Do I need a lawyer for letter of administration

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Do I need a lawyer for letter of administration

My husband passed away in March and had
a lot of debt. He had a bank account
for 80, 000. I was told I need to get a
letter of administration from the court
to try to access the money but that it
would probably goto debtors first. Can
I file for administration letters myself
or do I need to hire a lawyer? I’m in
New York

Asked on June 26, 2018 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You are legally allowed to file for them yourself: there is no legal obligation or requirement to retain an attorney or have a lawyer do this for you.
If the creditors (the ones who are owed money; "debtors" are the people who owe it) file claims against the estate, then yes--they would have first call on or first right to the money. Not all creditors file claims--for example, for small amounts, they might consider it not worth their while--and those that don't will not be paid from the estate.


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