When a person dies without a Last Will and Testament he is known to have died intestate. In these cases the person’s distributees or next of kin have the statutory right to inherit the estate assets. Estates, Powers and Trusts Law (EPTL) Section 4-1.1 entitled “Descent and distribution of a decedent’s estate” provides the list of individuals who are entitled to inherit the estate. The New York Probate Lawyer Blog contains numerous articles discussing intestate estates.
Before the estate can be settled an administrator of the estate must be appointed. Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA) section 1001. entitled “Order of priority for granting letters of administration” designates the distributees who have the priority to be appointed as estate Administrator. Essentially, the priority under SCPA 1001 follows the inheritance rights under