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Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 1302: Supplementary Letters, Executors Not Named in Letters Not to Act

Probate is the process during which a decedent’s will is validated. Once that occurs, the executor can proceed to settled the decedent’s estate. Probate and estate administration can be time-consuming and costly. Because of this, New York offers an alternative process for estates that are small. This allows a more quick and efficient administration process and distribution of assets of uncomplicated, small estates. To learn more about the rules related to the administration of an estate, including the requirements of small estate administration as described in Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 1302, Kinds of property, contact an experienced probate lawyer serving New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Related statutory provisions
  1. Persons who may become voluntary administrator: Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, § 1303
  2. Summary procedure: Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, § 1304
Small estate administration

In order to qualify for small estate administration, the estate must have a value of less than $30,000 in personal property. Under Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 1302, Kinds of property, real estate can be included as part of the small estate process, even if it has a value of less than $30,000. However, as an experienced New York probate attorney will explain, the small estate process can be used for the administration of the decedent’s personal property if it qualifies, while the real property would be subject to the traditional probate administration process.

Just like with a probate proceeding, or an estate administration proceeding, someone must be appointed by the Surrogate’s Court as administrator to manage the process. The person is referred to as a voluntary administrator. If there is a will, the Surrogate’s Court will appoint the person named in the will as executor to serve as voluntary administrator. In the absence of a will, the decedent’s closest heir would be appointed voluntary administrator.

Filing procedure

In order to take advantage of the small estate process, a small estate affidavit must be filed.

  • Will. If there is a will, the executor must file a certified copy of the death certificate and a copy of the will, along with an “Affidavit of Voluntary Administration.” The affidavit must be filed at the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the decedent resided at the time of his or her death. If the decedent did not leave a will, then the small estate affidavit must be filed with the birth certificate. The rules do not specify who must file the affidavit when there is no will.
  • Fee. There is a filing fee.
Information needed to file the affidavit
  • Information about the decedent. Name and address
  • Death certificate. Certified copy
  • Name and address of heirs. In order for priority- surviving spouse, children, grandchildren, parents, siblings, nieces and nephews, or aunts and uncles.
  • Original will. If the decedent has a will, a copy of the original will along with the names and addresses of the beneficiaries.
  • Assets. The value of each asset, including account numbers and serial numbers. If you questions about how to determine the value of any of the decedent’s assets, contact an experienced probate attorney in New York.
  • Debts. List of the decedent’s unpaid creditors, such as credit card bills, utility bills, and funeral expenses.
Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 1302. Kinds of property

This article is not applicable to any interest in real property in this state owned by a decedent, but his owner ship  of an interest in real property shall not prevent the use of this article in administering his personal property.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

For over two decades the probate attorneys serving clients in New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have successfully represented clients in matters related to probate and estate administration before the New York Surrogate’s Court. If you have concerns related to estate administration, including questions related to the requirements of New York SPCA section 1302, Kinds of property, 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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