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New York Practice Guide: Probate and Estate Administration
Copyright 2016, Matthew Bender & Company, Inc., a member of the LexisNexis Group.

1-2 NY Practice Guide: Probate & Estate Admin 2.syn


Settlement of Small Estates


Elizabeth Hartnett; and;Geraldine P. Waldorf

Chapter Summary


This chapter from New York Practice Guide: Probate & Estate Administration provides expert and detailed discussion, practice points, and forms for use in the settlement of a small estate, defined under SCPA § 1301(1) as an estate with personal property having a gross value of $30,000 or less exclusive of property required to be set off under EPTL § 5-3.1 (a)(1), (2), (3), (4) and (5). The chapter sets out the procedures for settling small estates without resort to a formal administration or probate proceeding and the role the attorney may but is not required to play in the process. It details the property that is included and excluded from a small estate for purposes of determining whether it meets the statutory requirements.

It discusses the persons who may be appointed voluntary administrators of a small estate and the summary procedure for appointment as a voluntary administrator. It also outlines the procedures for collecting a small estate's assets and the powers, duties and liabilities of the voluntary administrator. Next, it discusses the statutory right, and steps that should be taken by, designated individuals to obtain the payment of particular debts owed to a decedent without the necessity of either formal or voluntary administration, including payments to 1) a surviving spouse, 2) specified relatives of the decedent, 3) distributees, creditors of the decedent and persons paying or incurring the funeral expenses, and 4) a department of social services or social services district for medical assistance furnished to or on behalf of the decedent.

Finally the chapter provides official forms for use in administering small estates, including forms of affidavits in relation to a small estate as well as forms for use in renunciation of voluntary administration, reporting and accounting of a small estate settlement, and in obtaining payment of debts owed to the decedent.

New York Practice Guide: Probate and Estate Administration (Matthew Bender) provides expert guidance on the essentials of probate and estate administration in New York State with in-depth analysis of state and federal statutes, case law, regulations, and statewide court rules presented in a format including legal background, a procedural guide, forms, and a reference guide. It contains broad-ranging coverage of the preliminary steps of probate and estate administration, settlement of small estates, probate of a will, letters of administration, administration of estate assets, taxation of wealth transfer, accounting of estate assets, and miscellaneous proceedings.


New York,small estate administration,voluntary small estate administrators,payment of debts owed decedent in small estates,renunciation of voluntary small estate administration


For discussion, checklists and forms for use in initial steps prior to probate or estate administration see Ch. 1, Preliminary Steps to Probate and Estate Administration.

For discussion, checklists and forms for use in probate of the will see Ch. 3, The Validity of the Will; Ch. 4 Jurisdiction and Types of Probate Proceedings; Ch. 5, Parties; Ch. 6, Service of Process, Waiver of Process and Appearance; Ch. 7, Petition for Probate and Other Required Documents; Ch. 8, Examination of Attesting Witnesses; Ch. 9, Preliminary Letters Testamentary; Ch. 10, Letters of Administration with the Will Annexed; and Ch. 11, Objections to Probate; Trial of Contested Probate Proceeding.


See Warren's Heaton on Surrogate's Court Practice (Matthew Bender) for thorough coverage of New York probate and estates practice, including jurisdiction, probate proceedings, intestacy, appointment of representatives and guardians, administration of real and personal property, distribution, accounting, appeals, actions involving fiduciaries, federal and New York estate tax, and analysis of the SCPA and EPTL.

See New York Civil Practice: SCPA (Matthew Bender) for examination of the law governing all proceedings brought in Surrogate's Court, including the full text of the SCPA with textual analysis of every section.

See LexisNexis AnswerGuide New York Surrogate's Court (Matthew Bender) for guidance on estates law and Surrogate's Court practice in New York, including checklists for virtually every transaction a practitioner must complete.

See New York Estate Administration (Matthew Bender) as a guide to primary legal sources and for comprehensive analysis of the substantive and procedural law of estate administration in New York Surrogate's Courts, including coverage of jurisdiction and procedure, probate proceedings, intestate administration, and claims and accountings.
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