and Your Family
New York Heir Finder Lawyer
When a person dies without a will or without leaving any known heirs, the state of New York has laws in place to determine who should inherit their estate. This process, known as "e administration," involves finding and notifying any potential heirs and determining their legal right to inherit the decedent's assets. In some cases, locating heirs can be a complex and time-consuming process, particularly if the decedent had no immediate family members or if their family history is unclear. For this reason, it is important to work with an experienced New York estate administration attorney who can help navigate the process and ensure that all legal requirements are met.Finding Heirs in New York
The first step in finding heirs in New York is to conduct a thorough investigation of the decedent's family history. This may involve gathering information from a variety of sources, including birth and death records, marriage certificates, and obituaries. It may also be necessary to interview family members, friends, and other individuals who may have knowledge of the decedent's family history.
Once potential heirs have been identified, it is important to notify them of the decedent's death and their potential inheritance. This typically involves sending a notice of petition to each potential heir, informing them of the estate administration proceedings and their right to contest the proceedings if they so choose. In some cases, it may also be necessary to publish a notice of the estate administration proceedings in a local newspaper.
After the potential heirs have been notified, it is necessary to determine their legal right to inherit the decedent's assets. This may involve conducting a search for a valid will or other estate planning documents, as well as verifying each heir's relationship to the decedent. If the decedent did not leave a will or other estate planning documents, New York's laws of intestacy will dictate the distribution of the assets.
If the decedent's family history is unclear or there are no known heirs, it may be necessary to conduct a more extensive search for potential heirs. This may involve hiring a professional genealogist or other expert to conduct a genealogical investigation, as well as conducting a search for potential heirs through public records and other sources.
Throughout the process of finding heirs in New York, it is important to work with an experienced New York estate administration attorney who can provide guidance and support, ensuring that all legal requirements are met and that the decedent's assets are distributed to the rightful heirs.Notable New York Cases About Finding Heirs
These notable cases demonstrate the importance of having a valid estate plan in place and the role that the court plays in determining who should inherit a decedent's assets. If you need assistance with finding an heir or navigating the estate administration process in New York, it is important to work with an experienced estate administration attorney in New York who can provide guidance and support throughout the process.
- Estate of Roy F. Riblet, 162 A.D.3d 1547 (N.Y. App. Div. 2018). The court held that the decedent's niece and nephew were the rightful heirs to his estate, despite a competing claim from a more distant relative.
- Estate of Ann Aldrich, 231 So.3d 440 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2017). This case, which involved a Florida resident who passed away without a will, highlights the importance of having a valid estate plan in place. The court ultimately ruled that the decedent's sister was entitled to inherit her assets, but only after a lengthy legal battle.
- Matter of Thomas, 20 N.Y.3d 206 (2012). This case involved a dispute over the estate of a man who had passed away without a will. The court ultimately ruled that the decedent's partner was entitled to inherit his assets, despite objections from his siblings.
- Estate of Eugenia M. Punsly, 50 A.D.3d 835 (N.Y. App. Div. 2008). In this case, the court held that the decedent's half-sister was entitled to inherit her estate, despite objections from a more distant relative who claimed that the decedent had disowned her sister.
Finding an heir in New York is an important part of the estate administration process, particularly when the decedent did not leave a will or when their family history is unclear. With the help of an experienced estate administration attorney serving New York, the process can be handled efficiently and effectively, and the decedent's assets can be distributed to the rightful heirs. If you need assistance with finding an heir or navigating the estate administration process, contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates today at 800-696-9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Manhattan, Long Island, Nassau County, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Bronx, and Westchester County.