If there is no will, a person interested in the estate can start a probate or estate proceeding in New York and become the estate’s administrator. Interested means having a financial interest. Such person can be a creditor or an heir of the decedent. If there is more then one person starting an administration proceeding, the court gives preference to the closest relative of the decedent. To become appointed as an administrator of a New York estate, a person often needs to file a bond.
If there is a will, only the executor nominated in the will can start a proceeding. Just because someone is a nominated executor in the will does not mean that they can automatically start acting as an executor – they must be appointed by the court and other NYC estate requirements must be met. If a New York executor does not want to serve and renounces their right, a person interested in the estate can start a proceeding to become an administrator d.b.n. (administrator with a will attached) and follow the directions in the will once appointed.
If you need help of a New York City estate attorney in starting a probate proceeding, call the Law Offices of Albert Goodwin at (212) 233-1233.