If someone dies without a valid will, it means they die intestate. An estate without a will goes into administration. It is vital you make a will so that this does not happen. Without a will, loved ones can go unprovided for, and a family business or any intellectual property is without protection.
Our experienced attorneys at Mykyta Law can guide you through all aspects of estate planning, including writing a will. If a family member or loved one has already passed away and does not have a will in place, we can guide you through the New York Administration process.
The Role of the Administrator
When someone creates a will, they appoint an executor responsible for handling their estate after their death. That person is responsible for paying off debts and for giving the property and assets to the beneficiaries laid out in the will. When there is no will and therefore no appointed executor, the law sets out who should be appointed administrator of the estate. This will be the surviving spouse, or if there isn't one, the children, grandchildren, or surviving relations. This person will need to file with the court, and the court will grant them the authority to act on behalf of the estate. The role of the administrator is the same as an executor. They will have to pay off any debts, then ensure the estate is distributed properly.
Letters of Administration
The closest surviving relation of the deceased has to file with the Surrogate Court for Letters of Administration. They will need to go to the Surrogate Court in the New York county where the deceased person had lived. These documents will then appoint and authorize this individual to distribute the property of the person who has died.
Distribution of the Estate
New York intestacy law dictates who will inherit from the estate when the deceased dies without a will. An administrator has all the responsibilities an executor of a will would. They must liquidate or collect the estate's assets, pay off any estate taxes and debts and then distribute the assets. They cannot influence who inherits. Inheritance will follow New York statutory law.
Irene Mykyta and the Mykyta Law Firm are skilled with handling the legal intricacies of the New York Administration process for those who die without wills, regardless of who is appointed to be the Administrator. From our offices in the heart of Manhattan, on 110 East 59th Street, we can guide you through the entire process and help, should you encounter any difficulties along the way. At this challenging time, you can rest assured that you will be in the experienced, professional hands of Mykyta Law firm.
Please call our office to schedule a free consultation with a knowledgeable attorney. Call us today at (646) 884-3319.
For more on administration, see our blog.