If you prepared for eventuality of your death by creating a last Will, then you need not worry about the intestate distribution of your assets. The surrogate court would ensure that your wishes properly outlined in your last Will is adequately followed. More importantly, the probate process is quicker and easier.
However, when you don’t have a Will, intestacy is the only way for your family or other relative to get your asset. Since you are no longer alive and cannot decide who get what, the court takes it upon itself to distribute your properties. This is achieved through intestacy succession in New York. Every state just like New York has tits rule for intestacy succession (distribution of a decedent asset without a Will). The rule decides who get the decedent asset first before others and what percentage would be allocated to everyone eligible to the estate.
How is intestate administered?
The process of intestacy administration is quite the same in every other state. Here is the process of intestacy administration:
To begin the intestacy process, a relative of the deceased initiate a case in a probate court.
For a decedent with Will the estate’s executor or personal representative assigned by the decedent initiate probate proceedings in a surrogate court. This is usually the first step in implementing an estate plan.
Since there’s no Will, the court assigns an administrator to oversee the intestacy process. Rather than assign an executor, a family member or heir of the deceased is appointed as administrator.
The first task of the administrator is to identify and gather all the decedent assets, estate, bank accounts, business, retirement etc. Typically all the possessions of the deceased will be needed before intestacy can be implemented.
Also, the administrator is required to identify the decedents closest relative and heir. The decedent’s creditor would at this point be notified.
Payment of the debts and taxes owed by decedent.
The administrator is responsible for raising the funds to pay the debts. Through liquefying, selling some of the estate assets, cash is made to pay taxes and debts owed by the decedent. Also, cost such as accountant and attorney fees incurred during the process (estate administration) must be paid.
all debt must be paid before final distribution of the deceased estate properties.
The court then gives the administrator the nod to share the remaining estate properties among the heir according to the intestate successions of New York.
How long does intestate take?
Typically in New York, intestacy administration takes about 1 -2 years. This process is quite lengthy and can be very cost ineffective. The administrator will at every stage of the succession report to the court on progress made before the court gives a go ahead to implement the plan. Usually, the heirs together with the appointed administrator will need to attend the court hearing, and be informed of progress. All these add up the time for intestacy succession to be completed.
Intestacy succession is not the best way to have your estate properties shared. Even while the state tries to make the process less complicated and terrible, you still won’t have your estate shared the way you’d want it. It is better to make estate plans rather than leave your beneficiaries to this ineffective process. Contact an estate planning attorney near your today to create necessary estate documents.
Note: Since the first mistake of not making estate plan has been made, you don’t need to make anther costly mistake. Rather than have someone incompetent act as an administrator in the intestacy administration, you could ask the court to allow you get an estate attorney. The attorney would be professional enough to help you with necessary document and paperwork. For your convenience, contact an estate planning attorney near you.
Implication of a Will Vs. No Will.
If you have created a Will, be assured that your wishes on how you would like to share your assets to beneficiaries will be implemented. Even while you are not alive, a surrogate court will still uphold this desire.
However, when you die without an estate document or a Will, then there’s no way a court will know what your desire are; as such your estate will be subjected to intestacy law in New York. The intestacy law uses a form of hierarchy to distribute deceased assets to surviving relatives.
Contact an estate planning attorney near you
Simple mistakes can ruin estate plans; as such you need an expert capable of making suitable and approbation estate plans and documents. Contact our estate planning attorney near you today, 11103, New York to guide you through the process estate plan documents. We handle your estate plans with professionalism and confidentiality.