Estate Administration & Probate FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an Executor?
- What is an executor and what are their duties?
- Does the estate executor have to live in the same state as the decedent?
- What if the executor spends all of the estate’s money?
- Do you need to be related to the decedent to serve as an executor in a New York estate matter?
What is an executor and what role do they play?
An Executor is a Fidiciary.
An executor may also be called an administrator or trustee, depending on the state or jurisdiction, but essentially has the same duty toward the estate. An executor for an individual’s estate plays an important role.
Responsibilities include locating, securing and preparing assets for sale or transfer, accounting and closure of the estate and distribution of assets to beneficiaries named in the will, trust or estate documents.
Does the executor of an estate have to live in the same state where the decedent lived and/or owned assets?
While some states require an executor to live in the state where the estate is held, the State of New York does not require in-state residence. The Law Office of Bonnie Lawston represents many individuals who live in different states, but serve as executors, administrators and trustees with our assistance and legal guidance. In New York, if you are named in the will to serve as the executor and/or trustee, it does not matter where you live. However, if you are a convicted felon, you may not serve as an executor or administrator.
What if the executor spends all of the estate’s money?
It happens that an executor spends all the money of the estate. Some Fidiciary’s are negligent in their duties and some do steal. There are procedures to safeguard the estate and its heirs, such as posting a bond, which functions as insurance against such acts. Ms. Lawston will take the appropriate steps to protect you.
Do you need to be related to the decedent to serve as an executor in a New York estate?
What is the difference between the Executor, Administrator or Fiduciary?
- A Fiduciary is someone who has been appointed by the court to serve in a special capacity.
- An Executor, Administrator, or trustee is a Fiduciary.
- An Executor is the label used when there is a will.
- An Administrator is the label used where there is no will
- The word Fiduciary, Executor, and Administrator depending on the context used can be interchangeable.
Do you live in another state, other then New York and you are the heir or beneficiary to an Estate ?
Out-of-State Executor Attorney
We represent clients nationwide, if you are a fiduciary (executor, administrator, or trustee) an heir or beneficiary of a New York estate. If the decedent died in New York or has assets in New York State, we can help you. If you are chosen to represent the estate or if you are receiving an inheritance from a New York estate, contact our law firm today.
There are Two Types of New York Estates
- The Decedent resided in NY at the time of death and their domicile is New York at the time of death; or
- There are assets located in NY, at the time of death, and an ancillary proceeding is needed. The Decedent may have died elsewhere
More information about out-of-state probate help.