If your loved one died without leaving a will, his or her estate will have to go through a process called estate administration. Estate administration is the vehicle by which your loved one’s financial and legal matters will be settled and his or her assets passed to his or her heirs.
Without a valid will, your loved one’s assets will be passed according to New York’s intestacy laws rather than as your loved one wished them to be passed. For example, even though your loved one may have intended the assets pass only to his or her spouse, the state mandates that they must be divided between the spouse and surviving children.
The duties of an estate administrator include seeking and obtaining property appraisals, notifying your loved one’s creditors, paying taxes and paying legal fees. After the fees, taxes and debts are paid, the administrator will then distribute the assets to your loved one’s heirs.
At the office of Joseph A. Lewidge, our attorney regularly helps his clients understand their rights in the event their loved ones have passed away without a will. He advises close relatives regarding their probable inheritance rights and helps them to reach a resolution of any estate disputes they may have. Mr. Lewidge also advises people who have been appointed as administrators, and he helps them understand their duties so they can avoid costly disputes and court litigation. Mr. Lewidge is highly knowledgeable about estate taxes and helps his clients figure the owed amounts. Estate administration can be complicated and leave people with many questions. In order to provide better assistance to people who have a loved one who passed without leaving a will, Mr. Lewidge has gathered additional information on his Queens estate administration page . If you have questions, you may find a review of it to be helpful.