New York – October 31, 2020

The most important reason to make a will is to name an executor who will be trusted with a person’s wishes upon their death. After a death, the named executor’s primary job is to protect a decedent’s (person who died) property, until any debts and taxes have been paid, and then transfer what is left to those who have been named as beneficiaries, in accordance with a decedent’s wishes. A New York probate attorney works with an executor and will file a copy of the will along with a certified copy of the decedent’s death certificate in the New York Surrogate Court. Each estate plan is unique and a probate attorney, working in concert with the appointed executor, will do their best to administer the will permitting a decedent’s wishes.

Requirements for executors.

According to New York Surrogate Court Procedures Act, to act as an executor of a will, an individual must be:

  • at least 18 years old,
  • of sound mind, not judged incapacitated by a court,
  • free from felony convictions.

New York probate actions can be time-consuming and complicated, requiring the service of a New York probate attorney.


Potential executors can be found unqualified to administer a will based on allegations, or facts relevant to “substance abuse, dishonesty, improvidence, a want of understanding,” or for other reasons they are found unfit  to serve.  The inability to read, or write in English may also be a disqualifier along with non-domiciliary alien status unless granted at the court’s discretion.

Out of state.

New York does not impose special requirements on executors who live out of state. It is usually best to name an executor who lives close enough to handle day-to-day matters for weeks, months, or longer.

A probate attorney will do their best to uphold the legal requirements surrounding the probate of a New York Will.  If there is a problem with a named executor being able to effectively fulfill their duties in will administration, alternate methods will be identified and undertaken in the best interests of the decedent’s will requests through actions of the New York Surrogate Court and a  skilled New York probate attorney.

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



N.Y. Surr. Ct. Proc. Act § § 103, 707

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