A part of planning your estate is choosing a person, perhaps a family member, to be the executor of your estate following your death. Whoever will be your executor will receive an appointment from a New York court. However, your beneficiaries must have their say before the executor appointment goes through.
It is likely your spouse or another family member will spread the word about your death to your heirs, but there is no guarantee that all of your beneficiaries will learn that you have died. This is why the state of New York requires that a court notify beneficiaries through a citation.
Using a citation
According to the New York courts website, an executor must file papers with the court in the county in which the decedent had lived. These documents include the original will, a probate petition, and a certified death certificate. Following this step, the court must send a written notice called a citation to all beneficiaries. This lets beneficiaries know that the executor has filed for the right to take over the estate.
Consenting or objecting to an executor
A citation not only lets beneficiaries know of a relative’s death, but it establishes that a court in New York has the authority to decide the rights of the beneficiaries. Once your heirs know which court is overseeing your estate, they can sign a waiver that permits your executor to formally receive an appointment from the court to administer your estate.
Conversely, your heirs may have a problem with your executor. They could come to the court to object to the appointment. This may drag out the probate process until the court decides whether your executor candidate should take over your estate or allow for a different appointment.
Talking to your heirs about your executor
The possibility that your heirs would have a problem with your choice of executor could make it beneficial to address the issue with everyone you want to inherit from you. Clearing up issues while you are alive might help speed up probate and help ensure all of your beneficiaries will have no objections after receiving their citations.