This post covers everything you need to know about the letters of testamentary in New York.
Here you will learn
- What is letters of testamentary in new york
- How to get letters of testamentary in New York
- How long does it take to get letters of testamentary in NY?
- letters of testamentary new york sample
Let’s dive right in
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Letters testamentary new york
Letters of testamentary in New York is a legal document that the New York Surrogate’s Court issues following the filing and approval of the proper petition for the purpose of appointing an Executor of the estates belonging to the person who dies testate (leaving a Will).
Before granting a letter testamentary, the court will verify the legality of the deceased’s will and that the petitioner is the person named as executor in the will.
You can never act as the executor until the court issues Letters of Testamentary.
Only then you can deal with the deceased estate by collecting the assets of the estate, paying the estate’s debts and expenses, and distributing the remainder to the estate’s beneficiaries.
NB: ‘Letters of testamentary is strictly not a letter as it means in the traditional language. The term “letters” in legal terms denotes “mandate, authorization, and order.”
Contents of letters of testamentary in new york
A new york letters of testamentary contains
- File No.
- Name of the deceased
- Date o death
- Domicile of the deceased
- Name and address of the Fiduciary Appointed
- Title: ‘Letters of Testamentary’
- Limitations (if any)
- The statement that shows to whom the letter is granted and why the letter is granted
- Date of grant
- Signature of the clerk
- Seal of the court
How to get letters of testamentary in New York
The process of getting letters of testamentary in New York is governed by The Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act (SCPA) and initiated by lodging a formal application (Petition) to the New York Surrogate’s Court.
must be submitted by an individual designated in the will as a beneficiary, heir, trustee, or guardian.
The petition must state the citizenship of the petitioner and the deceased, and provide details about the will being presented for probate, and any other will belonging to the same individual that may be on file in the court.
Additionally, the petition should include the names and addresses of all individuals who need to be notified, as well as the names and addresses of all beneficiaries, heirs, and trustees mentioned in the will or any other will on file to the best of their knowledge.
Don’t worry, in Ney Work the format of the petition is already made as a form, you can just access the petition form (fillable pdf) here or in word doc. here
It’s vital to note that the petition for letters testamentary is filed in the county where the decedent resided, not where he died.
The petition must be accompanied by relevant supporting documents including,
- Original death certificate
- Original will
- Affidavit of Comparison
- Notice of Probate
- Affidavit of Heirship
NB: Make sure you provide the court with a complete set of documents. If you do not submit all of the essential documentation, your Letters Testamentary will be delayed.
When the application has been served on all eligible persons and returned with proof of service, and no objections to the petitioner’s appointment have been raised, the court may issue a decree granting letters of testamentary to the petitioner or to anybody else who appears to be entitled to them.
When a person is appointed as an administrator of an estate by the Surrogate Court using Letters Testamentary, can:
- Obtain information from banks and other financial entities that hold the decedent’s assets.
- Obtain a federal tax identification number for an estate.
- Transfer assets from the decedent’s name to the estate’s name.
- Collect claims and settle the decedent’s debts.
- Marshal the estate’s assets.
- Distribute the estate assets to the beneficiaries after acquiring proper waivers or presenting accounting.
- Open a bank account for the decedent’s estate.
Letters of Testamentary in New York fee structure
|Value of Estate||Fee Rate ($)|
|Less than $10,000||45.00|
|10,000 but under 20,000||75.00|
|20,000 but under 50,000||215.00|
|50,000 but under 100,000||280.00|
|100,000 but under 250,000||420.00|
|250,000 but under 500,000||625.00|
|500,000 and over||1,250.00|
How long does it take to get letters of testamentary in NY?
The time it takes to get letters of testamentary is determined by the court’s backlog and, more significantly, whether the petition submitted is complete. Some counties are better than others in processing filings because they have fewer cases and more efficient administrative staff.
Also If someone is opposing your competence to be appointed as the estate executor, getting letters of testamentary may take longer.
During the summer months, judges are on vacation or getting ready to go on vacation, thus the process of getting letters of testamentary takes longer.
Letters of testamentary new york sample
Image credit, The Law Offices of Albert Goodwin
Certificate of Appointment of Executor
A Certificate of Appointment of Executor is an official document that is issued by the court granted the letters of testamentary to certify that the bearer is granted the letters of testamentary so he can deal with the decedent’s assets.
You’ll need a couple of Certificates of Appointment of Executor once you’ve received Letters Testamentary.
Each bank and government institution will want an original certificate to be sure that they are dealing with the proper person.
The following is how the Certificate of Appointment of Executor looks.
Image credit, The Law Offices of Albert Goodwin
You may look at the pdf format here
FAQ about Letter of Testamentary in New York
What is a Letter of Testamentary in New York?
A Letter of Testamentary is a legal document issued by the Surrogate’s Court in New York that grants the executor of a will the authority to administer a deceased person’s estate.
Who can apply for a Letter of Testamentary in New York?
The executor named in the deceased person’s will can apply for a Letter of Testamentary but if for some reason somebody else is applying for letters of testamentary, then the named executor must be notified.
What are the requirements to obtain a Letter of Testamentary in New York?
To obtain a Letter of Testamentary, the executor must submit the original will and proof of death to the Surrogate’s Court in New York.
What are the responsibilities of an executor with a Letter of Testamentary in New York?
The executor with a Letter of Testamentary in New York is responsible for managing the deceased person’s estate, distributing assets to beneficiaries, paying any outstanding debts and taxes, and preparing a final accounting of the estate.
Can a Letter of Testamentary be revoked in New York?
Yes, a Letter of Testamentary can be revoked in New York if the executor resigns or is removed by the court for cause.
Do I need a lawyer to obtain a Letter of Testamentary in New York?
While you do not legally need a lawyer to obtain a Letter of Testamentary in New York, it is recommended that you seek legal counsel to ensure that the process is carried out correctly and efficiently.
What happens if there is no will in New York?
If there is no will in New York, the estate will be distributed according to the state’s intestacy laws. The Surrogate’s Court will appoint an administrator to handle the estate.
Can a non-resident apply for a Letter of Testamentary in New York?
Yes, a non-resident can apply for a Letter of Testamentary in New York if the deceased person was a resident of the state or if their estate is located in New York.
What is the fee to obtain a Letter of Testamentary in New York?
The fee to obtain a Letter of Testamentary in New York varies depending on the size of the estate and the complexity of the case. It typically ranges from $215 to $1,250.