For your convenience, I have prepared a list of estate, guardianship and probate related New York legal forms that you can download and use for free. Some of the forms are provided by the New York State Court System while others are provided by attorneys. If you have questions after reviewing a form, I urge you to consult with legal counsel before using it. Please don’t assume that all of the legal forms are meant to be used on do-it-yourself basis.
The majority of forms deal with complex legal subjects such as probate, intestate administration and guardianship. Although I would never recommend that you try to handle complex legal proceedings on your own, it is your right to do so. Recognizing that financial circumstances may prevent some from hiring an attorney, I have compiled this list of the most commonly used decedent’s estate and guardianship forms. Forms that are suitable for “do-it-yourself” are designated DIY. The free legal forms listed below are offered “as-is” and no representation is made that they are correct or current.
Note: many of the forms presented below require the free Acrobat Reader for viewing. If you have trouble viewing the PDF version of the form, try using the Word or WordPerfect version.
Open a Safe Deposit Box
Safe Deposit Box Petition ♦ DIY – Used to ask the Surrogate’s Court for permission to search the contents of the safe deposit box of a person who died to look for a will, burial plot deed, insurance policies and to make a list of all the items inside the box.
Petition for Probate – For use where the decedent died leaving a Last Will & Testament. After the Will is admitted to probate, the Surrogate’s Court issues Letters Testamentary to the Executor(s). Word Form. WordPerfect Form. Probate Proceeding Checklist.
Petition for Ancillary Probate – An ancillary probate is used when a non-domiciliary leaves real and/or personal property which needs to be administered under New York State law and there has been a probate completed in a foreign jurisdiction (outside of NYS or USA). Word Form. WordPerfect Form. Ancillary Probate Proceeding Checklist.
Petition for Letters of Administration c.t.a. (after Probate) Use this form to have a new fiduciary appointed where the Executor has died, resigned or been removed and there is no successor named in the Will. Word Form. WordPerfect Form. Administration c.t.a. Proceeding Checklist.
Administration (Intestate) Forms
Petition for Letters of Administration – Use this form to appoint an Administrator of an estate where the decedent died without a Will. Word Form. WordPerfect Form. Administration Proceeding Checklist.
Petition for Ancillary Letters of Administration – An ancillary administration is used when a non-domiciliary leaves real and/or personal property which needs to be administered under New York State law and there has been an administration proceeding completed in a foreign jurisdiction (outside of NYS). Word Form. WordPerfect Form. Ancillary Administration Proceeding Checklist.
Petition for Letters of Administration (d.b.n.) – Proceeding to appoint a successor Administrator, De Bonis Non where an Administrator has died, resigned or has been removed. Word Form. WordPerfect Form. Administration d.b.n. Proceeding Checklist.
Voluntary Administration – Small Estate Forms
Small Estate “Affidavit” Program Form ♦ DIY– Use this program if the decedent passed away between August 29, 1996 and December 31, 2008 AND had $20,000 or less in personal property (not real estate). If the decedent passed away after January 1, 2009 AND had $30,000 or less in personal property. Important Note: if the decedent owned real estate only in his/her name, you cannot use this program. Voluntary Administration Checklist.
Report & Account in Settlement of Estate Pursuant to SCPA Article 13 – A report to the Surrogate’s Court used by a Voluntary Administrator to close a small estate.
Renunciation of Voluntary Administration – Persons with equal standing must sign a renunciation consenting to the appointment of the person filing to become the Voluntary Administrator. Word Form. WordPerfect Form.
Small Estate Settlement Without Court Administration (no court issued “Letters” needed)
Form A, Small Estate Affidavit SCPA §1310 (2) ♦ DIY – For use by the decedent’s Surviving Spouse to collect up to $30,000 (No waiting period or time limits).
Form B, Small Estate Affidavit SCPA §1310 (3) ♦ DIY – For use by a child, mother, father, sister, brother, niece or nephew of the decedent AND at least 30 days have passed since the decedent died. Collect up to $15,000.
Form C, Small Estate Affidavit SCPA §1310 (3) ♦ DIY – For use by a Funeral Creditor of the decedent with consent of an entitled blood relative AND at least 30 days have passed since the decedent died. Collect up to $15,000.
Form D, Small Estate Affidavit SCPA §1310 (4) ♦ DIY – For use by a Funeral Creditor of the decedent (no consent needed) AND at least six (6) months have passed since the decedent died. Collect up to $5,000.
New York Unclaimed Funds Small Estate Affidavit ♦ DIY – Form posted by the Office of the New York State Comptroller Office of Unclaimed Funds. If the account owner is deceased and there was no estate representative appointed by the courts, the surviving spouse or child of the deceased or the unreimbursed payor of the funeral expenses may use the form to collect unclaimed funds. Table of Heirs – Form may be required to be used in conjunction with the Comptroller’s Small Estates Affidavit form.
Petition for Appointment of Guardian of Person Only – Proceeding to seek guardianship of the “person” of a minor – child under 18 years of age. This form of legal guardian decides everything about the child’s health, education and welfare. The guardian of the person makes decisions about where the child resides and goes to school, the child’s health care, and other important things in the child’s life. However, this type of guardian does not have the right to manage the child’s money – see Guardian of the Property. Word Form. WordPerfect Form. Guardianship Proceeding Checklist – Person only.
Petition for Appointment of Guardian the Property – A guardian of the property manages the child’s money, investments and savings, as directed by the Surrogate’s Court for the child’s benefit. The Surrogate may require a guardian of the property to post a bond (a type of insurance policy) to make sure that the Court’s rules and laws about investment of a child’s assets is followed. Word Form. WordPerfect Form. Guardianship Proceeding Checklist – Person and/or Property.
Petition for Appointment of Guardian (SCPA Article 17-A) ♦ DIY – Guardian over a mentally-retarded person or over a developmentally disabled individual’s person and/or property. There is no age restriction under this provision. 17-A Guardianship Proceeding Checklist of Mentally Retarded/ Developmentally Disable Person.
Inventory of Assets – Report filed in the Surrogate’s Court by the fiduciary or attorney for the estate listing all estate assets.
Firearms Inventory – Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act §2509 requires the fiduciary or attorney for the estate to file a detailed list of every firearm, shotgun and rifle that are part of the estate. This form is filed with the Inventory of Assets in the court and a copy must also be filed with the Division of Criminal Justice Services in Albany. WordPerfect Form.
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