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Probate & Estate Administration 

Estate Administration vs Probate

Estate administration and probate are both important processes in New York to ensure that the estate of a decedent (the person who has passed away) is properly managed. Estate administration is a process that is used to ensure that all of the decedent's assets are collected and distributed according to the decedent's wishes. This includes collecting all the assets, paying any outstanding debts or taxes, and then distributing the remaining assets to the designated beneficiaries. Probate, on the other hand, is a court-supervised process that is used to validate a will and make sure that the decedent's wishes are being carried out properly.


In New York, probate is required if the decedent's estate is worth more than $50,000 or if the decedent had real estate in the state. It is important to understand the differences between estate administration and probate in order to ensure that the decedent's assets are properly managed and distributed according to the decedent's wishes.

How do you appoint an Executor or Administrator of an Estate in NY?

An Executor or Administrator of an Estate is appointed by the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the decedent resided.  If the decedent had a Will, the Will is submitted to the Court for probate, at which time the Court will authorize the Executor named in the Will to act by issuing Letters Testamentary. If the decedent died intestate (without a Will), a petition for estate administration is submitted to the Court which will appoint an Administrator to handle the estate. No one has the authority to act unless and until the Court issues Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration.

Who can serve as an administrator in NY?

When a person passes away without a Will (intestate), New York law sets forth who will be appointed as Administrator of the estate in the following order of priority:

  • Surviving spouse 

  • Children

  • Grandchildren 

  • Parents 

  • Siblings 

  • Any other heir who is eligible to qualify


The individual with the highest priority has first right to serve as the Administrator of the estate - unless they are disqualified.

Our Probate & Administration Services Include:

  • Estate Administration

  • Will Probate

  • Estate Litigation

  • Estate Accounting

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