Estate Law

Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Estate Law

A first cousin just died here in NY and he didn't have a will, his estate including a

Customer Question
home is valued well over...
A first cousin just died here in NY and he didn't have a will, his estate including a home is valued well over $33,000 and I was wondering if the courts will settle the estate or a voluntary administrator? There are possibly bonds that could amount to well over $300,000 and a great many antiques and collectibles.
A sister has already petitioned the surrogate court to be administrator, but she hasn't received any confirmation from the court regarding this, however, she's already begun clearing out the house. She's not kept an inventory and has taken some things to her home. Is this something that she should be doing or not doing?
Submitted: 2 years ago.Category: Estate Law
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Estate Law Question
Answered in 41 minutes by:
6/21/2015
Estate Lawyer: Christopher B, Esq, Attorney replied 2 years ago
Christopher B, Esq
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,983
Experience: Litigation Attorney with education focus on estate planning and tax
Verified
My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This answer is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney-client relationship.As I stated in the answer to the other question. Since there is no Will appointing an Executor, the law sets forth who may be appointed Administrator. Usually, the Administrator will be, in order of preference, the spouse, the children, the grandchildren, the father or mother, the brother or sisters and so on. The exact order is specifically provided by New York Statute. New York Surrogates Court Procedure Act 1001. See following link: http://www.nycprobate.com/1001.html. Since you are a cousin and not ahead of your cousin's sister in the line of succession to become administrator according to New York statute, you would not have the right to object to the sister as administrator. If there is someone ahead of the sister in the line of succession such as a spouse or child then they would have standing to object.The Executor or Administrator has a fiduciary duty to the estate as well as its beneficiaries and creditors. Which means that he or she is held to a very high degree of care. A fiduciary must be extremely faithful towards the estate, its beneficiaries and creditors and must not put his or her own interests ahead of that duty. In New York, the Executor / Administrator is appointed by the Surrogate’s Court located in the county where the decedent resided. Once the Will is admitted to probate, the Executor is appointed and may proceed to administer the estate. Note that before the Will is probated, the person named as Executor has no authority to act. If there is no Will, an Intestate Administration proceeding is filed. The court will then appoint an Administrator and he or she will have all of the powers of an Executor. Again the Administrator has no authority to act before being appointed by the court. It would seem that the sister has overstepped her bounds by clearing out the house especially since she has not taken an accounting to your knowledge per your question. A basic checklist of estate settlement tasks is the following:Make a list of the decedent's assets and protect them by notifying the financial institutions of the death and your appointment.Obtain professional appraisals of real property and personal property (e.g. art, jewelry, furniture), if needed.Once you have collected some funds, open an estate checking account.Determine if there are creditors of the estate and whether their claims are valid.Pay estate debts and expenses (e.g., funeral expenses, court fees, attorney fees, appraisal costs, etc.).Keep careful and detailed records of financial transactions (i.e., make a ledger and record all income and expenses).Have the decedent’s final income tax return and estate income tax returns prepared and filed, if needed.Federal and State estate tax returns should be prepared and filed on time, if required.Pay the balance of estate funds to the beneficiaries of the will or to the intestate distributees.Once the administrator is issued letters of administration, they are obligated to locate and gather all estate assets, obtain an estate identification number from the IRS, open an estate account, manage all the estate assets, pay any debts which the decedent owed, reimburse reasonable funeral expenses, pay any estate taxes due, and finally, distribute the remaining assets. A partial list as to how assets are distributed is as follows:When the decedent is survived by a Spouse and has no children, the spouse receives 100%When the decedent is survived by a spouse and children, the spouse receives the first $50,000. The balance is then divided, with the spouse getting 50% and the children sharing the other 50%.When there are children and no spouse, the children share in 100% of the estate.When there is no spouse and no children, the parents share in 100% of the estateWhen there is no spouse, no children, and both parents are dead, the estate is shared among all living children of the parents.The administrator entitled to a commission of the estate as compensation. This commission is a percentage of the estate, and is a sliding scale based on the size of the estate. Upon distribution of the assets, the estate is closed. It would seem that the sister has not take an inventory and could be wrongfully administering assets in the estate to herself before she even has the power to do so. It is up to the other beneficiaries to object to the sister as administrator and state that an inventory be made before the sister or another administrator distribute the property. Again, Please let me know if you have any further questions or require any additional guidance. Please do not forgot to positively rate my answer as this is the only way that I am compensated for my work.
Ask Your Own Estate Law Question
Estate Lawyer: Christopher B, Esq, Attorney replied 2 years ago
I see that you have viewed my answer. Do you have any further questions? Let me know if there is anything else I can do to satisfy you.
Ask Your Own Estate Law Question
Estate Lawyer: Christopher B, Esq, Attorney replied 2 years ago
Any chance for a positive rating?
Ask Your Own Estate Law Question
Ask Christopher B, Esq Your Own Question
Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq
Christopher B, Esq, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,983
2,983 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Litigation Attorney with education focus on estate planning and tax

Christopher B, Esq is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

My husband has been driving me insane with questions regarding estate issues since his mother died. I'm not a lawyer! Thanks to JustAnswer, I was able to calm his concerns.

Loretta TIllinois

Thanks Adam!! - A very direct and understandable response - you have been a great help!

Happy CustomerEllicott City, MD

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Thomas McJD

Thomas McJD

Attorney

3,170 satisfied customers

Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters

Barrister

Barrister

Attorney

5,414 satisfied customers

17 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate

RayAnswers

RayAnswers

Attorney

5,061 satisfied customers

Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Attorney

5,015 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

1,839 satisfied customers

Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Attorney

1,451 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

ScottyMacEsq

ScottyMacEsq

Attorney

1,162 satisfied customers

Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

< Previous | Next >

Related Estate Law Questions
HUSBAND PASSED AWAY INTESTATE TWO MONTHS AGO. HUSBAND
HUSBAND PASSED AWAY INTESTATE TWO MONTHS AGO. HUSBAND ACQUIRED REAL PROPERTY DURING MARRIAGE AND TITLED IT: "A MARRIED MAN AS HIS SOLE AND SEPARATE PROPERTY." WIFE SAYS HE USED MONEY HE EARNED DURING … read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,414 satisfied customers
Do all assets of a estate freeze once probate has begun?
Do all assets of a estate freeze once probate has begun?What happens when a creditor and debtor can not settle a debt in probate? Does a judge ultimately decide?… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,414 satisfied customers
I am an heir in an estate that is being probated in the
I am an heir in an estate that is being probated in the state of Oregon under the laws of intestate. The personal representative is now saying she wants to close out the estate and make the distributi… read more
jb156200
jb156200
Associate Attorney
Doctoral Degree
412 satisfied customers
I need some help on a Texas probate intestate matter. Death
I need some help on a Texas probate intestate matter … read more
Attyadvisor
Attyadvisor
Doctoral Degree
6,867 satisfied customers
My mothers estate is in probate court, due for a final
hello pearl, my mothers estate is in probate court, due for a final motion to end, i believe my brother and sisters are trying to eliminate me from her assets. I have been homeless for about 2 years, … read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,414 satisfied customers
For a probate estate in Pennsylvania in which (1) there is a
For a probate estate in Pennsylvania in which (1) there is a will and (2) the executor is the sole heir with authority to sell the property, does the executor need to petition the Court for approval t… read more
jb156200
jb156200
Associate Attorney
Doctoral Degree
412 satisfied customers
I need an Oregon Estate/Probate to clarify if there is any
I need an Oregon Estate/Probate to clarify if there is any difference when it comes to compelling the Trustee to pay beneficiaries according to the instructions in the trust. I have already had the ve… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,153 satisfied customers
Dealing with initiating a probate case for my fathers estate
dealing with initiating a probate case for my fathers estate valued at less than 70,000 … read more
RayAnswers
RayAnswers
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,061 satisfied customers
I need advice regarding probate / estate law in NYs, I said
Hi..... I need advice regarding probate / estate law in NYs … read more
Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
883 satisfied customers
Second opinion] Family estate; not probated: Parents- Father
Second opinion] Family estate; not probated: Parents- Father & Mother is dead; oldest son dies after parents; all siblings has died; some siblings has children; oldest son wife dies after him, they ha… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,414 satisfied customers
Family estate; not probated: Parents- Father & Mother is
Family estate; not probated: Parents- Father & Mother is dead; oldest son dies after parents; all siblings has died; some siblings has children; oldest son wife dies after him, they have no offsprings… read more
jb156200
jb156200
Associate Attorney
Doctoral Degree
412 satisfied customers
I have a question concerning wills and estate probate. I am
Good afternoon - I have a question concerning wills and estate probate. I am the oldest son with sister and brother. We all live in Florida but different cities and are not close (don't communicate). … read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
1,839 satisfied customers
Can the administrator of an estate in probate borrow against
Can the administrator of an estate in probate borrow against the equity of the house (part of the estate) to pay off creditors?… read more
Alex Esquire
Alex Esquire
Managing Attorney
Doctoral Degree
153 satisfied customers
I am a beneficiary of an estate that is being probated In
I am a beneficiary of an estate that is being probated In Oregon under laws for intestate. One of the assets the decedent owned and operated was a small business. The business was not compliant and fi… read more
RayAnswers
RayAnswers
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,061 satisfied customers
I am a beneficiary of an estate that is being probated In
I am a beneficiary of an estate that is being probated In Oregon under laws for intestate. I want to find out what my remedies are to remove, sanction or obtain added court oversight for the personal … read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Juris Doctorate
10,153 satisfied customers
PROBATE REAL ESTATE OPTIONS TO SHOW CAUSE FOR DISTRIBUTION
PROBATE REAL ESTATE OPTIONS TO SHOW CAUSE FOR DISTRIBUTIONREQUEST 1. What are the options for managing the acquisition of heir property unencumbered while foreclosure procedures are in place by OCWEN,… read more
Irwin Law
Irwin Law
Juris Doctor JD
7,049 satisfied customers
PROBATE -REAL ESTATE CURE TO RESPOND TO... PROBATE -REAL
PROBATE -REAL ESTATE CURE TO RESPOND TO... PROBATE -REAL ESTATE CURE TO RESPOND TO ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE ISSUE: Show Cause Hearing Action Plan Needed given circumstances noted below.REQUESTS 1. Should I… read more
Irwin Law
Irwin Law
Juris Doctor JD
7,049 satisfied customers
Filed an intestate informal proceeding with the probate
filed an intestate informal proceeding with the probate court, I was sent for personal representative: Part 7: Duties and powers of personal representatives and Part 8: Creditors' Claims. So much info… read more
jb156200
jb156200
Associate Attorney
Doctoral Degree
412 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x