When people ask us “do letters of administration expire in New York,” we want to see a copy of the letters of administration. If there is no expiration date on it, then they do not expire. Essentially, most letters of administration can last forever. Look at an example of letters of administration – there is no expiration date on it.
With many courts in New York, one for each county, rules may vary from court to court. Circumstances can also vary from case to case. So you sometimes do have letters that expire, but that’s an exception rather than the rule.
Most letters of administration don’t expire, but when a bank is conducting a transaction, their policy is usually to see a recent Certificate of Appointment of Administrator from the court confirming that your letters of administration are still in effect. They do this to make sure that nothing changed in your case, that your letters are not revoked and that you are still in good standing with the court regarding compliance, bonding, accounting, reports or any other issues. Banks call this a “fresh Certificate.” You can see an example of a Certificate:
To get a new certificate, you just have to go to the court that issued the letters of administration, see a clerk in the cashier’s department, pay six dollars and they will issue a new certificate.
We’ve recently had a situation in the Brooklyn Surrogate’s Court, where the letters of administration did not expire on its face but the clerk told us that we have to apply for an extension because it’s been more than six months. So for some applications, it may be necessary to extend letters of administration even though they did not have an expiration date.
Because each situation is different, ask your New York estate lawyer what is the best way to proceed in your case.