N.Y. Estates, Powers & Trusts Law Section 12-1.1
Liability of distributees and testamentary beneficiaries

§ 12-1.1 Liability of distributees and testamentary beneficiaries (a) Subject to the other provisions of this article, distributees and testamentary beneficiaries are liable, in an action, to the extent of the value of any property received by them as such, for the debts and reasonable funeral expenses of a decedent, the expenses of administering his estate and all taxes for which the estate is liable, which have not previously been recovered from the personal representative or from any other source described in paragraph (b).


No liability may be imposed upon such distributees or testamentary beneficiaries, under paragraph (a), unless plaintiff establishes satisfactorily to the court that he cannot fully satisfy his claim:


Because there is insufficient property of the estate available for such purpose in the hands of the personal representative;


By action against persons prior in liability to the defendant, under paragraph (a) of 12-1.2, because such persons are not amenable to suit in this state, are insolvent or for any other reason cannot be made to answer for their liabilities; or


By the enforcement, under 3-3.6, of any lien, security interest or other charge he holds against property of the decedent specifically disposed of by will or passing to a distributee, or against the proceeds of any policy of insurance on the life of the decedent payable to a named beneficiary.

Source: Section 12-1.1 — Liability of distributees and testamentary beneficiaries, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/EPT/12-1.­1 (updated Sep. 22, 2014; accessed Dec. 2, 2023).

Dec. 2, 2023

Last modified:
Sep. 22, 2014

§ 12-1.1’s source at nysenate​.gov

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