If you are ever asked to serve as an executor in New York, you should view this question as an indication the person asking you trusts you very much. Your job as executor will be to manage the property that person leaves behind after he or she dies. And while the probate process in New York can be somewhat daunting, you should understand that there are some new problems you might have to face that executors in the past rarely had to deal with.
For identity thieves, stealing someone’s personal information is a way for them to obtain a financial advantage. Many of these thieves have recently been stealing the identities of deceased people in order to open fraudulent accounts or obtain other benefits.
According to one recent report, over 2 million deceased people had their identities stolen last year by identity thieves. Many of these thieves used the decedent’s personal information to open new credit cards and make fraudulent purchases. After doing so, it often falls to the executor to have to sort out the problems left behind by the thieves.
Part of your duty as executor is to keep meticulous records, a task that will come in very handy if the estate is ever subjected to identity theft. You should always be prepared to contest any claim from a creditor that appears to have resulted from a fraudulently opened account. Additionally, notifying all relevant government agencies that the decedent has died is essential.
Of course, people unfamiliar with the probate process will want to speak to a probate attorney as soon as you learn that you have been nominated as executor.