In this case, the Surrogate’s Court was asked by two of the decedent’s creditors to revoke the estate administrator’s letters of administration because in petitioning the court for letters of administrator, the petitioner mispresented his status as a distributee of the decedent’s estate.
The decedent, J. Young, was a successful songwriter. He died in 1939 intestate. The term “intestate” means that Young died without having executed a valid will. He was survived by his spouse and his father. Under New York’s intestacy laws, they were his only distributees. In May 1939, Young’s wife was appointed administrator of his estate. She died in November 1973, leaving a properly executed will that named co-executors.
In September 2009, the grandnephew of the decedent, N. Young, petitioned the court for letters of administration de bonis non with respect to the decedent’s estate. Pursuant to Surrogate’s Court Procedure Act § 1007 , letters of administration de bonis non are letters that allow for the administration of assets that remain in an estate in situations where the original executor or previous administrator is unable to do so. The petition filed by the grandnephew, the respondent in this case, was supported by waivers and consents of twenty-one of the distributees identified. A citation was issued to one alleged distributee who did not appear on the return date. According to his petition, the value of the assets in need of administration was $9,000.00.