Designate an Administrator of NYC Estate
Yes; you Can Designate an Administrator to serve as the Fiduciary of the Estate. The proposed administrator must be eligible and qualify in accordance with the law.
Crash Course on Probate/Administration
Here are the basics. If a person dies with a Will, then the Will must be probated in order to be valid. If the person dies without a Will, then an Administrator must be appointed. In the case of Wills, the instrument will typically nominate the Executor and even a Successor Executor. In cases of intestacy, there is an order of priority set forth in SCPA 1001, as to who should serve as Administrator.
Why would I Designate an Administrator of a NYC Estate?
There are a few reasons why you would want to designate an administrator of an estate. They are, as follows:
- When the Executor and Successor executor have died, resigned, or are unable or unwilling to serve and there are no other nominated Executors. (Reasons why Executor or Successor Executor would be unable or unwilling to serve include death, disability, being a felon, being incapacitated, or, the one that is most common, the proposed individual is neither a US Citizen nor Green Card Holder.) In this case, either a person would petition to serve as Administrator cta, or, if everybody agrees on the individual who will serve, then the residuary beneficiaries would need to designate an Administrator cta.
- When there is no Will and everybody agrees that there is one person that they would trust to serve in the role of Administrator.
- Regardless of whether there is or is not a Will, then everybody agrees, pursuant to a settlement agreement, that a particular person should serve. (For example, if there are three siblings all vying for the role, maybe they can agree to an independent person to serve as a tie breaker or peacemaker.)
- In the case of a Will, then the Executor wants to serve but is not eligible to serve because they are not a US Citizen or Green Card holder. In this case, pursuant to SCPA 707, the non us person can still serve together with a New York resident. This New York resident would be called an Administrator.
How do I Designate an Administrator of a NYC Estate?
In the case of a Will, the rules for Designating an Administrator cta are found in SCPA 1418. In the event that there is no Will, then the rules for designating an Administrator are found in SCPA 1001(6)
Typically, the proposed Administrator will file the petition, listing themselves as the “Designee” on part 1 of the Petition. You would then fill out the balance of the Probate or Administration documents in the ordinary and regular fashion.
There are a few nuances, which are, as follows:
One of the parties must sign an Affidavit of Designee. This is a document, which must be signed and notarized.
In addition, if the Administrator is being appointed on consent, then everybody has to sign a Waiver, including parties with equal or prior rights to letters.
For Letters of Administration cta the Waiver and Consent is different from the standard Waiver and Consent that is filed.
What are Disadvantages if I designate an Administrator?
If you have to designate someone, then you lose control of the estate. You become beholden to the Administrator and must wait for them to collect assets and provide you with information, including an accounting. There are times when you have no choice but to consent to the appointment of somebody else as the Administrator.
For more information, please contact Estate Litigation, Guardianship, Probate and Estate Planning attorney Regina Kiperman:
Or visit her at:
40 Wall Street
New York, NY 10005
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