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Westchester Estate Administration
Westchester County is 250 square miles just north of New York City. Its median household income is $105,387, but it also has the highest property taxes in the country as of 2013. The median age in the county is 41.1. Roughly 17.8% residents are 65 years old or above. Even when estate planning is undertaken by those in Westchester County, issues can arise in connection with estate administration. After a decedent’s passing, questions can arise in connection with probate, kinship, or terms of a will or trust. Family members may have issues with how things were left in a testamentary instrument, or if there was no will or trust, they may disagree with the particular appointment of an estate administrator. Whether you are an executor or a beneficiary, you may have concerns about the legal issues that come up after death in connection with property. You should call the results-oriented Westchester County estate administration lawyer Jules M. Haas for a consultation.What Estate Administration Lawyers Do
When somebody dies without a valid will, their property may need to be handled through intestate administration. The court will put somebody, usually an heir, in charge of settling the estate; that person is named in letters of administration issued by the court and is known as an administrator. He or she has authority to gather the property in the decedent’s estate and organize and pay debts and claims from estate assets.
Estate administration can last for up to several years when there is a complex estate and disagreements about how to handle matters. Administration property includes any assets owned by the decedent in his capacity as an individual, but not property held jointly with someone else to whom it passed upon the decedent’s death.
Intestacy rules will govern the order for succession for property distribution. Sometimes it’s clear to the estate administrator who should inherit because there is a surviving spouse and there are children. However, when intestacy rules call for more distant relatives to inherit, those relatives may need to establish kinship and that they are blood relatives of the decedent. An estate administrator could face complications while applying intestacy laws, or even when handling disputes among heirs.Kinship Hearings
One legal issue an administrator might face is the need for kinship hearings. These proceedings can take several days and are filed at the Westchester County Surrogate’s Court that is overseeing the administration of the estate. Anyone who claims entitlement to a share of the estate will need to establish their blood relationship to the decedent by a preponderance of the evidence.
In the course of these proceedings, all parties may need legal representation. Heirs may need counsel to prove their right to an inheritance. The estate administrator may need legal counsel to ensure that proper steps are taken in connection with their duties towards the estate.Turnover Proceedings in Westchester County
Among the other matters that could arise in the course of estate administration are turnover proceedings. These are instituted when it appears that funds or other property belonging to the estate have been improperly removed. The administrator asks that estate property that is in the possession of third parties be returned to the estate.
When an appropriate showing is made and entitlement to possession of the property is determined at a hearing, the court in Westchester County has the authority to enter a decree. It is crucial for an estate administrator who suspects something is awry with the assets in the estate, and believes there may have been conversion, to seek and obtain legal counsel for these proceedings so that a proper showing can be made.Consult a Westchester County Estate Administration Attorney
Administration is a court-supervised process, but the person named as administrator has a legal duty to wind up the estate appropriately and take all necessary steps. Mr. Haas has more than 40 years of experience serving as an attorney for estate administration. He represents estate administrators, heirs, and other parties interested in the proceedings. He provides clients with reasonable and flexible fee arrangements, and he is dedicated to providing clients with personal and attentive service. Emotions may run high in connection with probate, and it’s important to seek knowledgeable counsel. Contact us through our online form or at (212) 355-2575.