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How long does it take to have someone appointed as executor of an estate in New York if the deceased passed away with no will?

Staten Island, NY |

My mother in law passed away with no will and we now have to try and get her husband to be appointed as executor of her estate, how long will this process take?

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Attorney answers 4


First, I am sorry for your loss.

Usually it doesn't take very long to do an administration proceeding. From the time you submit a complete set of papers to the Court until you receive letters of administration will normally take two to four weeks. Of course, this is assuming that there are no extraordinary issues concerning the estate.

I can't emphasize enough the importance, however, of making sure that the documents you submit to the Court are in all respects complete.

If you need any help with this matter, you may feel free to contact me or, of course, any attorney of your choosing.

Good luck to you.



what do you menan by extraordinary issues?


Having a spouse appointed as administrator is a fairly simple proceeding and should take a matter of weeks. However, there are too many variables to predict exactly how long a legal proceeding may take. For example, the court may be exeperiencing delays, you may need to serve notice to individuals who do not want to be served, your petition has mistakes and needs to be corrected.


I am a NY lawyer. I would say that this answer varies from county to county and will depend on which county the decedent was domiciled in at the time of her death. I have waited months for a simple probate. It is very true, as stated in a prior post, that it depends on if the court is busy, which is why I still maintain that the answer varies by county. Also, without seeing the will, it would impossible to hazard a guess. I think the other 2 posts are optomistic. I would suggest consulting a lawyer. Good luck.

Sharon M. Siegel

Sharon M. Siegel

Sharon M. Siegel


There are many issues which could be considered extraordinary circumstances such as: is the petitioner competent, is the will valid, were the staples removed from the will, is anyone challenging the will, are there creditors, was the will validly executed and more... there are so many more circumstances...


First I am sorry for your loss. If your mother died without a Will you will need to file a Petition for Letters of Administration. The proposed administrator (most likely your mothers husband) can file the petition. It would name all of your mothers distributees ( you, your siblings, her husband etc) and an estimate of assets. There are other support documents and affidavits that need to be filed as well. Once the letters are issued the administrator than has the power to dispose of assets, like a house, and distribute them to pursuant to intestancy laws. The Richmond County Surrogates Court can supply you with all the forms needed, however they will not give you any advice on how to fill them out. If there are assets most people hire an attorney to do the paperwork and guide them through the process. Good luck

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