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Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 713: Hearing;  Decree

An executor is the person named in a will who is tasked with the responsibility of managing the estate of a decedent. While an executor is often a family member such as a spouse, child, parent, or sibling, the executor does not have to be. However, the executor must be eligible. Just because a testator names someone to serve as executor of his or her estate, does not mean the court will approve. Indeed, if the person is not eligible, the court will not approve his or her appointment despite what the will says. To learn more about the process of being appointed to serve as executor of an estate, including the requirements of Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 713, Hearing;  decree, contact an experienced New York estate administration 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
Becoming an executor

The person named as executor in the decedent’s will must petition the court to be named executor and receive letters testamentary. Typically it is the named executor who starts the probate process by filing a petition for probate and letters testamentary with the Surrogate’s Court along with a copy of the will. The court will issue formally appoint the named executor if and issue letters testamentary if he (or she) is eligible. As a New York estate administration lawyer will explain, a named executor has no legal authority to act until the will is probated and he or she has been issued letters.

Eligibility requirements

The Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act does not list eligibility requirements. Instead, it lists what factors would make a person ineligible. Eligible individuals include those who are infants--meaning under 18 years old; incompetents; non-domiciliary aliens; felons; those who are unfit due to substance abuse, dishonesty, improvidence, or want of understanding, and those who cannot read or write English.

Hearing;  decree

In some instances the executor named in the will is not eligible to serve, but before the administration process ends, becomes eligible. For example, the named executor may be 17 at the time of the decedent’s death and ineligible to serve as executor. The court must appoint someone else as executor. However, 3 months into the administration process, the named executor turns 18. Under Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 713. Hearing;  decree the now eligible named executor has the right to petition the court requesting that it issue him or her supplementary letters testamentary that would allow him to join in the completion of administration along with the administrator who was initially appointed. However, before the executor named in the will has the authority to act, he must petition the court, prove that he qualifies, and receive letters. To learn more about the process of receiving supplementary letters based on a disability being removed, contact an experienced estate administration attorney in New York.

Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 713. Hearing;  decree

If the disability of an infant or an alien named as an executor in a will be removed before the administration of the estate is completed he shall be entitled on petition showing the facts to supplementary letters testamentary to be issued in the same manner as the original letters to join in the completion of the administration of the estate with the person or persons previously appointed.  A person named in a will as executor shall be deemed to be superseded by the issue to another person of letters testamentary and shall have no power or authority as executor until he appears and qualifies and letters testamentary are issued to him.

Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates

The estate administration attorneys serving New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience representing clients in matters related to probate and estate administration. We can assist you with probate proceedings, administration proceedings, estate litigation, and other estate matters, including issues related to the requirements of New York SCPA section 713, Hearing;  decree. 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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