- July 29, 1997
- All New York State Office Counsel, Managers and Agents
- A Satisfaction of Mortgage Can Be Executed By a Voluntary Administrator
On May 23, 1997, Section 321 5(a) of the Real Property Law was amended (Chapter 71 of the Laws of 1997) to expand the definition of "personal representative" to include a voluntary administrator. Section 321 identifies the persons or representatives who may execute a discharge of mortgage. Prior to the enactment of Chapter 71, a personal representative of a decedent could, in certain cases, sign a discharge pursuant to the provisions of Section 321, but the definition of the term "personal representative" did not include a voluntary administrator (i.e., one who qualifies and undertakes to settle the estate of decedent who dies leaving personal property having a gross value of $10,000 or less). By reason of the amendment, a voluntary administrator can now execute a satisfaction of mortgage pursuant to the provisions of Section 321.
Notwithstanding this change in the law, it should be noted that a voluntary administrator cannot administer real property owned by a decedent. His authority is limited to the administration of personal property of $10,000 or less. Although the amendment should be useful to a title insurer in omitting as a title exception a small mortgage held by a decedent (based upon the receipt of a satisfaction executed by a voluntary administrator), transfers of real property owned by a decedent cannot be effectuated by a voluntary administrator. Such transfers will require, in most cases, a deed from an executor or administrator, as the case may be, appointed pursuant to a probate or administration proceeding.
Should you have any questions regarding the recent change in the law, please contact the New York City office.
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