Assets that were held in the sole name of a New York City decedent at the time of the decedent’s death are subject to probate under New York laws. Assets may include cash in bank accounts, real estate, stocks, bonds, motor vehicles and vessels, a family business, royalties and copyrights and other assets. The personal representative, together with the assistance of a New York City estate attorney, must compile a list of the decedent’s assets and prepare an inventory. A New York probate attorney can also recommend other professionals that the personal representative may need to hire to determine the value of the assets such as an appraiser, real estate broker and CPA or accountant.
An estate inventory is required to be submitted to the Surrogate’s Court within 6 months days after the personal representative of the estate is appointed. Compiling the estate inventory also gives you a chance to determine the total value of the estate and the amount of any estate taxes that are due. Your estate attorney will review the inventory to make sure that everything is in order before it is submitted to the Surrogate’s Court for review and approval.
Assets That May Need to Be Sold
The personal representative is in charge of reviewing the creditor’s claims and other claims submitted by the decedent’s creditors and interested parties to the estate. Creditors and other claimants must submit their claims within the prescribed statutory period in order to get paid. Sometimes, the personal representative must sell some of the estate assets to pay off creditors.
Assets that may need to be sold are as follows:
• Decedent’s primary residence, vacation property or retirement property or any commercial real estate
• Family business including business equipment and business assets
• Stocks, bonds and other investments
• Collectible items including artwork, classic cars, etc. and memorabilia
• Furniture and household furnishings
Many times the personal representative will discuss the sale of the decedent’s assets with the beneficiaries, to make sure that everyone is in agreement so as to avoid any estate litigation accounting challenges later on by one or more of the beneficiaries. The personal representative may also decide to sell assets even if they are not needed to pay off creditors. For example, many times the decedent’s family members and beneficiaries decide that they would rather receive the cash proceeds from the sale of the decedent’s house than keep the property and have to become landlords.
Large estates, especially celebrity estates, often have estate sales where items are auctioned off at public auctions. Smaller estates may simply decide to sell assets in an informal sale.
If you involved in the sale of estate assets as a personal representative, or you are a beneficiary or interested party who would like to expedite the closing of an estate, contact a New York City probate and estate attorney to assist you with the matter. An attorney can help with locating and selling estate assets, preparing and reviewing accountings, attending court hearings and making sure court and tax deadlines are met on time.
Call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233 to speak to a New York City estate attorney today.