Estate Administration

What if Someone Dies without a Will?

What if Someone Dies without a Will?

A will leaves the estate to named persons and organizations. Through a will, the testator can make specific gifts, distribute percentages of the estate, and create trusts for management and future distribution of all or some of the assets of the estate. But what if a New Yorker dies without a will or a will is held to be invalid? Distribution of Assets If an individual dies without a will he or she is said to have “died intestate”. New York laws contain rules for distribution of property, both real and personal, in intestacy. In essence, New York State creates a statutory will when a validly...

Read More

How Assets Pass to Heirs

How Assets Pass to Heirs

People often have misconceptions about how assets pass after death. Some even believe that if they do not transfer property they own to their children, it will go to the state. There are many instances where misinformed individuals engage in transactions that lead to unintended results and unnecessary tax liability. Understanding how assets pass after death is essential for putting together a sound estate plan. In doing so, it is particularly important to distinguish a probate asset from a non-probate asset, because that determines to whom the asset passes and how quickly it passes. Probate...

Read More