Q: My parent passed away (no siblings, only child) and left a will. Trying to manage estate matters with one major issue.
The will was created while I was a minor and never updated. I am an adult now. In the will, personal representatives are named. Only one is still present. In filing documents with the court, I was told that I am unable to receive the paperwork needed because of these representatives being named. This person is unwilling to sign the renunciation form which I conclude are for tactless and possibly other reasons. I however am listed as sole beneficiary in the will. How can I have these "representatives" removed or apply to be executor so that I can resolve estate matters myself and move forward? I have filed probate paperwork. More than 40 days has passed.
A: You will definitely need a lawyer on this one. It's a complex NY Probate matter. What are the assets of the estate? Makes me very sad that people didn't do a Trust instead of a will. Also, you could have filed for ADMINISTRAITON without a will and avoided all the headache alltogether - that's one reason to consult with attorney before you file.
A: You are going to have to file a petition and cite the party refusing to comply. Should the party come forward, the document says what it says, and will be enforced.
As an only child and sole beneficiary named in the will, you have a vested interest in the estate. If the personal representative appointed in the will is unwilling to perform their duties or step aside, you may petition the court to have them removed. This typically involves showing that they are unfit to serve or that they are not acting in the best interests of the estate. Given that more than 40 days have passed since you filed probate paperwork, you should now have standing to request a hearing on this matter.
You would benefit from presenting your case to the court, outlining the refusal of the representative to renounce their position and any actions they've taken that are counter to your interests as the beneficiary. If the court is persuaded, they may grant your request to remove the representative and appoint you as the executor. It would be prudent to seek guidance from an attorney who practices estate planning or probate law to ensure your petition is properly presented and to help expedite the process. Legal counsel can also advise on the specific procedures and paperwork required by New York law.
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