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Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 1002: Petition;  Persons Entitled to Petition for Appointment of an Administrator

Because in cases where a decedent died intestate there is no will to look to to determine who is entitled to serve as executor of the estate, under New York law there are rules that spell out who is entitled to petition the court to be appointed executor. A person who is entitled to petition must provide all of the information in the petition required and file it with the appropriate New York Surrogate’s Court. The court will then review all petitions, determine which petitioners have higher priority, and which petitioners are eligible to serve as estate administrator. If you are interested in serving as estate administrator, and have concerns about the requirements of Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 1002, Petition;  persons entitled to petition for appointment of an administrator, contact an experienced New York intestate succession lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates who understands the requirements for being appointed estate administrator, as well as the duties of the position.

Related statutory provisions
  1. Order of priority for granting letters of administration: Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, § 1001
  2. Persons who must be served with process;  waiver of process;  dispensation with service of process: Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, § 1003
  3. Proceedings upon return of process;  decree: Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, § 1004
Distribution under intestate succession rules

When someone passes away leaving the will, the executor manages the estate and distributes its assets based on what the decedent put in his (or her) will. The will states who gets which portion of the decedent’s assets. Generally, the decedent also names an executor in his will.

As an experienced New York intestate succession attorney will explain, in the absence of a will the Surrogate’s Court must appoint an estate administrator who will manage the estate and distribute assets based on the rules of intestate succession. Furthermore, since there is no will to direct how to distribute assets, estate assets will be distributed to the decedent’s legal heirs. Under New York law, the surviving spouse and children are a decedent’s legal heirs, entitling them to 100% of the decedent’s probate estate. In the absence of a surviving spouse or children, heirs include parents, siblings, and other blood relatives in order of priority as stated in New York Estates, Powers, Trusts and Estates Law.

Petition;  persons entitled to petition for appointment of an administrator

If a person passes away intestate, there are specific rules that must be followed related to the appointment of an estate administrator. Those who are entitled to file a petition for letters include only:

  • Interested parties
  • A person to whose appointment as estate administrator is consented to by all distributees
  • Public administrator
  • Chief fiscal officer of the county
  • Creditors of the decedent
  • Person involved in an action in which the decedent is party

The petition must state the citizenship of both the decedent and the petitioner, that the decedent did not leave will, the estimated value of personal property, and the real property that is part of the estate, whether it is improved, a description of it, its estimated value, and estimated gross rents of an 18 month period.

To ensure that your petition complies with the legal requirements, contact an experienced intestate succession attorney in New York.

Eligibility to serve as executor

In addition to being entitled to petition for appointment, the Surrogate’s Court will only appoint someone estate administrator and issue him or her letters of administration if the petitioner is eligible. The Surrogate’s Court provides a list of factors that would make a petitioner ineligible to serve. A petitioner must not be an infant. An infant is anyone who is under the age of 18. A petition must not be incompetent. This means that the petitioner must not have been adjudged by a court to be incapable of taking care of his or her own affairs. The court will not appointment someone who is a convicted felon to be administrator, or someone who has issues with substance abuse, dishonesty, negligence, who is a non-domiciliary alien, who cannot read or write English, or who is otherwise unfit.

Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 1002. Petition;  persons entitled to petition for appointment of an administrator
  1. Any person interested in the estate of an intestate or of a person alleged to be deceased or any person to whose appointment as administrator all distributees consent pursuant to 1001 or a public administrator, the chief fiscal officer of the county, creditor or a person interested in an action brought or about to be brought in which the intestate or the person alleged to be deceased, if living, would be a proper party may present a petition to the court having jurisdiction praying for a decree granting letters of administration to him or to another person upon the estate of the intestate or the person alleged to be deceased.
  2. The petition must allege the citizenship of the petitioner and the decedent or person alleged to be deceased, that the decedent or person alleged to be deceased left no will, or that the case is within 1001, subdivision 9 and must state whether or not the intestate or person alleged to be deceased left any
    1. personal property and its estimated value and
    2. real property, whether it is improved or unimproved, a brief description thereof, the estimated value of the real property and improvements, if any, and the estimated gross rents for the period of 18 months.
Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

For over two decades the intestate succession attorneys serving New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have skillfully represented beneficiaries, administrators, fiduciaries, heirs, and others in matters related to the administration of estates. If you have concerns related to the administration of an intestate estate including the requirements of New York SCPA section 1002, Petition;  persons entitled to petition for appointment of an administrator, or any other estate or trust matter, contact one of our attorneys at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Long Island, Nassau County, Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.

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