Question 1: What role does the executor play in the probate process?
A person who writes a Will—called a testator—usually names an executor in the document. Once the testator dies, the executor is responsible for probating the will, meaning he or she must take it before a New York Surrogate’s Court so the court can determine if the Will is valid. The executor is responsible for taking the Will to the Surrogate’s Court in the New York county where the testator lived at the time of death. Once the court determines the Will is valid, it grants the executor the legal right to administer the estate.
Question 2: How much does an executor get paid?
Executors in New York are paid for their services based on the value of the sum of the money the executor pays or receives. Executors receive a commission equal to a percentage of this money ranging from 5 percent for values of up to $100,000, to 2 percent for values of $5,000,000. The testator can also specify how much the executor is to be paid, and may opt to pay a disposition—a non-taxable payment—instead of an executor’s fee.
Question 3: What are the executor’s duties?
The executor has numerous duties when administering an estate. The executor typically makes funeral arrangements and makes sure the testator’s funeral desires are met. He or she must also collect the important documentation associated with the estate administration, such as obtaining the will, birth and death certificates, marriage certificates, insurance policy documents, deeds or property documents, and any number of other paperwork associated with the estate.
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