1. N.Y. Est. Powers and Trusts Law section 4-1.1 (McKinney 2015) provides the New York laws of intestate succession. It provides:
a. If a decedent is survived by a spouse and issue, the spouse receives the first $50,000 and one-half of the rest of the decedent’s estate. The issue take the rest BY REPRESENTATION (each distributee in the same generation gets an equal share).
b. If a decedent is survived by a spouse and no issue, the spouse inherits the entire estate.
c. If a decedent is survived by no issue and no spouse, parent(s) inherit the estate (unless they are disqualified for failure to support the decedent when the decedent was under age 21).
2. According to N.Y. Est. Powers and Trusts Law section 3-1.1 (McKinney 2013) a testator must be at least 18 years old to have testamentary capacity. The testator must also have “sound mind and memory”.
3. N.Y. Est. Powers and Trusts Law section 3-2.1 (McKinney 2013) sets out the requirements of due execution of wills. At least two attesting witnesses are required in New York.
4. The most populous city in New York State is New York City (with a population of approximately 8.3 million according to the U.S. Census Quick Facts website).
5. Milbank, (a law firm founded in 1866) has a famous and prestigious Trusts and Estates practice based in New York City.
6. Miller Samuel, Inc. is a real estate appraisal company in New York City. The president of the company, Jonathan J. Miller is cited in this interesting article about appraisals from the New York Times.
7. The New York State Surrogate’s Court probates wills in New York City. There are five branches of the Surrogate’s Court in New York City. The address of the Surrogate’s Court for Kings County is 2 Johnson Street, Brooklyn, New York 11201. The New York County Surrogate’s Court is located at 31 Chambers Street. New York, New York 10007.
8. A student who wishes to earn an Associate or Baccalaureate degree in Paralegal Studies would do well to earn a degree from New York City College of Technology. Its Department of Law and Paralegal Studies is ABA-approved. Full time students who are residents pay tuition of $3,165 per semester.
City Tech’s Estates Trusts and Wills course is described in its catalog as ” A basic overview of estate terminology, the jurisdiction of Surrogates Court and estate administration procedures. The fundamental law of wills, trusts and estates, as well as the preparation of the basic legal documents in each of these areas.” The course outline can be viewed here.