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Estate Administration

The death of a family member or loved one is a stressful time for the surviving friends and family who must deal with the added anxiety of dealing with federal and state laws that impact the beneficiaries and the decedent’s estate.

Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld’s Estate Administration lawyers and practice group works to provide caring and efficient legal services. Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld will help the executor/administrator and trustee navigate the tax and legal aspects of the estate. The Estate Administration attorneys at Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld understand that adversarial conflicts are the last thing most people desire during a time of loss. Unfortunately, disputes sometime occur. If relationships do break down over estate conflicts, Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld attorneys guide clients, whether they are the individual beneficiary, executor or administrator, through the complex litigation process.

Estate Administration

Surrogate’s Court

In New York, wills are probated before the Surrogate’s Court. There is a Surrogate Court in each of the five boroughs of New York City, and in Westchester, Nassau and Suffolk Counties, each court having varying rules and filing procedures. Every day, Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld estate administration attorneys and paralegals are in Surrogate’s Court. Our understanding of the workings of Surrogate’s Court is helpful to the efficient administration of the estate.


When a decedent does not have a will, the estate is subject to New York’s complicated intestacy laws, that provide a statutorily designated hierarchy. An individual, known as the administrator, is appointed by the court to administer the decedent’s estate. The estate administration attorneys of Capell Barnett Matalon & Schoenfeld help guide the appointed party from the beginning of the procedure through the discharge of the administrator’s duties, ensuring that conflicts, if any, that arise among the beneficiaries and administrator are dealt with in a professional and courteous manner.

Proper estate planning can help mitigate potential complications and depletion of assets during the estate administration process.