The person who handles a New York estate is known as a personal representative. If there is a will, the personal representative is the executor appointed in the will. If a person dies without a will (intestate) in New York, then a beneficiary, heir or other interested parties may petition the New York Surrogate’s Court to appoint an administrator.
It is common for the personal representative of an estate to be a surviving spouse, other family member or the decedent’s attorney. It is best when the personal representative has experience and knowledge about handling financial and business matters of the decedent, investments and the purchase and sale of real estate, especially when the estate is large and has many assets.
The executor or administrator usually requires the assistance of a New York Probate and Estate Attorney. Handing the probate of a New York Estate is a big responsibility and is time-consuming. The personal representative may be subject to personal liability for mismanaging an estate or breaching a fiduciary duty. While it is not required in New York that an attorney be part of the probate process, many times family members decide to hire an attorney to look out for their best interests, especially when there is a dispute between the beneficiaries or between the personal representative and the beneficiaries.
An out of state personal representative will usually hire a New York Probate attorney to help navigate with the probate process since that person is not physically in New York and is not familiar with the New York Probate laws and handling of estate matters. The attorney is able to prepare and review legal documents, make court appearances and provide legal advice so that the estate can be managed and wound up quicker and more efficiently.
If you wish to speak to a New York estate attorney, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233.