Member of:
Justia Lawyer Rating
American Association for Justice
Union Plus

Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 1419: Process;  Renunciation or Exclusion of Persons Having Prior or Equal Right

The job on an executor is to handle the activities related to winding up the estate of someone who has died. Such activities include gathering estate assets, paying bills, settling claims, filing and paying taxes, and distributing assets. Typically, a testator will name the person that he (or she) wants to serve as executor in his will. However, there are occasions when the executor is not named in the will. There are other instances in which while an executor was named in the will, that person is unable or unwilling to serve as executor. Other individuals can then petition the Surrogate’s Court to be appointed as the estate administrator and receive letters of administration with will annexed, proving that he has the legal authority to act on behalf of the estate. To learn more about the rules related to the appointment of an executor or estate administrator and the issuance of letters, including the requirements of Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 1419, Process;  renunciation or exclusion of persons having prior or equal right, contact an experienced probate lawyer serving New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Related statutory provisions
  1. Preliminary letters testamentary: Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, § 1412
  2. When letters testamentary may be issued: Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, § 1414
  3. Letters of administration with will annexed;  when and to whom granted: Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, § 1418

“Letters” is a term that refers to a document issued by the New York Surrogate’s Court that authorizes an executor or estate administrator to take control of a decedent’s estate and perform administration responsibilities. With “Letters,” the executor or estate administrator has proof that he or she can present to banks, relatives, and others that he or she is legally allowed to act as the personal representative of the estate.

Once the administrator has the letters, he can start performing his duties as administrator of the estate such as inventorying assets, appraising assets, paying creditors, and ultimately transferring estate asset to beneficiaries according to the terms of the will. If you have been appointed executor or estate administrator and have concerns about your responsibilities, contact and experienced New York probate lawyer.

Letters of administration with will annexed

There are different types of letters. “Letters testamentary” is the term used to describe the document issued by the Surrogate’s Court to an executor that was named in a decedent’s will and who was then appointed by the court. If the decedent did not have a will, the court will appointed an estate administrator. The letters issued are called “Letters of Administration.” If the testator failed to name an executor in the will, or if the named executor was unable to serve as administrator, then the court would issue letters to another person. In such a case the letters would be called, “Letters of administration with will annexed.”

Process;  renunciation or exclusion of persons having prior or equal right

In a case where there is not an executor named in the will, or the executor named is not able to serve, the court will determine who will receive letters based on a statutory order of priority as well as general rules of eligibility. Those who are eligible, and who have not renounced must be served process. However, the court is not obligated with the service of process to non-domiciliaries.


Those who are eligible to receive Letters of administration with will annexed include the sole beneficiary named in the will, the residuary beneficiary or beneficiaries, and other interested parties. If any eligible person is deceased, then their fiduciary would be eligible to receive letters. If no eligible person is willing to serve as estate administrator, then the public administrator would be entitled to receive letters.

In addition to being an interested party, in order to be eligible the person must not be a felon, under the age of 18, have a history of substance abuse, negligence, or dishonesty, be incompetent, or be a non-domiciliary alien.

To learn more about the eligibility requirements for serving as an estate administrator and receiving letters of administration with will annexed, contact an experienced probate attorney in New York.

Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 1419. Process;  renunciation or exclusion of persons having prior or equal right

Every eligible person having a right to letters of administration with the will annexed prior or equal to that of the petitioner including an infant, incompetent or conservatee whose guardian, committee or conservator would be entitled to letters, and who has not renounced, must be served.  The proceedings upon the application are the same as upon an application for administration upon the estate of an intestate.  The court may dispense with the issuance and service of process upon non-domiciliaries.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

For over two decades the skilled New York probate attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have successfully represented clients in matters related to probate, estate administration, and estate litigation, including matters related to the appointment and responsibilities of an estate administrator. If you have an interest in matter related to the requirements of New York SPCA section 1419, Process;  renunciation or exclusion of persons having prior or equal right, or any other will, estate, or trust matter, contact one of our attorneys at 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.

Client Reviews
Mr. Bilkis handled both my father and mother's estate issues through very difficult times he was compassionate kind and understanding. In fact the whole firm showed great empathy. Despite the emotional hard time we were having that quickly and efficiently handle all the matters that were necessary to get us the result we desired. Can't recommend them enough. B.B.
From the very first phone call to Stephen Bilkis' office, the staff was extremely polite and helpful in assisting me. Mr. Bilkis was honest and upfront with me from the beginning in what he projected the outcome of my case would be; in the end we got better results than either of us anticipated. He was very genuine and compassionate in understanding my situation and how this legal matter could effect not only myself but my family as well. I highly recommend this law firm and will most definitely continue using them for any future legal needs. Jarrett
Stephen has handled numerous estate matters, criminal matters and family court matters effectively and with a goal-oriented approach. He gets great results and is a results-oriented attorney. Dustin