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How an Executor in New York Settles an Estate

Manhattan wills & probate attorney also assists clients on City Island in the Bronx, in Brooklyn Heights

The executor of an estate is responsible for implementing the last wishes of a deceased person as provided in that person’s will. This is a tremendous responsibility, no matter the size of the estate. However, when the testator’s assets are significant, the tasks take on added complexity. Fortunately, the Cormac McEnery Law Firm is available to assist with experienced counsel, personalized service and ethical representation. For more than 35 years, attorney Cormac McEnery has served as executor and attorney to the executor for estates in throughout greater New York. With offices in Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Bronx (on City Island), Mr. McEnery and his colleagues offer reliable guidance to help you expeditiously execute your loved one’s will.

What are an estate executor’s duties in New York?

The law requires an executor to settle the decedent’s estate and carry out the terms of the will. Tasks include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Identifying and paying creditors
  • Identifying debtors and collecting amounts owed
  • Identifying and locating beneficiaries
  • Distributing assets to the beneficiaries

These tasks involve a significant amount of work, and the executor is personally liable for getting it done right. If the executor makes errors that diminish the value of the estate or deprive a beneficiary of property or money, the executor could be sued. So, it’s very important to have reliable legal counsel from an experienced probate administration attorney.

Naming an executor in your will

As a testator, you are permitted to name someone in your will to be your executor. Many testators choose trusted members of their families who have legal or financial acumen to manage these duties. It’s important, if you choose a family member, to be mindful of that person’s standing among your beneficiaries. You should choose someone who can command trust, confidence and respect. The relative named in your living will to act as your healthcare proxy may be suited to that responsibility, but may feel overwhelmed assuming the duties of an executor.

In settling an estate, the executor often has to make decisions for the estate as a whole which conflict with the desires of potential beneficiaries. The executor should not have a conflict of interests.

There is no requirement that you choose a relative. Many testators name attorneys to be their executors. Choosing an executor should not prevent you from executing your will, since dying intestate can cause confusion, delay and loss of value to your estate.

Contact an experienced New York estate attorney for executor assistance

The Cormac McEnery Law Firm draws on more than 35 years of experience to provide reliable advice to executors and to manage their duties. To schedule a free consultation at one of our offices, call 888.368.4329 or contact us online. We serve clients in all of New York City, as well as Brooklyn Heights, Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk counties.