FAQ: What is a Fiduciary?

Definition of FIDUCIARY: (noun) / a trustee; an agent who represents a principal and acts in the best interest of the principal “the executor serves as a fiduciary of the estate” (adj) / involving trust, especially with regard to the relationship between a trustee and a beneficiary “the company has a fiduciary duty to its […]

FAQ: What Are ‘Letters Testamentary’?

Definition of Letters of Testamentary: (noun) / under New York law, the name of the official document appointing a person named in the will to act as the representative (Executor) of an estate where the decedent has died testate (with a will) Letters Testamentary are issued by the Surrogate’s Court after the appropriate petition is filed […]

FAQ: What Are ‘Letters of Administration’?

Definition of Letters of Administration: (noun) / under New York law, the name of the official document appointing a person to act as the representative (Administrator) of an estate where the decedent has died intestate (without a will) Letters of Administration are issued by the Surrogate’s Court after the appropriate petition is filed and approved. […]

FAQ: What is Surrogate’s Court?

Definition of SURROGATE’S COURT: (noun) / a specialized court that deals with probate and administration of estates, certain types of guardianships, and certain types of adoptions; also known as “probate court” The New York State Surrogate’s Court hears cases involving the affairs of decedents, the probate of wills, and the administration of estates.  Adoptions are […]

FAQ: What is a Holographic Will?

Definition of HOLOGRAPHIC WILL: (noun) / a will written entirely in the handwriting of the testator and not executed and attested in accordance with the formalities prescribed by New York Estates Powers & Trusts Law § 3-2.1 In order for a holographic will to be admitted to probate, it must be proven that the will was […]

FAQ: What are ‘Issue’?

Definition of ISSUE: (noun) / descendants in any degree from a common ancestor In the context of trusts and estates, the term ‘issue’ is defined as “the descendants in any degree from a common ancestor”.  In other words, issue refers to a person’s lineal descendants, such as children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, etc.  This differs from “heirs”, […]

FAQ: What is a Trustee?

Definition of TRUSTEE: (noun) / one who acts on behalf of a trust; one who holds legal title to the assets of a trust The Trustee is in charge of administering the trust, including investing trust assets, keeping records, and making distributions.  The Trustee has a fiduciary obligation to the Beneficiaries, meaning that the Trustee […]

FAQ: What is a Grantor?

Definition of GRANTOR: (noun) / a party who transfers ownership of property to another As applied to trust law, the grantor is the party who creates a trust and transfers or grants money to the trust.  In real estate law, the grantor is the transferor or seller of real property.   ANTONELLI & ANTONELLI – […]

FAQ: What is an Executor?

Definition of EXECUTOR: (noun) / any person to whom letters testamentary have been issued (NY SCPA §103(20)); a person legally appointed to represent a testate estate An executor is appointed by the Surrogate’s Court to act on behalf of an estate where the decedent died with a will, known as dying testate.  Letters Testamentary refers […]

FAQ: What is a pecuniary interest?

Definition of PECUNIARY: (adjective) / of or relating to money In estate law, a pecuniary interest refers to one’s interest in an estate that relates to money.  Likewise, a pecuniary loss refers to a loss that can be measured in terms of money.   ANTONELLI & ANTONELLI – New York City Probate Attorneys and Estate […]