New York Executor Selection: Out-of-State Guidance

Parisi, Coan & Saccocio, PLLC

When it comes to estate planning, it is not uncommon for a person who is domiciled in New York to name an executor of his/her estate who lives outside of New York. This situation can arise in various circumstances, whether due to geographic distance, family matters, or other factors.

Out-of-state Executors

When creating a Last Will and Testament in New York, one of the most important decisions you will make is whom to name as your executor. This person will manage your estate and ensure your wishes are carried out after you pass away. But what happens if you have designated an out-of-state individual to serve as your executor?

Under the Surrogate's Court Procedure Act (SCPA) Section 707, an out-of-state executor can still be appointed executor for estates in the state. The section outlines how out-of-state executors can be appointed and highlights the eligibility requirements for such individuals.

SCPA Section 707

According to SCPA Section 707, an individual can act as an executor of a New York estate, regardless of their residency status, if they are at least 18 years old and not disqualified due to certain factors. For instance, if the individual has been convicted of a felony offense or was declared incompetent by a court, they may not be eligible to serve as an executor under SCPA Section 707.

SCPA Section 707 also addresses non-domiciliary aliens who may be appointed executors of an estate. A non-domiciliary alien can be appointed executor if they are at least 18 years old and not disqualified due to a felony conviction or other legal disqualification. Additionally, they must provide proof of their legal status in the United States and appoint a person within New York State to act as their agent for service of process. The statute also allows a non-domiciliary alien to serve as a fiduciary if they serve with a New York resident co-fiduciary.

When it comes to estate planning, selecting an executor is critical. An executor serves as a fiduciary, meaning they are responsible for acting in the estate's best interest and its beneficiaries. While choosing a family member or friend may seem like an easy option, many people opt for an out-of-state executor due to their experience and expertise. However, this decision can often create more problems than solutions.

One issue with appointing an out-of-state executor is that they may need to be more familiar with local laws and regulations. The surrogates court in each state has specific rules that must be followed during the probate process. If your chosen executor lives outside your state, they may need help navigating these procedures effectively. This could lead to delays in settling your estate or even result in unnecessary legal fees.

Appointing an out-of-state executor or administrator carries a unique set of legal considerations. Our law office has the experience and expertise to help you navigate the complexities of this process. We will work with you to ensure that all legal requirements and any circumstances related to your situation are met. We provide a comprehensive set of services tailored to meet your specific needs and are equipped to handle most tasks related to fiduciary appointments, such as opening estate bank accounts, collecting estate assets, and making distributions from an estate.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation so we can begin working on your estate needs. Together, we can provide your family with peace of mind for years to come.

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