In New York, a personal representative is a person who is appointed by the Surrogate’s Court to manage the affairs of a deceased person’s estate. This individual is responsible for handling the deceased’s assets, paying debts, and distributing the remaining assets to the heirs or beneficiaries of the estate. The personal representative can either be an executor, named in the deceased’s will, or an administrator, appointed by the court if no will exists. The personal representative has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries.
The case involves the estate of Howard Rothenberg, who passed away in 2016. Rothenberg was survived by his wife, Barbara, and two sons, Marc and David. Rothenberg’s will left his entire estate to his wife, but included a provision that stated that if she predeceased him, the estate should be divided equally between his sons. However, Barbara did not predecease the decedent.