Executor in a Will

I Have Experience in Helping an Executor in a Will Succeed in the Administration of an Estate

Doing a good job as an executor requires someone with persistence and who pays attention to detail. However, most people need professional assistance as an executor in a will since each estate confronts many issues such as the collection and valuation of assets, the payment of debts, claims and taxes and the distribution of estate funds to beneficiaries.  As a New York City wills lawyer, I have represented many clients who are an executor in a will and assisted them with probating the will and administering and settling the estate.

An Executor is also known as a fiduciary and he has duties, responsibilities and powers that must be exercised properly.  The New York Estates, Powers and Trusts Law ("EPTL") and the Surrogate's Court Procedure Act ("SCPA") as well as decisions of the Courts, provide a wide array of conduct that an Executor, as a Fiduciary, must follow.  For example, an Executor  should pay all of the debts, taxes and obligations that a decedent and the decedent's estate may be obligated to satisfy.  Executors also have a general duty to treat all of the estate beneficiaries fairly and cannot engage in conduct which improperly favors one over another.  Also, a fiduciary cannot engage in self-dealing which means that he cannot handle estate affairs in a manner that would wrongfully benefit himself over the interests of the estate and its beneficiaries. An attorney can help an executor make sure that they uphold this duty.

A New York lawyer can guide an appointed executor to recognize and to perform his obligations as required by the Surrogate's Court and related laws. When an Executor acts improperly he may breach his fiduciary duty and can be held accountable for his conduct.  The Court has the power to remove an Executor and revoke his powers and also may require him to pay damages for wrongful acts.  These damages are referred to as a surcharge.  A breach of fiduciary duty may occur either because the fiduciary acts in a certain manner or is negligent in performing his duties. EPTL 11-1.1 lists many of the powers that are given to Fiduciaries such as the power to invest estate or trust property and to pay proper expenses.  Estate beneficiaries have a right to review the actions of all fiduciaries since it is required that beneficiaries be provided with an account of all of the estate or trust transactions.

As can be seen, acting as a fiduciary such as an Executor is a large responsibility.  As noted, all fiduciaries are held accountable for their performance and also must provide the estate beneficiaries with a written accounting of the acts and transactions that they engage in,  These accountings can be the subject of a separate Accounting Proceeding in the Surrogate's Court.

As a wills attorney in New York City, I have over 25 years of experience working personally with clients who are the executor in a will. 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 was admitted to the New York State Bar in 1979 and admitted to the Supreme Court of the United States in 1982.  I was admitted to the United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit and the United States District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. I started my own law practice in New York City in 1985.

Call (212) 355-2575 or e-mail for a free appointment with a New York City lawyer.

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
★★★★★