Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Hello, Mrs. Dent and first let me extend my condolences for the tragic loss of your husband. The best advice I can give you is to hire an estate lawyer in Manhattan immediately. You will need one who not only knows U.S. estate tax law, but one who knows international tax law under U.S. tax treaties with foreign governments. You are his surviving spouse and his sole heir under NY law of intestate succession. As such you have the primary right to serve as the personal representative of his estate in NY. Here is a summary of NY intestate laws. http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/EPT/4/1/4-1.1 I have excerpted the following:
Distribution shall then be as follows: (a) If a decedent is survived by: (1) A spouse and issue, fifty thousand dollars and one-half of the residue to the spouse, and the balance thereof to the issue by representation. (2) A spouse and no issue, the whole to the spouse.
You are most likely the sole heir to his European estate as well. I can't say that there is an "economical" way to have an estate such as you describe administered in NY. NY Attorneys are accustomed to charging a percentage of the estate, which would be paid from the estate's assets. You can find attorneys listed at Martindale.com and other lawyer lists on line, and perhaps you have friends who can recommend a good probate attorney with whom they have had good experience with. Because of the foreign property issues, you will need someone fairly experienced.
I hope this information is helpful and that you will enter a positive rating. I thank you for submitting your question to Pearl-Just Answer. We appreciate your business. If you need clarification or additional information, please send me a Reply and I will be happy to explain further. Please consult a local attorney to verify the accuracy of this information according to your state's laws.