Out of State Executors

An executor who lives outside of New York State can still act as executor of a New York estate.  The executor’s powers and ability to administer an estate generally is the same as an in-state executor, however there are a few issues that may arise.  For information of the general duties and responsibilities of an executor, click here.

The first issue that may arise specifically for an out of state executor is the issue of a bond.  Many times, a will indicates that no bond is required for an executor to act.  However, depending on the beneficiaries of an estate, a bond may be required by Surrogate’s Court before an executor can be appointed.   The bond works similar to an insurance policy for the estate in the event that a fiduciary misappropriates or improperly takes estate assets.  If this were to happen, the estate may receive reimbursement from the bonding company and the bonding company would try to recover the assets against the executor.  The bond will be terminated when all of the estate beneficiaries consent to the accounting and once the estate is closed with Surrogate’s Court.

Another issue that an out of state executor may have is cleaning out the decedent’s residence and determining what personal property to keep.   If the decedent owns a house, then the executor will have to work with a realtor to get the house in order to put it on the market.  Depending on the value of the decedent’s personal items and the terms of the will, the executor will have to inventory the decedent’s personal property and determine what to do with the decedent’s personal property.

First, the executor will distribute the personal property in accordance to the terms of the will.  For the remaining items, the executor will have to determine the best way to transfer the remaining personal property, which may include holding an estate sale, donating certain items (such as clothing and older furniture) and/or simply throwing out items that have no value.  There are times where an out of state executor will have to rent a storage unit to secure items if the decedent lived in an apartment or if certain personal property must be removed from the decedent’s house.  This may require a lot of work for an out of state executor and normally requires the executor to travel to New York State for a period of time to get the personal property in order.  There are some responsibilities such as cleaning and moving items to storage that can be contracted out.  We work closely with the businesses the executor hires to ensure that the work needed is progressing.

At Bennett Schechter Arcuri & Will LLP we have experience working with out of state executors.  We are aware of the difficult issues that an out of state executor may have and we work with them to secure and liquidate the decedent’s assets as efficiently as possible.