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If your relative dies without a Last Will & Testament, the process by which a fiduciary is appointed for the estate is called Intestate Administration. An Administrator needs to be appointed for the estate if the decedent died with assets valued at $30,000 or more.

Since there is no Will appointing an Executor, the law sets forth who may be appointed Administrator. Usually, the Administrator will be, in order of preference, the spouse, the children, the grandchildren, the father or mother, the brother or sisters and so on.

The Administration proceeding is begun by filing an Administration petition with the Surrogate’s Court in the county in which the decedent resided. After jurisdiction has been completed and all issues have been addressed, the Court will issue Letters of Administration. This document gives the appointed Administrator the authority to act on behalf of the estate.

The role of the Administrator is the same as that of the Executor. He or she will be expected to liquidate and/or collect the assets of the estate, file and pay income and estate taxes, address creditors’ claims and make distributions according to the law of intestacy. Since the decedent died without a Will, the law governs how the estate is distributed.

We handle intestate administration matters

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Applicable law:

NY SCPA 1001 Order of Priority for Granting Letters of Administration

NY EPTL 4-1.1 Descent and Distribution of a Decedent's Estate

NY Probate Process

Probate Blog

Estate Litigation

Estate Tax

Kinship Hearings

Executor's Guide

Estate Debts

Executor Fees / Commissions

Court Directory

Public Administrators


Contact Information

Main Office:

100 Garden City Plaza, Suite 300

Garden City, NY 11530

(516) 780-0281

(631) 944-8034

(718) 360-9014

Author: Rudolf J. Karvay

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