Distributees

Understand the Interests of Estate Distributees

In New York, "distributees" are persons who are designated by law as having the primary right to receive a decedent's estate in the case of intestacy - i.e. where a person dies without a Will.  New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law ("EPTL") Section 1-2.5 defines a distributee as "a person entitled to take or share in the property of a decedent under the statutes governing descent and distribution". A New York City distributee lawyer can advise you on your rights and assert them for you.

When a person dies without a Will, his or her distributees (next of kin) inherit as the statutes provide.  Generally, the order of priority is the spouse and children, parents and brothers and sisters.  EPTL Section 4-1.1 sets forth the order of priority for persons to receive their distributive share.

The identity of distributees is also important in other types of proceedings such as probate.  New York laws and procedures require that a decedent's distributees be provided with notice of a probate proceeding and given the opportunity to contest the decedent's Will.  In the probate proceeding, the probate petition must contain the names and address of all of the decedent's distributees.  The petition also contains an estimate of the value of the decedent's personal property and real property interests.   At the outset of the probate case, the distributees may be given the opportunity to sign a paper by which they consent to the probate of the purported Last Will.  If a distributee does not consent, he will be served with a Citation which is issued by the Surrogate's Court and is like a Summons.  The Citation contains a Court date on which the served party must appear in Court and let the Court know if they want to move forward towards objecting to the Will.  Objections to a Will need to prepared and filed according to various rules and procedures.    For example, a distributee lawyer in New York City can help an objectant prepare and file estate litigation papers in the Queens Surrogate's Court.  The testimony of the attesting witnesses and the person who drafted the Will can be obtained even before filing Objections pursuant to Surrogate's Court Procedure Act Section 1404.

The rules of kinship and the determination of distributees, along with the protection of distributees' interests, can be complex.  When a person fails to prepare a Will, the laws of intestacy control estate distribution.  It may be necessary for family members to present evidence at a hearing on kinship to prove their right of inheritance.

As a New York City distributee attorney, I have many years of experience advising clients concerning estate distributees and working with estate distributees to protect and advance their interests. Many families have engaged me to help them administer estates for their deceased relatives and to contest a Will that has been filed for probate.

I have been practicing law for over 30 years. I graduated in the top 10% of my class at The New England School of Law in Boston and served on the Law Review. I'm committed to the success of my clients and the resolution of all estate issues that may effect them.

I am available to answer your questions or address any concerns you may have 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Contact me now at (212) 355-2575 or e-mail for a free appointment with a distributee attorney in New York City.

Client Reviews
Jules Haas helped me with managing the process in probate court for my father's estate through to its completion upon the sale of my father's house. He was knowledgeable, efficient, and effective in submitting documentation to the probate court, explaining procedures to me, and advising me as to the progress of my case. His support staff was also very helpful. He made what for me created so much anxiety into something manageable where I could see progress every step of the way. His fees were very reasonable. I am super grateful to him for all the help he has provided and strongly recommend his services.
★★★★★
I found Mr. Haas after being misguided by a former attorney. Mr. Jules Haas took our case which involved an estate/trust dispute. What initially seemed like an impossible and overwhelming legal fight was now in the hands of someone who had the integrity and legal expertise to win our case. Mr Haas' attention to detail and his expert knowledge base, skillfully and successfully guided us through an intricate legal process. I am very thankful and grateful to Mr. Jules Haas for representing our interest and ultimately winning. Bringing about a peace of mind we needed. Thank You Devida Nedd
★★★★★
I was in need of a guardianship attorney and I hired the services of Jules M. Haas' Law firm. The service of counselor Haas and his staff, was very profesional and the case was handled in a timely matter. I would strongly recommend his services Angel Guevara
★★★★★
I strongly recommend Jules Haas. I have worked with him for two years and he has provided so much support and followed through with everything he promised he would do. His support staff is just as helpful! We had an interesting case and he helped to solve each part of it legally and was very thorough. Thank you for everything you have done to finalize our families estate Robyn Stafford
★★★★★