Why Title to Real Estate Often Complicates Estate Administration in New York

When a loved one passes away, their estate will need to be managed. However, doing so successfully can become far more complex where titles to real estate exist. We take a closer look at why probate law in New York State can cause controversy among beneficiaries and how executors can go about closing an estate in NY properly.

Insufficient Asset Gathering

Many estate litigation cases have come about as the result of information coming to light regarding real estate ownership that executors or beneficiaries weren’t previously aware of. In these instances, thorough asset gathering would have helped avoid conflict.

It is the job of the executor to ensure that absolutely all of the deceased’s assets have been discovered, gathered, and kept in a safe place. This part of estate administration can require a lot of legwork and time.

However, in doing so, an executor can completely reduce or eliminate further complications. No longer will it be possible for family members to assume ownership of property because enough information has been gathered and secured properly.

Ownership

Real estate ownership can exist in many forms. The deceased may have been the sole owner of the real estate in question or may have owned property with another. Ownership can also exist in shared form, such as joint tenancy of a property. Types of ownership, including joint tenancies, won’t result in any ownership being passed to beneficiaries.

While this can certainly result in confusion and controversy among estate beneficiaries, closer investigation into the type of ownership and the New York state beneficiary laws that govern them can help avoid unwanted surprises.

Value

Real estate is a high-value item, which can also cause controversy. In a separation, for example, it will be important for the deceased to have stated their intent for the property clearly. Otherwise, an ex-spouse may assume they have full ownership when they do not. This kind of misunderstanding can result in much disappointment once the time comes to execute the will.

Of course, even before a loved one passes away, ensuring that both parties in the relationship have clearly discussed what will happen to real estate upon their deaths can provide the details an executor of estate in New York needs to fulfill their responsibilities.

Help with Estate Administration

Although it is the executor’s job to ensure a deceased loved one’s assets are properly identified, secured, and distributed, the amount of work involved can be overwhelming. It is in these cases that additional help can offer many benefits.

If you’re the executor of an estate, you can research probate law to discern whether or not you’ll need help to administrate the estate. If you’re finding the probate process difficult to navigate, contact the estate administration attorneys at Ledwidge & Associates, P.C. We put a combined 32 years of probate and estate administration experience to work for you. Call (718) 276-6656 for a consultation.

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