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New York & North Carolina

Limitations on Estate Executors

Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC

In previous posts, we covered who the Surrogate's court deems to be a fiduciary, what duties a fiduciary has, what a breach of fiduciary duty entails, and provide you with a basic fiduciary checklist to help guide you through the process of administering an estate.

You have many responsibilities as a fiduciary. In general, after an individual's death, the fiduciary must manage certain routine tasks and follow several standard procedures to distribute the decedent's assets according to his or her wishes. However, there are some limitations placed on a fiduciary under New York state law that you should be aware of.

New York Limitations on Estate Executors

An executor's authority may be restricted by the court under New York State law. Executors must be at least 18 years old and not incapacitated as defined by the court. In most cases, New York law requires an executor to be either a U.S. citizen or a non-U.S. citizen who lives in New York. (See N.Y. Surr. Ct. Proc. Act § 707.)

New York Surrogates Courts may restrict a fiduciary’s authority, by requiring a full accounting of the estate before the fiduciary can make any distributions. A bond may also be required before a fiduciary is appointed by the court. A fiduciary bond is a legal tool designed to protect beneficiaries, heirs, and creditors in the case of a breach of fiduciary duty or fiduciary negligence. If the fiduciary violates their obligation or is determined to be negligent, the fiduciary bond requires the guarantor to reimburse the court for a specific sum of money.

A fiduciary who disobeys a court’s limitation, risks losing the statutory commissions that compensate fiduciaries for their efforts. A surcharge may also be imposed.

If you need assistance navigating the estate administration process, would like more information, or have further questions please contact us for a free consultation. at (914) 228-7448.