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3 critical elements of New York’s Intestate laws to know

On Behalf of | Sep 6, 2023 | Estate Planning |

In today’s fast-paced world, where legal matters are becoming increasingly complex, it’s essential to have a solid understanding of intestate laws. 

These laws govern what happens to a person’s assets and property when they pass away without a valid will. In New York, the distribution typically follows the guidelines outlined below. 

The role of an administrator

When someone passes on without a valid will in place, the court appoints an administrator to manage the deceased’s estate. The administrator’s responsibilities include:

  • Identifying and collecting the deceased’s assets
  • Paying off any debts or liabilities owed by the deceased
  • Allocating the remaining assets to the rightful heirs according to New York’s intestate laws.

Choosing the right administrator is crucial, as they play an important role in helping ensure the smooth distribution of assets according to the law.

Handling debts and claims

Dealing with debts and claims against the deceased’s estate is another critical element of intestate laws. The administrator must notify creditors of the deceased’s passing, giving them an opportunity to file claims against the estate.

Once claims are filed, the administrator must evaluate their validity and pay off legitimate debts using the deceased’s assets. If there are insufficient assets to cover all debts, the state’s intestate laws specify the order in which creditors are paid.

Avoiding intestacy

Creating a valid will is the best way to avoid intestate laws. A will allows you to:

  • Specify how your assets should be distributed
  • Appoint an executor of your choice to carry out your wishes
  • Provide for any minor children or dependents

By having a will in place, you have control over the destiny of your assets, helping ensure they go to the individuals and causes you care about the most.

Intestate laws are complex and can significantly impact the distribution of your assets after your passing. Therefore, you should seek the legal guidance you need and start working on a valid will at your earliest convenience.