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Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 712: Petition;  Process Thereupon;  Suspension

When a loved one passes away, before his (or her) property can be transferred, the decedent’s estate must go through an administration process. Administration is overseen by an executor or estate administrator appointed by the Surrogate’s Court. While administration is often a straightforward process, there are occasions in which it becomes quite complicated. For example, administration can be delayed if there are accusations against the executor, estate administrator, or other fiduciary that he or she is not qualified or in some way breached his or her duties as a fiduciary. To learn more about the administration process and the Surrogate’s Court procedures related to objecting to a fiduciary, including the requirements of Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 712, Petition;  process thereupon;  suspension, contact a skilled New York estate litigation lawyer at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates.

Related statutory provisions
  1. Eligibility to receive letters: Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, § 707
  2. Qualification of fiduciaries: Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, § 708
  3. Objection to grant of letters or appointment of lifetime trustee: Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, § 709
  4. Objections which require bond from fiduciary not otherwise required to file bond: Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act, § 710
Petition;  process thereupon;  suspension

If you have reason to believe that a fiduciary is not fit to serve and you have standing, then you must file a petition. In order to have standing to petition the Surrogate’s Court to challenge a fiduciary’s eligibility, you must be a co-fiduciary, creditor, person interested, any person on behalf of an infant or any surety on a bond of a fiduciary. It is a good idea to contact an experienced New York estate litigation attorney. If you fail to file your petition properly, the court may refuse to consider it.

The reasons for filing a petition for the suspension, removal, or modification of the letters granted to a fiduciary include that the fiduciary is a convicted felon, a non-domiciliary alien, has a substance abuse problem, or has a history of being negligent. In addition, the Surrogate’s Court may choose to revoke the fiduciary’s letters if petition proves that the fiduciary wasted estate assets, damaged estate property, or failed to obey a direction of the court. In addition, if a contingency occurred that would require the fiduciary’s authority to end, then the court would revoke his or her letters upon petition.

Additional procedural requirements

As an experienced estate litigation attorney in New York will explain, process must be issued to the fiduciary against whom relief is sought and to such other persons as the Surrogate’s Court may direct. Upon the issuance of process that judge may suspend the fiduciary’s authority, pending the outcome of the proceeding.

Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 712. Petition;  process thereupon;  suspension

A petition as prescribed in the preceding section must show that the case is one therein specified and, if entertained, process must be issued according to the prayer thereof to the fiduciary against whom relief is sought and to such other persons as the court may direct.

Upon the issuance of process the court may by order suspend the respondent wholly or partly from the exercise of his powers and authority during the pendency of the proceeding.  A certified copy of the order so made must be served with the process, but from the time it is made, the order is binding upon the respondent and upon all other persons, without service thereof, subject to the exceptions and limitations prescribed in 720 and 721.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

For over two decades the estate litigation attorneys serving New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have successfully represented clients with skill and compassion in matters related to probate, estate administration, and estate litigation. If you have questions or concerns in an estate matter related to the requirements of New York SCPA section 712, Petition;  process thereupon;  suspension, or any other will, 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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