court in New York is the judicial forum that appoints Executors and Administrators of an estate.
When a person dies and leaves a Last Will and Testament, the usual process is to appoint an Executor. The person who is to act as the Executor is named in the Will. Often a Successor Executor is also named.
The probate process requires that a petition for probate be completed and filed with the Court. This petition is usually completed and presented by the nominated Executor and requests that the Court admit the Will to probate. It also seeks to have Letters Testamentary issued to the petitioner.
New York Estate Lawyers represent petitioners who are trying to probate a Will.
The nominated Executor wants to be the estate fiduciary who is responsible for collecting estate assets and settling the estate. The New York Probate Lawyer Blog has published many articles concerning the process of probate and estate settlement and estate administration.
It is common that the Court honors the choice of the decedent and appoints the person selected in the Last Will. However, there are times when the nominated executor is not appointed. Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act section 707 entitled “Eligibility to receive letters”, sets forth requirements that may disqualify a person from being appointed. For instance, a non-domiciliary alien cannot be appointed as an individual to act as a fiduciary. Also, a person who is dishonest may be rejected. There are cases when persons who are interested in an estate file Objections to the appointment of the designated individual. This was the situation in a Brooklyn Estate case entitled “Estate of Baptiste”. In Baptiste, decided on October 18, 2019, Brooklyn Surrogate Margarita Lopez Torres found that a nominated Executor was not honest about information he gave to the Court regarding the status of the estate asset and its value and where the designated Executor lived. Thus, the Court appointed a different beneficiary of the Will as the Administrator c.t.a. to administer the estate after the Will was probated.
Call me now for a free review of your Probate Issue or Estate question. I have represented clients in probate and estate cases. We offer reasonable and flexible fee arrangements and personal representation.
New York Trusts and Estates Attorney Jules Martin Haas has helped many clients over the past 40 years resolve issues relating to probate and estate settlement throughout New York City including Queens County, Brooklyn and Manhattan. If you or someone you know has any questions regarding these matters, please contact me at (212) 355-2575 for an initial consultation.