Estate Administration

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Letters of Administration in New York

If your late loved one did not leave a valid will, his or her estate will be administered by a fiduciary, referred to as the administrator. In the state of New York, letters of administration are granted by the Surrogate's Court to those individuals who are heirs or beneficiaries under intestate laws. If more than one person qualifies for the position, such as two surviving adult children, they must agree upon the person to be appointed. If they all cannot agree upon one individual, then the Surrogate court will choose an administrator.

Those eligible include (in descending order):

  • The surviving spouse
  • The children
  • The parents
  • The siblings
  • Another individual who qualifies, except a relative from only one side of the family tree

If your late loved one did not leave a will, our Long Island probate attorney can assist you in obtaining letters of administration and help you with the administration proceeding. With over 50 years of legal experience, Adler Law is well-equipped to walk you through the process. We pride ourselves on our client-centered approach, and our attorneys can personally handle your case instead of passing you off to an assistant.

Call (516) 740-1184 to speak with our experienced attorneys!

The Distribution of Assets in New York

During estate administration, property will be distributed according to New York intestate law. Similar to the selection of an administrator, spouses and children are given priority to assets.

Property is dispersed as follows:

  • If there are no children or grandchildren, a surviving spouse is entitled to the entire estate.
  • If there is a spouse and children, the spouse is entitled to the first $50,000. The remaining estate is then divided in half and split between the spouse and the children.
  • If there is no spouse, the children receive the entire estate.
  • If there is no surviving spouse or children, the parents receive the estate.
  • If there is no surviving spouse, children or parents, the estate is shared among the decedent's siblings.

Call (516) 740-1184 to speak with our experienced attorneys!

The Process of Settling an Estate Through Probate

Administrators are responsible for settling the estate, which includes gathering and managing probate assets and paying the decedent's taxes and debts with the property. Not all assets of an estate go through the probate process, such as joint bank accounts and 401(k)s. Administrators also must obtain an estate identification number from the IRS and may need to open a bank account for the estate. When all outstanding debts and taxes are paid, administrators must distribute the remaining assets to heirs and beneficiaries. If you need assistance with this process, a Long Island probate attorney from Adler Law would love to assist you today!

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