How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Irwin Law Your Own Question
Irwin Law
Irwin Law, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 7306
Experience:  30+ yrs. handling probate estate, wills, trust, inheritance & real estate related matters
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
Irwin Law is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My husband hung himself on Long Island, NY on May 11, 2013...he

This answer was rated:

My husband hung himself on Long Island, NY on May 11, 2013...he died intestate.....we have no children.....does this mean the courts appoint someone other than me?

He has 2 apts in Manhattan. He was Swiss National w/green card. He has sister & half brother & there are complicated properties in Europe which I am willing to cede claim to if I can retain control of US assets.we were married 20 years.

He was very depressed & had not worked since 1995....I am an artist....if I need an estate lawyer, please advise the most economical way..

thanks in advance

Melissa Dent

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. 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
(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 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.










Irwin Law and 2 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you