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Court Determines Case Filed by Executor


This is the probate proceeding of a deceased man’s last will and the objection filed by the counsel of the executor of the estate on the request from the court. The counsel of the executor has objected to a request from the court’s accounting department for the payment of an additional fee of $625.00 upon the executor’s required filing of the inventory of his List of Assets. The additional payment was requested based upon the addition of the real property located in North Carolina of his completed form. The executor of the property excluded that asset from the gross value of the assets as reported on the validation petition when it was initially calculated. The form for the petition required that improved and unimproved real property be listed only if it is located in New York State.

The Uniform Rules for the filing of the inventory of List of Assets shows no basis for excluding non-New York real property from the assessment of the gross properties passing by will, except with respect to a proceeding for ancillary validation. The part of the rules stated that the attorney of record shall provide the court a list of assets compose of the gross property for tax purposes but separately listing the assets that were either owned by the deceased individually including those in which the deceased has partial interest, or were payable or transferrable to the properties of the deceased and those properties held in trust. Also to be listed separately are those properties over which the deceased had the power to designate to a beneficiary, jointly owned property, and all other non validation property of the deceased. The section specifically requires the collection of the additional fee upon the filing of the inventory list, a requirement clearly contemplated by the enabling the law.

In the event such list of assets is not filed, A New York Probate Lawyer said the court may refuse to issue certificates, or may revoke the letters and may refuse to issue new ones until the list has been filed and the fees have been paid as provided. Failure to voluntarily file the list of assets may also constitute grounds for disallowance of commissions or legal fees. In case any additional filing fees are due, they shall be paid to the court at the time of the submission of any of the documents described.

The court does not read official form as either intending or requiring exclusion of non-New York State real property from the assessment of the deceased’s gross properties from the will. Notably, the form does not have an entry for either all real property or all non-New York real property; nor are there instructions to omit non-New York real property from the petitioner’s estimate of the total value of all property constituting the deceased’s gross properties from the will.

The initial validation fee is based upon the petitioner’s estimate of the value of the gross testamentary properties. In that instance, NYC Probate Lawyers said the validation petition stated the approximate value of deceased’s gross heritable properties as greater than $250,000.00 but less than $500,000.00 requires a processing fee of $625.00. The purpose of the additional numbers requested is unclear from either the form or the law. The most important fact is that the court clerk is required to determine the final and more accurate number from the subsequent filing of the list- inventory filed.

As the argued by the petitioner’s counsel, the language used in the official form for the validation petition suggests that a distinction should be drawn between the real property located within and outside the State of New York but the distinction has no legal direction and significance. The law requires that the validation fee be computed based upon the gross value of the assets passing by will, with an initial assessment at the time of the filing and a subsequent assessment that may require an additional validation fee. Brooklyn Probate Lawyers said the law also authorizes the chief administrator to disseminate the rules to assure that the proper fee is ultimately paid. A list of inventory that is filed properly shows real property and the out-of-state property is properly included because it is a part of the deceased’s taxable property. The inclusion of the foreign realty requires a total fee of $1,250.00. As the initial validation fee was $625.00, the clerk is mandated by the court to collect an additional fee of $625.00.

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