New York – October 31, 2020

A New York probate attorney works with an executor, or executors of an estate. A chosen probate attorney will file a copy of the will along with a certified copy of the death certificate of the will maker in the New York Surrogate Court. Each estate plan is unique to an individual, and they may charge more than one person with the duties of administration and distribution of estate proceeds.  Naming more than one person to be in charge of an estate may be a bad idea, because disagreements between those parties can drag out probate actions.  It is also more costly in New York Courts, as named executors must be officially appointed by the Surrogate’s Court to handle the management of  a decedent’s estate.

Co-executors.

Naming co-executors in a will means having two individuals in charge of an estate.  Sometimes this can be a positive relationships when co-executors work together on decision making, such as selecting estate lawyers to probate a will, real estate personnel to sell property, financial experts to set up trusts, if that is part of a will, and the distribution of assets to beneficiaries to be completed in a timely manner.  While each co-executor can choose their own estate lawyer, all costs will be borne by the estate, but if there are differing opinions between co-executors, it may be the best solution despite added costs.

Costs.

The legal fees for each executor’s attorney will be expensed out of the estate meaning double the attorneys’ fees, reducing residual estate proceeds.

Estate commissions are part of the proceeds that are allowed to be paid to executors.  When there are two, that means double the commission costs reducing the proceeds of the estate.

Negative interaction.

If both executors do not agree on estate matters, it may slow the probate process.  One executor cannot move forward without the cooperation of the other.  Both executors must sign documents for sale, or transfer of properties, for opening estate bank accounts, and other legal matters related to an estate.  When disagreements occur, litigation could occur further draining estate proceeds for beneficiaries.  Closing out New York estates can be time-consuming and dragged out, depending upon the nature of the assets left to distribute, the executor actions and instances of beneficiaries contesting a will, requiring the service of a New York probate attorney.

Will administration.

While a probate attorney will do their best to effectively and expediently administer the will to save an executor(s) the frustration of holding up payment on bills and costs related to the decedent, it may be more problematic if executors do not agree on the methods to accomplish this.  A New York probate attorney can review pros and cons of utilizing one attorney when tow co-executors have been named to administer a will.

Seek legal counsel.

Matters involving a New York Last Will  and Testament require the assistance of experienced legal counsel who understand the state and federal laws that will impact its administration.  Contact Attorney Ron Meyers with questions regarding the probate of a New York will. 

 Ron L. Meyers & Associates, PLLC

Address:  475 Park Avenue South, Suite 2100

Manhattan, NY 10016

Phone: 212-644-8787

 

Sources:

https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/EPT

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