Out-of-State Family – New York Estate – No Problem

shutterstock_96626983-300x300It is not uncommon for a person who is domiciled in New York to have the persons who are interested in his estate residing outside of New York.  This situation can occur in a number of contexts.

In the event a decedent created a Last Will and Testament, the document may have designated an out-of-state individual to serve as Executor.  Contrary to some misinformation, there is no prohibition for a person who resides in another state or even another country to serve as a New York estate executor.  Reference should be made to Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA) Section 707, entitled “Eligibility to receive letters.”  The statute provides that a non-domiciliary alien is not eligible to serve as a fiduciary.  Thus, if a person resides in New York and is a qualified resident, or is a U.S. citizen and lives anywhere in the world, he would qualify to serve as an executor.  The statute also allows a non-domiciliary alien to serve as a fiduciary as long as they serve with a New York resident co-fiduciary.

The above rules apply equally in the case where a decedent dies intestate.  An out-of-state distributee (next of kin) can qualify as the administrator.  SCPA Section 1001 entitled “Order of priority for granting letters of administration” identifies the persons who can become administrators based upon their relation to the decedent.

While out-of-state individuals may qualify as fiduciaries, there are additional considerations that may come into play.  Nowadays, most transactions by a fiduciary with financial institutions and others regarding estate administration and estate settlement can be performed remotely.  However, some tasks, such as cleaning out a decedent’s residence or searching for documents may need local hands-on involvement.  Additionally, there may be instances where the Surrogate’s Court requires that an out-of-state fiduciary post a bond.  A bond is obtained from a surety company and insures against improper or negligent conduct by the fiduciary.  I assist my clients in obtaining any required bond.

Whenever a person who lives out-of state is seeking appointment as an executor or administrator, I review with them the entire procedure and process regarding the Court appointment and the handling of estate matters.  I have represented many fiduciaries living in other states and countries and have helped them with the New York estates of their family and friends.  As an experienced estate lawyer, my office can perform most of the tasks needed to facilitate fiduciary appointment, as well as the opening of estate bank accounts, the collection of estate assets and the distribution of estate interests to beneficiaries.  We provide full service to clients including representation regarding the sale of estate property such as cooperative and condominium apartments and residential houses.

Call Me Now for a free confidential review of your estate or issue.  We provide 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 guardianship and probate and estate settlement throughout New York City including the Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Nassau and Suffolk County.  If you or someone you know has any questions regarding these matters, please contact me at (212) 355-2575 for an initial free consultation.

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