One of the most common problems and sources of estate litigation concerns the possession of estate property by third parties. In the typical case one of the assets owned by the decedent is property which can be in the form of a house, or a cooperative or condominium apartment. Once an executor or administrator is appointed to represent the estate, the fiduciary has the responsibility to take control of and protect the asset. When the estate property is occupied by a third party or surviving family member, the fiduciary may be prevented from securing the property or selling it to pay estate debts or distributions. The New York Probate Lawyer Blog has published many articles concerning evictions and estate property. This situation often results in estate litigation in either the local landlord-tenant Court or the Surrogate’s Court. New York City Estate Lawyers are familiar with these proceedings.A recent Nassau County estate case involving an estate eviction was decided by Nassau Surrogate Margaret Reilly on September 10, 2018. The case was entitled Estate of Smith v. Samuels. In Smith, the decedent died intestate. The surviving distributees were the decedent’s two daughters who consented to have the Nassau Public Administrator appointed as Administrator to settle the estate. When the daughters refused to move out of the decedent’s house and allow it to be sold, the Public Administrator commenced proceedings in the Nassau Surrogate’s Court to obtain possession and evict the daughters.
In defense of their desire to remain in the property, the daughters’ claimed that under New York Law the title to the property passed to them as distributees upon the decedent’s death. While this position was accurate, the Court pointed out that the Administrator had the right to sell the property to pay estate debts. Therefore, the Court granted the Public Administrator’s petition to evict them. The Court also prohibited the daughters from interfering with the Public Administrator’s efforts to manage or possess the house.
I have represented many Executors and Administrators in cases regarding evictions for an estate. These cases have been in both Landlord-Tenant Court and the Surrogate’s Court. Call me now for a free review regarding your estate eviction issue or other estate question.
New York Trusts and Estates Attorney Jules Martin Haas has helped many clients over the past 30 years resolve issues relating to eviction 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.