If your relative dies without a Last Will & Testament, the process by which a fiduciary
is appointed for the estate is called Intestate Administration. An Administrator
needs to be appointed for the estate if the decedent died with assets valued at $30,000
or more. Since there is no Will appointing an Executor, the law sets forth who may
be appointed Administrator. Usually, the Administrator will be, in order of preference,
the spouse, the children, the grandchildren, the father or mother, the brother or
sisters and so on.
The Administration proceeding is begun by filing an Administration
petition with the Surrogate’s Court in the county in which the decedent resided.
After jurisdiction has been completed and all issues have been addressed, the Court
will issue Letters of Administration. This document gives the appointed Administrator
the authority to act on behalf of the estate.
The role of the Administrator is the
same as that of the Executor. He or she will be expected to liquidate and/or collect
the assets of the estate, file and pay income and estate taxes, address creditors’
claims and make distributions according to the law of intestacy. Since the decedent
died without a Will, the law governs how the estate is distributed.
We handle intestate administration matters for local and out of state clients