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What does an executor of an estate do in New York?

An executor of an estate is the person responsible for handling many aspects of the probate process after someone dies. They are usually someone who is trusted by the deceased as it is a very important job. It can be time consuming as many times probate last more than a year, but the executor can be compensated for their time.

Probate is the process where the assets of the deceased’s estate are filed and distributed to the beneficiaries according to the will. The executor is often named in the will, if there is no will the executor will be appointed by the surrogate court in the county where the deceased lived. The position is not an obligation and can be turned down if you do not want the responsibility. Once elected, the executor of an estate in NY can be hard to remove in accordance with local laws.

Becoming the Executor

Their first responsibility and one of the most important responsibilities is to first find and submit to the court all relevant documents like the will and death certificate. If a will exists the court makes a decision if it is valid and legally binding. If so, the court will accept the executors status, by issuing a letters of testamentary which allows the executor to be the legal decision maker through the probate process.

Accounting of the deceased’s estate

The Executor must then go through the will and the deceased property to enumerate everything that is contained in the estate. There are extensive probate & executor laws in New York that break down what is required to go through probate, and this is one reason why a probate attorney can be so useful to make sure no mistakes are made. Cars, bank accounts, houses are just some items that can be included in the process. After the property is all accounted for, an appraiser is hired to determine the value of the items in the estate.

Paying beneficiaries

Once all debts and taxes have been paid, only then is the estate distributed to the beneficiary. The executor must follow the fishes of the will and distribute the physical or financial assets as required. In cases where it was not laid out in the will there are certain laws that might dictate what is required and an estate attorney can again help with this aspect.

Notifying those involved

A second responsibility is to notify all relevant and involved parties of the death, probate process and your position as executor. Some of the most common people are family members like children or siblings, those listed in the will, debt holders, insurance companies, & financial institutions.

Paying debts, fees, and taxes

Once a proper accounting has been done of the estate, all debts must be paid. Mortgages, cars, credit cards, or any other debt are included in this. The executor cannot be personally liable for these debits but the court oversees the process to ensure everything runs smoothly. Any court administration fees and taxes are also paid at this time including income taxes and estate taxes. Taxes must properly file the taxes of the deceased persons for that year.

Closing of the estate

The executor must keep very accurate records of the estate, its value, who are the beneficiaries and who and when assets were given to. Also any profits, or income that was generated must be accounted for. Once every beneficiary has been given the assets left for them, the final accounting takes place and is approved by those involved. This is turned into the surrogate court and the estate and probate process is only then closed.

Good news folks, our top rated legal services are available at various locations throughout the five boroughs of New York City. That means you are only a short ride away from our “AVVO Superb Rated” estate law team. Get directions and information below.

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260 Madison Ave STE 204, New York, NY 10016, United States

105 Maxess Rd, Melville, NY 11747, United States

54-14 74th St, Elmhurst, NY 11373, US

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